Six key ways an ERP solution will ensure you overcome some of the most pressing challenges facing the food industry

Mar 16, 2022
  • finance
  • IT
  • food
  • SAP

Investing right now in an excellent enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will ensure food manufacturers like you are better equipped to successfully grow (and future proof) your business.

Recent forecasts are for 3.6% growth in global food consumption, largely driven by changes in consumer demands and the rapid pace of technological advancement. The flipside of this opportunity is that the food industry faces myriad challenges in the coming years, not least the lightspeed changes in consumer and retailer expectation and demand. Producers like you simply cannot afford the risk of either getting your strategy wrong or getting left behind.


In this blog find out the key challenges facing your sector right now and discover how ERP technology will help you overcome them, boost your food business and get ahead of your competition.


Satisfying demand


As a food manufacturer, you need to correctly understand and anticipate consumer demand. Reporting tools are one of the most efficient and reliable ways to do so. ERP solutions provide insights and business intelligence, such as a clearer picture where and when demand for your products is coming from. You can then make properly informed strategic decisions that more accurately adapt to changes in demand and satisfy it.


Informing product development


Depending on your products, some food manufacturers need to be highly adaptable to shifting consumer desires requiring higher levels of innovation and production changes. Many food manufacturers report that they struggle to get full benefit from production and recipe management data. ERP technology will help your research and development teams incorporate new combinations into formulae or processes, optimising your new product development or finding more economical formulae that will help you reduce your costs.


Food safety and quality


Ensuring that safety standards are upheld in the industry is crucial: consumer confidence and trust is hard won and easily shattered. Food manufacturers must ensure you comply and keep up with changes in food safety, quality and recall regulation. You need to have total traceability of all your products, stretching the length of your operations to a retailer’s shelves. Failure to do so correctly can risk losing customers’ faith in you, ruining your finances and – more damagingly – your brand reputation. An ERP system will help you:

  • manage recall processes and tracking.
  • provide quality audits, ensuring you are meeting regulatory compliance and food safety requirements.


Supply chain visibility


You will be only too aware of the fragmented nature of food distribution supply chains. You therefore must have total visibility throughout the chain as your products move from raw ingredients to finished products sitting in warehouses or retail outlets. Stock control is equally vital as, if customer demand is regularly disappointed, consumers can lose patience and vote with their feet, switching to your competitors.


ERP allows you to track and trace ‘from nose to tail’, ensuring timely shipping and reducing your exposure to:

  • quality and spoilage issues.
  • safety issues.
  • expiration date issues (particularly important for consumables).


The technology can also help you with stock tracking, generating timely notifications and alerts when stock levels drop.


Cost control


Minimising waste and optimising operational efficiency across your company will help you control costs and increase profits. Margins are getting slimmer and raw materials and energy costs are continuously rising, so manufacturers like you are having to work smarter to find these vital efficiencies. ERP solutions will help you pinpoint cost-saving opportunities, eradicate the potential for human error and streamline systems.


Food fraud


The desire for cheap food is a huge driver of food crime - a major problem which threatens to dilute trust (particularly in specific products). The industry is working hard to devise methods to combat this but that was slightly derailed during the lockdowns when the priority was getting food on shelves and tables as quickly and cheaply as possible. ERP can help you ensure your chain of production and supply is as robust (and transparent) as possible.


Food, glorious food!


An ERP system purpose built for the food industry provides a robust nose to tail management of your manufacturing operations. This will equip food businesses to evolve faster and better manage the movement and storage of your products - from the moment the ingredients arrive at your facility to the moment your products land on your customers’ tables. 


Key benefits that are reported back include helping food producers and manufacturers like you to: 

  • manage business growth to more precisely meet demand.
  • enable and streamline operational efficiency and control costs.
  • grow your business.
  • improve food safety and quality compliance.


Above all, an ERP solution is designed to make your most complex manufacturing and distribution process manageable and affordable so you can evolve faster, better equipping (and futureproofing) your business to succeed. So, how do you like them apples?!

Delaware’s approach


Our experience, insight and expertise helping businesses like yours implement and derive optimal business value from ERP systems will provide you with effective solutions to the challenges and pain points you are facing right now – and in future.


We have never walked away from a project and will get involved at any stage. We invest in building and nurturing strong organisational, professional and personal bonds - enjoying long term relationships with many of our clients. 


Find out how we will help boost your food or beverage business. Discover FAST Food, an ERP-packaged solution Delaware have developed for ambitious mid-market food and beverage companies like yours looking for a state-of-the-art platform for growth.


Alternatively, contact us to discuss your unique challenges and explore our commercial and innovative solutions.

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