The food manufacturing industry is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic, unpredictable and the fastest growing industry. Food and beverage manufacturers deal with not only food safety and recall issues, but also packaging and labeling requirements, recipe or formula management, lot tracking & tracing, weights, and measurement and lot more, all while ensuring taste plus the quality of their products as well as overall profitability of the company. They need to keep pace with the latest trends and technology in order to sustain and flourish. And, one technological ingredient which is becoming super-necessary for their growth is Enterprise Resource Planning software. Although it is a technological add-on, but its positive impact can be seen all through- from innovation to development, planning to production, quality to compliance and of course on finances too. Today, ERP is not only a trend but a necessity for every food manufacturer.

Read on the top seven indicators, which indicates towards the need of an ERP in your food manufacturing unit.

1. When maintaining quality standards and health awareness is giving you headaches

From FDA to HACCP to GFSI to SQF, there are enough domestic and international compliance standards to make a food and beverage manufacturer’s head spin. Health and safety of your customers become your priority and you try your best to maintain the prescribed quality standards by Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Delivering safe and uniform quality products along with adhering to current regulatory compliance by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) helps you escape from random quality checks and inspections. Food ERP enables the printing of advisory labels for ingredients/allergens and help achieve and maintain high food safety standards by streamlining food processing to ensure continued compliance with dynamic regulations and requirements.

ERP not just provides an audit trail of all the manufacturing processes, but also sends alerts indicating the time to conduct tests or highlighting deviations/unauthorized manipulations, if any.

2. When your Formulations are going out of control

It is critical for manufacturers to have tight control over recipes or formulas to avoid tampering and unauthorized modifications. It is crucial to manage multiple versions of a formula to keep room for constant improvements and to cater customer-specific requirements. ERP for Food and Beverages increases productivity, cuts costs, and decreases time spent managing recipes manually or through spreadsheets via its Formulation module that offers a host of recipe maintaining, managing, tracking, scaling, securing, approval and other options.

3. When forecasting, scheduling and planning gives you jitters

Demand and supply imbalance results in delayed deliveries and thus dissatisfied customers. And a number of factors can be behind it- inaccurate forecast, improper planning, insufficient inventory, production halts, etc. Avoid these and many other complexities churned out as a result of inefficient planning with the help of an ERP. Master Production Scheduling (MPS) module of an ERP focuses on forecasting, planning and scheduling of your orders considering the demand and availability. It can even consider your expiring lots, thereby eliminating wastage and last minute scarcity. Taking all the sources of demand and supply, it efficiently evaluates what to order, when to order and whom to order.

4. When the constant pressure of innovation is getting onto your nerves

Today’s market is characterized by frequently changing demands and the reduced product life span. A shift in consumer trend, growing awareness for organic, healthy food leaves manufacturers with no choice but to innovate continuously. R&D module of an ERP gives power of computerized calculation to achieve the targeted physical, chemical, nutritional or specific characteristic. An ERP Software helps you bring new products to market faster and cheaper with its set of product development modules that include R&D, Formulation, BOM and Costing.

5. When your production complexities are becoming more complex

Process manufacturing is all about complex processes like mixing, grinding, heating, state change, filling, assembling, and more. ERP is known for a powerful set of features that guarantees precise processing of production activities, from start to finish. It enables creating batches for all types of processes like mixing, filling and assembling in no time. It supports, manages, tracks and controls all the production activities from batch creation, to finally closing it.

6. When recalls and traceability become nightmares for you

Recalls are the biggest threat to the brand image and profitability of the industry. But not when you have an effective and quick way to identify the exact contaminant and the extent up to which it has impacted. This helps in reducing your identification and response time exponentially to a few minutes, or hours; helping you react ASAP and limit the damage to a great extent. Moreover, ERP enables performing mock recalls, which is a regulatory requirement and helps in avoiding tricky situations.

7. When inventory is becoming more of a liability than asset for you

The Inventory module provides a flexible yet effective set of features to help you manage and handle the inventory & maintain optimum stock levels, eliminating overstock or understock circumstances. ERP supports the tracking of production quality, expiry date, shelf life period, and lot controlled products by gaining real time visibility into the inventory stocks or any inventory transactions. Inventory tracking can be done bin wise, item wise, warehouse wise, lot wise or container wise, along with setting up various storage conditions for bins and items. Material movement is based on quality statuses to ensure that only quality goods are being sent for production and thus cGMP is followed. With ERP’s inventory management by your side, there is tighter control of inventory and reduced wastage ensuring your inventory is your asset and not becoming a liability for you.

Food and beverage ERP systems are designed to support the dynamics of food manufacturing so you have the operational processes and controls you need on top of an integrated financial system to manage every aspect of your business. One such ERP is BatchMaster EEP for Food. Thirty plus year of serving food manufacturers has resulted in the continuous evolution of the product to a stage which is scalable, complete, food-specific, compliant and just perfect.