How ERP Helps to Weather the Storm – Part 2

As the water situation in the Western Cape that I discussed in my previous blog deteriorates, and farmers and food suppliers prepare for the worst, a definitive survival plan is vital for Food & Beverage companies. Tough times call for tighter controls and greater transparency. Nothing provides this better than an effective business system tailored to your business.

The right ERP system takes the guesswork out of forecasting, accurately records recipes, improves efficiency and accuracy, increases visibility of co-products and by-products, raises service levels, improves cash flow, and provides full traceability. Here are some ways in which your solution can help you weather the storm…

  1. Compliance with Regulations

ERP helps to meet the most stringent food and safety requirements. It allows companies to easily identify and trace every single ingredient consumed in the manufacturing process, from receipt, through to processing, packaging, and shipping to the exact customer location.

  1. Manage Product and Materials Traceability

Traceability of products from material through manufacture to final destination is a key system requirement in many industries. Your system can enable full backward and forward traceability, and facilitate the recording of traceability and quality data on materials and products from purchasing, through to inspection, manufacturing, stocking and sales.

  1. Monitor your Supply Chain

ERP provides a view into your supply chain that can help to manage your procurement process. Things like tracking the quality of raw ingredients and finished goods; inspecting ingredients, finished products and scrap; reworking, downgrading or accepting into inventory; and defining custom fields to hold conformance details, becomes an easy reality.

  1. Optimize Management and Planning

To gain the competitive edge, you must be agile in responding to market demands without increasing costs and waste, and sacrificing efficiency. Whether you use line, batch or project processes, your scheduling activities must balance competing objectives. This includes the efficient management and execution of re-scheduling activities when business priorities and plans change or unexpected events occur.

Having the capability to create and execute an achievable schedule requires a comprehensive view of the current situation and available resources, as well as the tools to perform efficient re-scheduling if necessary. The right software enables businesses to generate accurate schedules that consider constraints around people, machines, tooling and materials, ensuring best use of available capacity to deliver to customers faster and in the most cost-effective way.


  1. Control Costs and Increase Profits

Understanding the true cost per transaction of doing business means identifying contributing elements, both direct and indirect, across the organization. These include not only the cost efficiency of operational activities and their interrelationships, but also the time spent on manual and redundant processes, reconciliations, paperwork and reporting, as well as the cost of lost opportunities from a lack of agility in responding to the global marketplace.

ERP gives the essential integrated visibility to your accounting, distribution and manufacturing operations, enabling you to easily identify and track your cost elements and to target areas of waste for improvement programs.

Additionally, it facilitates the automation of many processes that have traditionally been labor-intensive and time-consuming, such as operational-to-financial reconciliations, and communicating with trading partners.

  1. Reduce Inventory and Improve Customer Satisfaction

The right system can provide features like inventory management, inventory optimization, and forecasting which enable you to minimize forecast errors and manage seasonality. This helps to reduce inventory investment and improve order fulfilment performance. This can be further enhanced by features that give sales and production staff a reliable view of what they can promise to customers and when.

Whatever the recipe, pricing or packaging options, it is important to find a solution that offers improved procurement efficiency, faster transaction speeds and responsiveness to customer demand, and a lifeline during these trying times.


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