While demand for premium foods and drinks is higher than ever, the food and beverage manufacturing sector remains fiercely competitive. Along these same lines, most businesses in the food production industry continue to operate on lower margins while assuming high risks.
The challenges the food production industry has faced over the last three years are as numerous as they are diverse. Even before the global pandemic, food manufacturers struggled with labor shortages, regulatory obstacles, and a bevy of complex supply chain issues.
Fortunately, adaptable MES and ERP software solutions from EZSoft can resolve most of the common problems modern food and beverage manufacturers face. However, the trouble with selecting the right manufacturing software for your business is the seemingly endless volume of available options.
As such, making the correct choice can be difficult. Selecting the right food manufacturing ERP software for your specific applications can pose several unique challenges, especially if you have not leveraged these solutions before.
To help newer food businesses just now considering automation, we’ve compiled a summary of five core features that every effective food manufacturing software solution should include.
1. Enhanced inventory control
Since food manufacturers handle so many perishable goods, several potentially expensive risks emerge should these items spoil or become subject to a recall. Poor traceability and a lack of visibility into your supply chain can be costly. Maintaining adequate oversight over every aspect of your distribution process is crucial.
Your brand’s reputation is always at stake, and the last thing you need is to discover you’ve delivered expired or recalled food items to retailer shelves. Food manufacturing software helps businesses assess their stock levels in real-time, locate items by expiry dates, and create automated alerts to inform operators when an expiration date is coming up.
In addition, automated software features allow the tracking of incoming shipments and provide you with all the necessary tools to effectuate strict and careful food inventory control. EZSoft’s systems integration tools and manufacturing execution system capabilities ensure that you can track all your raw products through finished goods, letting you locate these items wherever they are in your supply chain.
2. Bill of materials feature
The bill of materials (BOM) gives you your product recipes and represents one of the most important elements of manufacturing. The BOM is more than just a list of ingredients. It tells you exactly how to arrive at the desired outcomes, informing you of the precise quantities of each ingredient needed to complete your production runs.
ERP systems incorporate bill of materials features to document every recipe in your business, keeping a record of all the specific ingredients necessary to produce them. The BOM feature also provides detailed packaging while providing instructions on how to produce each of your products.
Streamlined access to these details simplifies procurement and tells you the right time to buy raw materials. This way, you won’t risk overstocking perishables. Food industry inventory management software allows you to track your required stock in real-time, making it easier to anticipate when they need replenishing.
3. Improved vendor management
Effective supplier management plays a substantial role in establishing and maintaining a healthy, profitable food manufacturing company. ERP systems allow you to track everything coming in and out of your business through third parties. The software lets you log important contact details, supplier location, vendor prices, upcoming discounts, and transaction histories.
If you need vendor certifications and accreditations for regulatory or insurance purposes, you can access this information quickly from a dedicated client relationship module. The solution also lets you compare vendors against each other within the system to determine optimal pricing.
4. More accurate traceability
When a run a food and beverage manufacturing business, batch and serial tracking are crucial. For reasons we’ve already touched upon above, food producers must know when and where their ingredients are at all times. Batch tracking features contained with the ERP system software allow manufacturers to trace their goods throughout every stage of distribution, from production to consumption.
ERP systems help food businesses monitor critical expiration dates, manage recalls, and meet essential safety compliance requirements. Serial tracking, on the other hand, lets manufacturers hone in on individual products and follow them through their entire supply chain cycle. The ability to trace specific items is vital for evidencing compliance, expediting returns, and generating inventory reports by product code.
5. Simplified accounting
ERP food manufacturers can save a tremendous amount of time and spare themselves several common headaches associated with manual financial tracking and accounting. Using software that isn’t industry-specific, or documenting the capital moving in and out of your company by hand, entails tedious data entry and cumbersome spreadsheets that only invite human error.
Our ERP system integration strategies can provide businesses with reliable accounting solutions unique to the food and beverage industry. Dedicated industrial automation solutions for food manufacturers can integrate financial controls software with your MES’s inventory management system. These applications can automate data collection and entry while enhancing the organization of essential accounting information.
Custom accounting software for food producers can send and receive invoices automatically. Likewise, the applications provide businesses with a real-time, big-picture overview of company finances.
Your accounting department can automate dashboards and financial reports while reconciling sales orders with incoming revenue. Most importantly, the accounting software connects with other critical areas of your business and can share data across multiple platforms.
Do you need food manufacturing ERP software?
EZSoft, Inc. is a leading provider of design and implementation of S88 batch systems for the food manufacturing industry. Our proprietary S88 batch engine is fully encapsulated in the programmable logic controller (PLC). It can handle small, stand-alone systems or optimize the most sophisticated food manufacturing environments for maximum efficiency.
If you are just starting your search for automation software suppliers and asking yourself where to find leading industrial automation companies near me, connect with one of our food industry inventory management specialists by phone or online. Complete a request for contact form on our web page or call the team of automation experts now at (484) 568-5040.