Dealing with Disconnected Systems in Food and Beverage

disconnected systems in food

If your food and beverage company is relying on disconnected systems to run its business, you could be unknowingly losing money.

That’s because disconnected systems create data silos, where multiple versions of information operate in isolation. Without access to company-wide data, food and beverage businesses have no visibility or insight into the health of their operations. Unorganized or inaccurate data inevitably leads to critical business challenges like wasted resources, higher operating costs, production delays and poor customer experience.

Fortunately, data centralization is at the core of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. ERP software connects all departments, data and processes within one integrated solution. It works as a tracking system for all the moving parts of a business, turning multiple data sets into a single source of information that allows decision makers to track, calculate and isolate the business metrics that really matter.

In this blog, we look at how food and beverage companies end up with disconnected systems, the dangers on relying of multiple versions of information and how an ERP solution centralizes company-wide data for increased visibility.

Why do Food and Beverage Companies End Up with Disconnected Systems?

As a company grows, it adds systems and software tools to help manage its growth. A new business may choose QuickBooks or similar accounting software to help with its accounts payable and receivable processes. Then, as it needs to track inventory, employees may start using Excel or switch to a new system to better manage inventory. As sales increase, the sales department may purchase software to store customer contact data and sales information. Meanwhile, operations is using yet another system to schedule production.

Eventually, growing food and beverage companies end up with a number of disconnected systems, none of which share data or interact with each other. There’s no way for teams to share information and, as a result, users start creating workarounds to access the information they need to get their jobs done. As each department or team operates in its own silo, decision makers have a harder time extracting and calculating the data they need to make sound business decisions.

On top of this, legacy or proprietary solutions often don’t have the capabilities of more modern systems, so businesses are forced to continue bringing other tools or add-ons to try to make older systems work in ways they weren’t designed to.

The Dangers of Relying on Disconnected Systems

Bad data leads to no control over your company’s operations. This can impact critical decision-making, productivity and overall profitability. Other dangers of disconnected systems in the food and beverage industry include:

  • Lack of Visibility for Accounting and Reporting

If any department requires total visibility into operations, it’s accounting. The financial health of a company guides an endless number of company-wide decisions. Without the ability to manage complex price lists, perform accurate cost analyses or effectively manage inventory, your food and beverage company could be leaving money on the table.

  • Poor Response Time Leading to Missed Opportunities

Disconnected systems limit information sharing, forcing teams to create workarounds. This can lead to longer response times in finding and analyzing data scattered across multiple systems, which may result in lost revenue or missed opportunities.

  • Inability to Comply with Regulations

The cost of noncompliance can be detrimental to any food and beverage business. Legal implications and fines, wasted resources and mismanaged time are some of the implications of relying on disconnected systems for compliance. Without the right software to manage changing rules and regulations, business leaders could miss a critical step in ensuring compliance and be left with mountains of paperwork in order to adhere to evolving standards.

  • Inflexibility and Lack of Operational Agility

Without business-wide visibility, leaders are unable to tweak processes and operations based on demand. This inflexibility can limit productivity, slow down the decision-making process and affect a business’ ability to be competitive.

Creating Good Data with ERP Software for Food and Beverage

ERP software built for the food and beverage industry is built to bring data silos together in one centralized solution, so everyone across the company can see what’s happening in real time. Turning information from fragmented systems into a single source of reliable data eliminates silos, reduces the risk of manual entry errors and gives leaders the most current picture of their organization.

With an ERP solution, food and beverage manufacturers can:

1. Collect and Share Data in One Place

Because an ERP simplifies the way business data is entered, collected, stored, accessed and used, it reduces the risk of errors because all users can follow the same processes and work with the same data.

2. Speed Up Response Times

With complete and accurate data, departments have the ability to be more proactive to changes, teams can improve forecasting and employees can communicate more efficiently.

3. Ensure Compliance and Security

An ERP solution allows for integrated communication across all departments, helping provide required reporting information to auditors, inspectors, regulators, shareholders and consumers as needed.

4. Gain Flexibility and Business Agility

With accurate forecasting, companies can utilize the data from their ERP to quickly respond to changes and adapt their operations to reflect changing market and consumer demand.

5. Manage Inventory Wherever It’s Located

Robust inventory management features built into an ERP solution can help control inventory across multiple warehouses, automate orders and efficiently manage distribution without losing track of costs.

Taking the Next Step Towards a Connected Food Business

By investing in an ERP solution purpose-built for the food and beverage industry, you get access to the insight, visibility and control needed to take your business to the next level.

ARA Food Corp., the largest plantain manufacturers in the US, utilized FoodBusiness ERP software to transform its manufacturing accounting from an after-the-fact function to a real-time operation.

“Previously, we spent the next day keying all the production data into our software,” explains Marta De Varona, VP of Finance and Administration at ARA Food Corp. “Now, we have laptops on the shop floor and are capturing manufacturing data in real time – when and where it’s happening. We’re out in front of our operations now. We can spend our time analyzing and improving plant functionality, not simply collecting and entering data.”

To learn more about how ERP software built for the food industry can help your business overcome the dangers of relying on disconnected systems, reach out to us. We’d love to show you what FoodBusiness ERP can do.

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