As a food manufacturer, you’re no stranger to document management. Between supplier certifications and audit documentation, to customer specifications and shipping records, failure to properly manage documents can result in delays, demurrage fees, penalties for nonconformance and lost sales.
But FoodBusiness ERP has got you covered. In our newest release, we’ve included functionality around Customer Document Management, which is the outbound equivalent of Supplier Document Management functionality introduced in the 2021 R2 version of our software.
So what is Customer Document Management and why is it important for our food and beverage manufacturing clients? Below, we take a look and include some of the software-specific features included in the newest release of FoodBusiness ERP.
Got questions? We’ve got answers. Reach out to one of our food industry consultants for a quick and free demo of the software.
What is Customer Document Management?
Fulfilling a customer order requires tedious control and management of accompanying documents. These documents include specifications, quality control plans, safety certifications, contractual agreements and more. But when a manufacturer is filling multiple orders at a time or is required to adhere to strict documentation rules for large-scale retailers (like Costco) managing these documents can get tough.
Customer Document Management functionality tracks important documents pertaining to your relationships with business partners, including customers, carriers, freight forwarders and more. It helps streamline the document management process and gives you the flexibility and control you need to fulfill orders accurately and on time.
Why is Customer Document Management Important?
As your business grows, managing customer documents manually using Excel or pen and paper isn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s because in order to increase sales or comply with vendor requirements, you need tools that automate and streamline the document management process.
For example, some customers may require documentation at specific time intervals, like on a quarterly, monthly or bi-weekly basis. If your business is currently managing these requirements – along with the dozens of other required documents for each order – by hand, there’s a good chance a document may be misplaced or forgotten about. When this happens, manufacturers risk steep penalties or product returns.
Alternatively, a software solution built for food manufacturing helps automate the tedious tasks involved with managing customer documents by providing tools to track documents as part of your core business process.
Let’s take a look at how Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software built for the food industry does this.
How Does ERP Software Help Manage Customer Documents?
For those new to ERP, the software works by managing critical business processes across an entire company and bringing all departmental data – from supply chain to finance to sales to product development – into a single cohesive system. The result is streamlined operations and real-time insight into company-wide data.
Customer Document Management functionality in ERP software utilizes data from multiple departments to perform tasks such as blocking orders and deliveries if a document is missing and putting orders and associated inventory on hold if required. Because this functionality becomes part of your core business processes, all your mission-critical operational data feeds into the functionality and vice versa for next-level visibility.
Here’s an example: One of your customers requires documentation from your facility that you haven’t completed yet. You have multiple unfilled orders for this customer, but all fulfillment activities are on hold until this documentation is complete.
With Customer Document Management functionality within your ERP system, you can put those orders on hold until the document requirement is satisfied. By marking a document task as complete in the system, all remaining orders for that customer are automatically updated to release the hold and enable the fulfillment process. This provides full control and increases efficiency, since users can manage multiple orders at one time.
FoodBusiness ERP for Your Customer Document Management Needs
FoodBusiness ERP is built in Sage X3 and delivered by NexTec industry experts. In our newest release, we worked with our customers to create functionality that manages the tracking of customer documents and their relation to supply chain capabilities already included in the software. By leveraging inherent Sage X3 features – like sales order hold and release functionality – our development team built food industry-specific capabilities to better manage customer document tracking.
Customer Document Management functionality in FoodBusiness ERP provides users with the flexibility, visibility and controls that allow customers to automate critical business processes, eliminate the need for spreadsheets and access and track documents as needed.
With FoodBusiness ERP’s Customer Document Management users can:
- Implement document controls at different levels, including at the facility level, product or SKU level, and at the export level if you’re sending product to another country.
- Define timeframes based on documentation required at various delivery frequencies.
- Block orders and deliveries as required.
- Place holds on orders with or without allocation.
- Create document groups for setup efficiency.
To better manage a growing business, leaders need tools that streamline and automate business critical tasks like customer document management. If you’re struggling to keep up with time-consuming, manual processes for managing and organizing your customer documentation, it might be time to inquire about how ERP software built for the food and beverage manufacturing industry can help.