How to Select an ERP for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

Part 1: Growing Businesses Require Enterprise-Level Solutions

How to Select an ERP for Food and Beverage Manufacturing

This is part one of a three-part series highlighting Baked by Melissa’s journey to choosing an ERP for its food manufacturing business.

Like many growing food and beverage manufacturers, Baked by Melissa began its operations using manual processes and spreadsheets to handle order processing, inventory management and production. While this method of tracking and organizing orders and inventory worked initially, as the company grew, Baked by Melissa’s customer service team began receiving complaints from customers who were having issues with the company’s order fulfillment processes. Jason Levas, Chief Operating Officer at Baked by Melissa, knew it was time to look for an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution to help manage its growth and gain visibility into its operations.


The Challenge – Evolving out of the Growth Phase

Prior to starting the ERP selection process, Baked by Melissa began experiencing huge growth from its eCommerce side of the business. This growth put a strain on the company’s order fulfillment processes, which were antiquated and unscalable. On top of this, Baked by Melissa was looking to expand its product lines to produce more holiday and event-specific flavors and products. As the bakery began adding more recipes and flavors to its menu, it became harder to keep track of inventory and ingredients using the spreadsheets and manual counts that had worked for the company in the past.

Levas and his team weren’t able to get the data they needed to understand what was going on in the business from a revenue, production and performance perspective. Having worked with ERP solutions in the past, Levas wanted the reporting functionality an integrated solution provides to gain insight into day-to-day activities and the health of the company as a whole.


The Solution – A Scalable System for End-to-End Visibility

Baked by Melissa’s situation and requirement for an enterprise-level solution is not unique. One of the most common reasons food and beverage manufacturers look at ERP software is because their legacy proprietary systems or manual processes can no longer keep up with the complexities of their growing businesses.

An ERP system is a single solution to manage a business’ entire operations including production, finance, food safety, compliance, quality, traceability and more. This integrated solution provides manufacturers with a full picture of how their business is running.  

Levas and his team at Baked by Melissa chose FoodBusiness ERP to help organize and manage their purchase orders, work orders and sales orders. They knew that with all this data in one place, they could generate reports and utilize dashboards to get a real-time view of their operations and gain control over their fulfillment processes.

The team at Baked by Melissa wanted to ensure that the company wouldn’t outgrow its processes and software again, so an ERP solution with the ability to scale was an important selling point. FoodBusiness ERP is built on Sage X3, and offers flexibility in terms of customization options, cloud hosting and user limits. This means that as Baked by Melissa’s operations grow in complexity and volume, its ERP system will be able to keep up.

Scalability is a critical feature decision-makers must keep in mind when choosing an ERP for food and beverage manufacturing. As companies grow and begin acquiring large customers – like big box stores or restaurant chains – they’re not able to run their business in the same way they did prior to landing large contracts. With these higher volume larger customers, there’s stricter requirements and standards that need to be met. In terms of quality and compliance, for example, companies may now need to commit to more testing, adhering to tighter specs and having specific certificates of analysis. Food and beverage manufacturers also need to be able to manage their businesses with more precision as mistakes, such as short shipping an order or including incorrect packing slips, can result in hefty penalties that affect profitability.

An ERP solution gives food and beverage manufacturers the control and visibility they need to ensure superior data integrity and greater efficiency. By connecting departments, data and processes into one solution, companies can better manage customer requirements and vendor contracts to avoid compliance penalties. An ERP also automates tasks like quality audits and checks to ensure businesses can adhere to vendor frameworks set out by large customers.


To learn more about Baked by Melissa’s journey to choosing an ERP for food and beverage manufacturing, check out our webinar recording featuring COO Jason Levas. For more information about how FoodBusiness ERP can help your business increase visibility and manage growth, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.


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