As a company grows in size and complexity, so to does its need for sophisticated tools and functionality to manage more complex business processes. No software lasts forever, and eventually all food and beverage companies will outgrow their legacy accounting systems.
But deciding when to upgrade your accounting software to a single, unified platform like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a big undertaking. Not only is it critical to understand what’s driving the need for a more robust solution, but it’s also essential to choose the right time to upgrade and the right system to upgrade to.
Below, we look at a few of the signs it’s time to replace your accounting solution, why businesses should consider food-specific ERP software and how to go about choosing the right system for your business.
Knowing When It’s Time to Upgrade to Food ERP Software
As a CFO or business leader, you might be asking yourself “Why Now?” when deciding to replace your accounting software. Here’s a look at some of the signs it’s time to replace your current solution:
1. No Scalability
Traditional accounting programs like QuickBooks require extensive add-ons or manual workarounds to manage higher volumes of transactions. This can lead to higher costs and limit company-wide growth.
2. No Reporting Functionality
To make the best possible decisions for your company, you need access to the information that matters most to your business. While accounting solutions can pull accounting-specific reports, you need real-time visibility into finance, scheduling, quality, purchasing and sales data.
3. Unreliable Data
Using multiple software solutions to run your business requires multiple data entry processes, which undoubtedly creates inaccuracies and makes it hard for decision makers to trust the data they’re given.
4. Lack of Manufacturing and Inventory Capabilities
Some accounting solutions can handle managing minor manufacturing and inventory records. But as a business grows and transaction volumes increase, basic accounting software won’t have the capabilities to track costs, streamline planning, support compliance or simplify production scheduling.
Upgrading to a Unified, Industry-Specific Solution
Unlike accounting software, an ERP solution manages all areas of your business, including production, operations, finance, food safety, compliance, quality and recall management. With a single solution, you no longer require multiple systems to manage individual departments. Instead, all of your data from across the company will flow seamlessly into your ERP solution, ensuring superior data integrity and more efficient business processes.
It’s important to look for a solution that integrates the following features:
1. Inventory Management
Because proper inventory management has a direct effect on a company’s bottom line, it’s critical to look for an ERP system that can:
- Accurately monitor multi-facility inventory levels and expiry dates to better manage waste
- Provide visibility into inventory valuation with multiple costing options
- Effectively manage allergen segregation
2. Production Management
The right software can help you better manage production scheduling, planning, batch processing and consolidation. Look for a system that can:
- Provide real-time access to operational and financial insight for better decision-making
- Simplify production scheduling and minimize production line setup
- Improve operational efficiency and reduce production waste
3. Quality and Safety
Traceability, quality and preventative features found in a food-specific ERP system helps maintain compliance without affecting profit. Look for a system that:
- Supports your SQF, BRCGS, FSMA, GMP, HACCP and HARPC compliance standards
- Integrates multi-user checklists and quality audits for inspections
- Ensures safety with full lot-serial traceability, product recall management and allergen tracking
Selecting the Right ERP Solution
To perform at its full potential, your food and beverage company needs a solution developed and implemented by experts who thoroughly understand your challenges and needs. The right ERP system will help you manage the unique challenges of the food and beverage industry more effectively and help you grow your business.
Compared to generic ERP solutions that require extensive customization to address the food safety, inventory, production, allergen management and item tracing challenges inherent to the food industry, a food-specific ERP will come equipped with the tools needed to be successful. For more on the ERP selection process, download our ERP Selection Guide for Food and Beverage Manufacturers.
FoodBusineses ERP is designed specifically for food and beverage manufacturing companies. It is built in Sage X3 and provides a unified platform to help manage your entire business. FoodBusiness ERP is developed and configured by industry experts with years of experience working with some of North America’s most respected food and beverage manufacturers.
To learn more about making the switch from QuickBooks to food ERP software, check out our CFO’s Guide to Replacing Accounting Software. To learn more about FoodBusiness ERP and how it can work for your company, reach out to us. We’d love to chat.