Searching for the perfect fit in the sea of food ERP choices can feel completely overwhelming. After all – every business is different, and requires a nuanced and profesisonal approach to truly grow and scale effectively. However, there are certain indicators of success and functionality that can nearly ensure your success with any system you choose…and we’re here to help you take a look behind the curtain and leverage those in your selection process.
Read on to learn more about critical success factors and features to look for in an ERP for food and beverage industry brands.
What should my ERP for food and beverage industry include?
There is no singular “correct” answer to this question, as every business is unique. However, certain factors and areas of functionality can offer your business a higher potential for success, no matter what area of the food and beverage industry you’re in.
Here’s our short list of features to look for as you go through your search process:
Order management support
Order management is a critical element of your business’s overall function, and can play a large role in your brand’s perception across the industry. As you continue to grow and scale, this element of an ERP becomes more and more critical; helping you to adequately manage and meet the needs of your daily consumers. Within this broad umbrella category of support, we encourage you to look for certain elements in your software of choice, including:
- Demand tracking: This feature should span across warehouses and locations, keeping real-time data available at all times.
- Native order change support and integration with customer service: You’ll want a solution that’s seamless in function and that supports returns, cancellations and other types of changes. Ideally, this will be handled on an automated basis with little human involvement. However, you can change the response style to align with your current stage and scale of business.
- Order tracking and traceability: Beyond risk mitigation, having a solution that includes strong order tracking and traceability support can give both your clients and team a better overall experience.
Customer service tools
Having a centralized point of communication within your ERP tool of choice can be extremely helpful when it comes to answering customer service queries. Your representatives will have everything they need to successfully resolve customer needs in just a few clicks. As the ticket moves through resolution, your centralized ERP tool can collect all relevant event data and link it to the client record, keeping the thread available for later reference or any related interactions. Beyond providing a more seamless customer experience, this can also allow for greater traceability throughout your operational process.
Customer relationship management
Separate from your customer service tools and communication channels, yet equally important…introducing: The CRM component of your ERP for food and beverage businesses. Having a native customer relationship management system in place offers several benefits, such as:
- Cost savings: Working out of a fractional system can be expensive and ineffective. Switching to a system that includes CRM functionality may offer additional cost savings
- Effective campaign management: Reach out strategically and get more immediate traction on campaigns
- Accessibility: Offer your team members the convenience that comes with record search and other core CRM benefits, keeping accessibility at the forefront of all of your operations.
Traceability tools extend further than simple risk mitigation. Rather, traceability is a central concept that should be given priority in your business. When you invest in traceability technology, you’re able to anticipate quality assurance problems before they materialize. You’ll also be able to provide your clients with the accuracy and precision they need regarding their purchase decision, offering them extra confidence and assurance in their brand process.
Financial tracking and insight
Naturally, as you track your sales, you should also be able to see detailed financial reporting, statistics and analysis around your brand’s inflow and outflow. This, in sync with your inventory management elements of ERP, can be a very useful tool to optimize your business’ total operational function.
Team management and HR support
As you continue to expand your team, you’ll want to invest in a tool that allows you to seamlessly navigate team member transition, training and HR related tasks. Your ERP should have some form of HR management and support functionality that’s native to the tool. This can be a more competitive, cost-effective option than investing in a secondary/fractional system.
Inecta offers industry-leading ERP for food and beverage brands
Looking for something more in your ERP software? Connect with the team at Inecta today. Our group of specialists is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience in the field, and are Microsoft Certified Partners, connecting you to the speed, agility and tool quality you need to successfully scale your business. For more information and to get started today, please visit our website.