The most magical time of the year is here – and food manufacturers are feeling the additional pressure to keep up with the demand for traditional holiday foods – like turkey, ham, and seafood. Throw COVID-19 into the mix, and you have a recipe for a difficult holiday season for food manufacturers who aren’t prepared.
However, there is a step you can take to help you head off the holiday rush. Food manufacturing software simplifies your operational processes and vendor management steps, making the holiday supply chain more manageable for business owners.
Read on to learn more about how food manufacturing software can help with holiday supply chain management this year – and how you should prepare as a food and beverage manufacturer.
Are there holiday supply chain problems in 2022?
Food retailers and distributors are used to facing challenges during the holiday season. However, additional challenges relating to labor, shipping delays, price surges, and inflation are also at play – requiring a more comprehensive strategy to effectively navigate.
Despite shipping delays and port inefficiency, consumers are doing their holiday shopping earlier than ever before, stocking up on holiday favorites and treats well ahead of schedule.
While this year’s holiday supply chain will be a scramble, it also presents a significant opportunity for food and beverage manufacturers who want to make a name for themselves in the market and overtake their competitors. Many retailers will struggle with keeping up with the demand, meaning new brands who use food manufacturing software like Inecta can stay ahead of the competition and thrive this holiday season.
Below, we explore the most pressing challenges facing the industry this season, and highlight how food manufacturing software can help actively address these challenges.
Driver shortages, regulatory changes, and higher demand for products make the freight industry poised for a turbulent holiday season. These effects will inevitably trickle down to food and beverage manufacturers, affecting every area of operations if not properly anticipated and addressed.
Food and beverage software can help producers predict their inventory needs, and streamline communications between vendors and distributors for more effective means of management.
Food and beverage manufacturers were forced to make adjustments during the early days of COVID-19, many of which still carry through to modern-day. With major restaurants and stores shut down for months, food and beverage manufacturers had to find a way to stay in business while the rest of the world adapted – taking on tasks such as domesticating their sourcing strategies, swapping to smaller, third-party distributors, and shifting operational strategies.
Additionally, seasonality is another factor in the food and beverage industry that causes many manufacturers to struggle in non-pandemic times. However, food and beverage manufacturing software can help producers manage many of the seasonality challenges and inventory control issues we face. These software solutions enable manufacturers to better manage the re-ordering process, surges in demand, and high volume to ensure timely delivery and optimize the rest of the supply chain.
Holiday planning and adaptation
The best way for food and beverage manufacturers to meet the holiday season demands is to prepare ahead of time. This means investing in food and beverage manufacturing software before the holiday season starts.
Now that we've covered the possible challenges manufacturers are facing this year, it's time to dig into other ways to help you maximize your revenue.
Below are some additional ways to prepare for the holiday season and the challenges that come with it.
Optimizing your communication channels
Communication is one of the most important parts of seeing success as a food and beverage manufacturer. Employees, retailers, brokers, and everyone else you work with should have an open line of communication to set expectations, provide updates, and voice any concerns throughout the process. The most strategic way to do this is to choose an ERP that offers centralized communication tools – keeping you up to date and as effective as possible with every interaction.
Strategizing distribution strategies with retail partners
Food and beverage manufacturers should work closely with their retail partners to understand how their business changes over the holiday season. In doing so, you'll be able to sync your promotional strategies with your retail partners' fulfillment capabilities, helping you to develop more effective campaigns and sales initiatives.
Using data to your advantage
The advanced reporting and analytics of food and beverage software allow you to use data to your advantage this holiday season. It empowers your team to create data-driven promotional strategies; as well as the opportunity to then look at the data to see how effective your marketing campaigns are performing over time.
Having an accurate picture of demand allows you to plan your sourcing and manufacturing process as early as possible to minimize the impact of potential labor shortages.
Inecta sets the standard of excellence for food and beverage software
For over 20 years, Inecta has set the standard of excellence for food and beverage manufacturers. We provide centralized food ERP solutions for the top manufacturers in the industry. Ready to experience the difference? Connect with us today to stay ahead of the holiday season – our team looks forward to serving you .