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Implementation Timeline: What Is the Expected Rollout Period For An ERP System In a Meat Processing Company?

By Michael Dautner, July 17, 2023


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are complex software solutions that integrate many functions across a business, such as financial management, human resources, sales, and manufacturing. In meat processing companies, ERP systems can help automate compliance and food safety checks, accommodate variable weight products, and enable correct identification and labeling by cut and grade.

But how long does it take to implement an ERP system in a meat processing company? The answer is not straightforward, as the expected rollout period depends on several factors, including the size of the business, the scope of the project, the required customizations, and the deployment method.


Factors That Affect the Implementation Timeline


Size of the Business

The size of the meat processing company is a critical factor in determining the expected ERP implementation timeline. A small business may take between 3-6 months to implement an ERP system, while a medium-sized business may take between 4-12 months. For large businesses, the expected rollout period is typically between 12-24 months.

Scope of the Project

Another crucial factor that affects the implementation timeline is the scope of the project. The more functions and departments to be integrated, the longer the expected rollout period. For example, if a meat processing company implements finance and accounting, inventory, supply chain, procurement, manufacturing, sales, and customer relationship management (CRM), the project will take longer than if it only implements procurement and finance.

Required Customizations

ERP systems come with pre-built processes that can fit the majority of business needs. However, some organizations may choose to customize the system to fit their existing processes. Customizing ERP solutions can be time-consuming and can quickly spin the project out of control. Therefore, it is advisable to limit customizations and adapt existing processes to fit the ERP system instead.

Deployment Method

The deployment method also affects the expected implementation timeline. Cloud-based ERP systems have gained popularity in recent years and can be implemented faster than on-premise solutions that require new hardware. Data migration to either model can also add time, especially if there is a lot of secure data to bring over.

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Estimated Rollout Periods


Given the factors that affect the ERP implementation timeline, it is challenging to provide a fixed expected rollout period for meat processing companies. However, a rough estimate is between 4-18 months, depending on the size of the business and the scope of the project.

Small meat processing companies may take between 4-6 months to implement an ERP system, while medium-sized companies may take between 6-12 months. Large meat processing companies may take between 12-18 months, while multinational companies can have ERP programs that last for several years.


Tips to Shorten the Implementation Timeline


While ERP implementation can be a time-consuming process, there are ways to shorten the timeline. Here are some tips to streamline the process:

Detailed Project Management

Setting up a detailed roadmap with clear benchmarks in advance can prepare for anything that might cause delays once the implementation process has started.

Limit Project Scope

Reducing the project scope or breaking it into more bite-sized chunks can lead to quick wins and reduce the expected rollout period.

Avoid or Limit Customizations

Customizations can add a lot of friction to implementation and prolong the expected rollout period. Finding an ERP that fits the existing business processes off-the-shelf or adapting existing processes to fit the ERP's model can save time and resources.

Add Modules in Phases

Adding modules in phases or as needed can help a meat processing company get comfortable with the ERP system before making changes.

Consider Localized Vendors

Smaller vendors can give more time and attention to the rollout than big providers, which can lead to a more hands-on approach.

Get an ERP Consultant

An ERP consultant or implementation team can provide guidance during the process so that the meat processing company can stay focused on its own work.

Implementing an ERP system in a meat processing company can take between 4-18 months, depending on several factors, such as the size of the business, the scope of the project, the required customizations, and the deployment method. However, by following the tips to shorten the timeline, meat processing companies can streamline the process and achieve a successful ERP implementation.


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Why Meat Processors Need ERP Software

Meat processors can greatly benefit from implementing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software to achieve success and overcome various challenges inherent in their industry. Here are key reasons why meat processors need ERP software to be successful:

Streamlined Operations:

ERP software integrates and streamlines core business processes such as inventory management, production planning, quality control, sales order management, financials, and more. By centralizing data and automating tasks, meat processors can achieve greater operational efficiency, reduce manual errors, and eliminate redundant processes. This streamlining of operations enables smoother workflows, faster order processing, improved inventory control, and overall cost savings.

Enhanced Traceability and Compliance:

The meat processing industry is subject to strict regulations and quality standards related to traceability, labeling, and food safety. ERP software with traceability features enables meat processors to track the origin, processing, and distribution of their products. This facilitates compliance with regulatory requirements and supports quality control initiatives. In case of recalls or audits, ERP software enables quick and accurate identification of affected products, minimizing potential risks and ensuring compliance.

Improved Inventory Management:

ERP software provides meat processors with real-time visibility into inventory levels, including raw materials, ingredients, and finished goods. With accurate inventory tracking, meat processors can optimize stock levels, reduce wastage, avoid stockouts, and streamline procurement processes. Effective inventory management ensures that meat processors have the right ingredients and products available to meet customer demands while minimizing carrying costs and inventory obsolescence.

Efficient Production Planning:

ERP software offers robust production planning and scheduling capabilities. Meat processors can optimize production workflows, allocate resources effectively, and synchronize production with demand. With features such as demand forecasting, capacity planning, and real-time monitoring, ERP software helps meat processors achieve better production efficiency, minimize downtime, and ensure timely order fulfillment. This leads to improved customer satisfaction and increased profitability.

Accurate Financial Management:

ERP software enables meat processors to manage their financials effectively. It provides tools for accounting, financial reporting, budgeting, and cost control. By automating financial processes, generating accurate financial statements, and facilitating financial analysis, ERP software enables meat processors to gain insights into their financial performance, make informed decisions, and ensure regulatory compliance.


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Data-driven Decision Making:

ERP software provides meat processors with comprehensive data and analytics capabilities. By generating real-time reports, dashboards, and analytics, meat processors can gain insights into various aspects of their business, including production efficiency, sales performance, customer trends, and inventory turnover. These insights empower data-driven decision-making, enabling meat processors to identify areas for improvement, seize opportunities, and optimize their operations.

Scalability and Growth:

As meat processors grow and expand their operations, ERP software provides scalability and flexibility to accommodate increasing transaction volumes, additional facilities, and diverse product lines. ERP software can adapt to changing business needs, supporting the organization's growth trajectory without disrupting operations or requiring major system overhauls.

Improved Collaboration and Communication:

ERP software facilitates communication and collaboration across different departments and locations within a meat processing organization. With shared access to real-time data, teams can collaborate more effectively, align their activities, and make coordinated decisions. Improved communication enhances teamwork, reduces errors, and ensures that everyone has access to accurate and up-to-date information.

ERP software is essential for the success of meat processors due to its ability to streamline operations, enhance traceability and compliance, improve inventory management, optimize production planning, enable accurate financial management, support data-driven decision-making, facilitate scalability, and enhance collaboration. By leveraging the benefits of ERP software, meat processors can achieve operational excellence, enhance customer satisfaction, ensure regulatory compliance, and drive profitability in a competitive industry.

If you are a meat processor looking for a viable ERP solution to help streamline your various processes, schedule a demo with inecta today!

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