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Recipe Management: The Next Big Thing in Food ERP

A recipe management system is software diligence that manages the complex relationships and processes related to production recipes. They store the recipes, enable food and beverage recipe modification, generate data required for production records, and even furnish the power to launch tasks and processes accordingly.

In food manufacturing, a recipe is a set of instructions or steps needed to operate a machine, combine ingredients or raw materials in a certain way and certain ratios, or otherwise process the materials to achieve the desired end product.

Today most food manufacturers either tweak the original recipes prescribed or completely modify them, so much so that the recipe becomes their IP or Intellectual property.

In process manufacturing industries, recipe control holds great significance, as it ensures that each batch of the end products that are prepared maintains the same consistency and quality levels. Food and beverage manufacturing businesses require the right tools to ensure that recipe control is handled properly. Manual methods are highly error-prone, and may often result in serious losses not just on the monetary front, but the image and reputation front as well.

That’s why more food manufacturing companies should place their trust in enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to integrate and automate key enterprise functions including recipe control. Food ERP comes loaded with recipe control functionalities, and allows the manufacturers to create, store, and scale recipes, and keep track of changes, among other things.

Recipe Management is quickly becoming a must-have and here's what it brings to the table for food manufacturers:


  • Menu Management and Nutritional content: A good food ERP software allows the food manufacturers to store and access different recipes and their versions with nutritional content, by easy-to-use functions for recipe version management.
  • Recipe USP protection: The formulas/recipes offered are usually developed after intense research and hard work, and thus need to be protected. ERP solution keeps the recipes safe by offering access controls to the food manufacturer. 
  • Quality Control: It helps the manufacturers the ability to track what changes have been made to the recipes, and by whom, providing a historical view of modifications. This is particularly helpful for food manufacturers if the product fails a quality test to determine which stage of production did the recipe falter at. 
  • Vendor Management: ERP software allows food manufacturers to compare multiple recipes in terms of their ingredients, labor, and other characteristics. This feature assists the manufacturers with decision-making with respect to prioritizing vendors, particularly from a quality and cost perspective. 
  • Batch Management & UOM Conversions: Recipe management provides the support to ingredient proportioning & ingredient traceability, allowing yield tracking comparison right to its batch and lot number. In case the units transacted are other than the primary unit of the item then UOM conversions can be leveraged via recipe management in Food ERP. Food ERP allows for item-specific conversions that use UOM conversions unique to this item. If unavailable, standard UOM conversions can be applied as well.
  •   Estimated Vs. Actual Cost: Through its analysis with cost, and ‘what-if’ cost analysis features, an ERP software allows the manufacturers to perform granular-level accurate costing of a product while considering all the elements and different costing methods, and also estimate profitable scenarios based on different assumptions.

With cut-throat competition and depleting margins, food manufacturers need product differentiation to tap new customers. Recipe management in produce ERP is the only means to achieve that end. Leveraging recipe management not only improves existing product quality but also is key to new product development. Food manufacturers need to pounce on this opportunity and gain the first-mover advantage before it becomes the new normal.

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