<img alt="" src="https://secure.mean8sigh.com/214587.png" style="display:none;">

Navigator Blog

Return to Blogarrow-return-right-white

Evaluating the Scalability of Various ERP Systems for Manufacturing Growth

When a manufacturer first puts in place an ERP for food and beverage operations, the focus usually is on getting the system up and running and other tasks such as overcoming ERP adoption challenges among employees. More forward-looking manufacturers keep an eye to the future at the same time, however, also looking for scalability of an ERP system during selection.

That’s because most businesses want growth, and not all ERP solutions are truly built for growth; an ERP for food and beverage might have all the right functionality and infrastructure for the needs of a business today, but will it scale as the business grows and expands?

This is why manufacturing operations with an experienced management team and support partners will focus on the needs of today but keep an eye on the scalability of the ERP solution also when making a technology selection. A food and beverage manufacturer may need solid inventory management and robotic control automation at the start, but later as it expands it could need functionality such as internationalization and ERP traceability in food production.

So when looking at ERP for food and beverage operations, make sure to also evaluate the scalability of the various ERP systems on the shortlist.


4 Questions for Evaluating the Scalability of ERP for Food and Beverage

An F&B manufacturing operation might not need ERP traceability in food production or the ability to track inventory across multiple geographies during rollout. However, it will want an ERP solution that can accommodate needs such as this when the business grows. A business does not want its revenue constrained by its IT systems, nor is it advisable to change ERP solutions in the middle of business growth.

So consider these four questions when evaluating an ERP for food and beverage manufacturing.


Question #1: Is the ERP Infrastructure Scalable?

As your food and beverage business grows, can the ERP solution expand to meet greater transaction volumes, integrations, employee counts, SKUs, additional accounting complexity, extra sites, and added calls to the system?

This question starts with understanding the cloud infrastructure that the ERP solution runs on, ensuring that it is hosted by a major cloud infrastructure provider and has wide and consistent availability and processes such as rock-solid security.

But this question also looks at the technology used by the ERP solution and whether it is built for a small business, offers a clear and non-disruptive upgrade path, or is scalable to handle where the business is today and also where it might be in the future. Are there limits to how much the system can accommodate?


Question #2: Is the ERP Solution Ready for Global Operations?

Even if a manufacturer focuses on a single country of operations today, can the ERP for food and beverage accommodate expansion into new geographies and operating environments?

Manufacturers selecting an ERP ready for scalability should check on internationalization, including the ability to handle different regulatory frameworks, unit and lot sizing standards, and multiple currencies at the same time. The requirements for ERP traceability in food production might vary from country to country, for instance, and data protection laws might require data to be kept in different data centers depending on the customer. 

International expansion often requires subsidiary companies, too. How well does the ERP solution connect these subsidiaries with the corporate headquarters, and how easy is it to share data with the parent company?


Question #3: Is the ERP Solution Adaptable?

As a food and beverage manufacturer grows, its needs often change. Is the ERP solution flexible enough to accommodate business models and workforce expansion? Can it plug into the latest technological advances such as artificial intelligence and innovations that have yet to be developed?

This last point is especially critical. Does the ERP solution enable both homegrown functionality and wide connectivity to third-party solutions that the business may need later? A food and beverage manufacturer will know its needs today, but will the system allow the business to evolve and plug into functionality later that may not have been anticipated?

Overcoming ERP adoption challenges can look tame in comparison to integrating an ERP with third-party solutions it isn’t built to accommodate.


Question #4: Is the ERP Vendor Forward-Looking?

Growing businesses often are future-looking businesses, and they need an ERP solution that is similarly focused on the future.

Does the ERP vendor evolve and incorporate the latest technological advances at the pace of industry adoption? Does the vendor evolve its business practices over time to meet the changing needs of business?

The ERP that a food and beverage manufacturer selects does not have to support all of the innovations available today, but it should at least have a clear roadmap and a history of supporting the latest innovations in a timely manner. A growing business does not want to be stuck with a backend IT partner that limits the possibility.

Get Help with ERP Evaluation

Selecting and implementing a new ERP solution is complex and time-consuming. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be by going it alone.

We have deep experience with ERP for food and beverage manufacturing, and we have helped implement more than 500 ERP installations over the past 25 years. Let our experienced consultants help your business with everything from overcoming ERP adoption challenges to assisting with setting up ERP traceability in food production. We understand the needs of food and beverage businesses, and we also understand the ERP technology necessary to make it work.

Contact one of our experienced ERP consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.


Related Posts

  • Where Automation Improves Inventory Management
  • Optimizing Manufacturing Operations with ERP-Driven Data Analytics