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Managing Supply Chain and Inventory Through ERP Systems

Supply chain and inventory considerations are important for most businesses. But for food and beverage manufacturers, supply chain management and inventory control are essential for ensuring the quality and safety of the products being produced. Food and beverage ERP systems make this level of oversight and control possible.

Managing manufacturing production is at the heart of ERP, but supply chain management and inventory control, along with ERP traceability in food production, might be just as important for food and beverage manufacturers.

That’s because unlike many other types of manufacturing, food and beverage production relies on inputs that can spoil and quality standards that cannot deviate from specifications. A goof in the warehouse, or a supply chain snafu, can lead to inventory spoilage, a product recall or worse.

But food and beverage ERP systems have manufacturers covered.

An ERP system serves as the nerve center for a food and beverage manufacturer, ensuring there is supply chain and inventory visibility, ingredient and finished product traceability, and quality standards that follow strict handling and manufacturing specifications. ERP also handles the other areas of a food and beverage business, including financial management, human resources and strategic planning. But those functions of ERP will be left for a different article.


How Food and Beverage ERP Systems Support Supply Chain and Inventory

Food and beverage manufacturers that use a modern, cloud-based ERP solution benefit from a number of features that help with both supply chain and inventory management.


  1. Complete visibility. ERP systems gather information from across a manufacturing business, including sales, production, distribution, and procurement departments. ERP systems make this data available in real-time to any employee or system that has appropriate access, delivering a comprehensive view of operations that enables tighter supply chain management and inventory control. This makes functions such as ERP traceability in food production possible.
  2. Precise inventory management. Stock levels and the placement of inventory are monitored in real-time within food and beverage ERP systems, avoiding lost stock that might spoil or storage conditions that compromise safety. Full visibility and control of inventory also helps food and beverage manufacturers make only what is not already in the warehouse.
  3. Automated procurement. Food and beverage ERP systems can automate purchasing activity, manage supplier relationships, and track inventory levels so the production department always has the ingredients that are needed. ERP also can track purchase orders in real-time.
  4. Improved production planning. With all necessary data for precise production planning within an ERP system, including sales, staffing, inventory and equipment requirements, manufacturers can create better production schedules that coordinate with supply chain constraints and ingredients and finished products already in inventory. As supply chain dynamics change, an ERP also can automatically adjust production scheduling in real-time.
  5. Robust supply chain management. ERP can integrate data from across a supply chain and directly connect with partner systems for streamlined ordering and better visibility and control. When there are supply chain disruptions or unavailability of key ingredients, food and beverage ERP systems can automatically adjust orders to approved alternate suppliers.
  6. Better demand planning. Food and beverage ERP systems can automatically update demand when new orders are received, and alter procurement and production schedules to match. With tighter demand planning, a food and beverage manufacturer can cut down on spoilage and the need for excess inventory.


Prepackaged Food and Beverage ERP systems Help

Just as prepackaged food makes preparing dinner an easier activity, so too does prepackaged food and beverage ERP systems help with putting the right ERP system in place for supply chain and inventory management.

Instead of setting up and configuring an ERP from scratch, a prepackaged ERP solution enables a food and beverage manufacturing business to roll out the system fast and at less cost. It comes preconfigured with key functionality for food and beverage manufacturing, including inventory and supply chain management and ERP traceability in food production to ensure all inputs and final products meet quality standards along the supply chain.

While most major ERP solutions on the market today can deliver the needed functionality for food and beverage manufacturing when properly configured, a prepackaged ERP solution is purpose-built for food and beverage manufacturing so the business can cut down on ERP configuration and implementation time.

By using a prepackaged industry solution, food and beverage manufacturers also can rely on the industry best practices built into the solution instead of reinventing the wheel and leaning on bespoke processes. Competitive advantage comes from the recipes and products a food and beverage manufacturer creates, not the backend IT systems that manage their supply chain and inventory.

Learn more about our prepackaged ERP for food and beverage manufacturing, or contact one of our experienced ERP consultants who can answer specific questions about the needs of your business.

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