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With today’s consumers looking for more healthy, nutritious and sustainable alternatives to the foods they traditionally buy, businesses are looking at innovative ways to develop their products.

But food product development isn’t just about generating creative ideas – you also need the right ERP solution to manage the process. As a food business, a standard ERP system will enhance your data visibility and boost overall efficiency but it won’t cater for your specific needs. That’s why you need a specialist ERP solution that’s built with this in mind.

Let’s take a look at the key features of an industry-specific ERP…

Enhanced inventory visibility

Standard ERP systems aren’t equipped to deal with the unpredictability and sometimes short shelf lives of food inventory. Invest in a food-specific solution and benefit from improved visibility of available stock, current demand and what’s coming in to help improve inventory holding.

Get enhanced information at the item level to include attributes, secondary units of measure and quality specifications. Plus, create a more accurate inventory valuation by applying “on-costs” and/or “landed costs”.

Better pricing and costs management

It’s becoming increasingly critical to fully understand freight costs, regulatory costs and the true landed cost of raw materials in the supply chain. This is to ensure any new products meet profitability expectations when they’re released.

The right ERP system will factor in additional charges and help you understand the cost impact during the product introduction process. You’ll be able to create, manage and publish pricing, as well as:

  • Track changes to pricing
  • Understand how those prices are determined
  • Define what the margin expectations are
  • Determine any contractual limits that might impact this

Key information can be accessed by the relevant departments early on during the development process. From there, the necessary actions can be taken given the model being used will reflect the latest market developments.

Analyse data

Take advantage of accessible data for analysis to run cost analysis on customers, products and sort fast-moving products by customer type. These help you manage cash flow and handle the risk of investing too much stock versus making sure you can meet customer demand.

Reporting

Report on predicted and actual sales revenue alongside the cost of development with a food-specific ERP. With Aptean Food and Beverage ERP, you’ll gain access to over 100 standard reports all available on demand which can be extended further with Power BI delivering dashboard inside your ERP.

Food product development

Strict Lot control

While many standard ERP systems will support Lot numbering, it’s not a main component of the solution.

A food-specific ERP will be designed to apply strict Lot control throughout the goods in to goods out process (and returns/recalls). You’ll also get enhanced information on origin, residency times, allergens and be able to monitor expiry dates.

Boost quality control

Benefit from quality control checks across various measures during the goods in process, depending on the type of food (i.e. colour, freshness, temperature, etc).

The overall results of quality control determine whether goods can be accepted. It’s often very simple and there’s also the nuance that considers end purpose, so goods may be graded as a result of quality control.

Easily deal with rebate and promo management

A generic ERP system isn’t designed to deal with the added complexities of rebates and promotions (also known as sales commission) when buying and selling food.

The price is the price but you also need to accrue based on units sold and depending on the valid rebate or promo. This creates accruals followed by the actual payments and how these are to be managed. For many, this can create a nightmare of spreadsheet – but not for a specialist food ERP system.

Customer insights

Gain a 360-degree view of your customers with data insights such as sales history, pricing and satisfaction (i.e. complaints, debtor days, returns and on-time delivery). This helps support your customer service and provides insights into customer profitability and further sales opportunities.

Food product development

Improved warehouse efficiencies

Most ERP systems (food or non-food) come with a built-in WMS (warehouse management system) and will cover the functionality needed. However, foodstuff have extra husbandry needs during storage which can cause problems for generic ERP systems.

For example, food products require continual quality checks to monitor desired/undesired changes in condition and can even change item code whilst in storage (think of unripe fruit turning to ripe fruit). Aptean Food and Beverage ERP will improve your stock management and support technologies like bar-code readers.

Ensure food product development success by aligning your innovation ambitions

Investing in a specialist solution can support your food product development efforts by allowing you to continually assess costs, pricing and profitability. Recipe updates can also be managed and the flow of trial materials controlled so they’re not sold until all relevant approvals have been made.

To ensure the success of your food product development ideas, you need to align your innovation ambitions with your overall company strategy.

Our complete guide to innovating your food business explains everything you need to know from the signs your business strategies need a revamp to the importance of gaining your team’s buy-in.

Download it below.

The complete guide to innovating your food business

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