Food companies have their own set of challenges, such as stock management, managing short shelf life, batch control and traceability, food safety and product quality. As a result, the need for an industry-focused business system is of paramount importance! This is to ensure that businesses within the food sector have the necessary processes and controls they need to guarantee the integrity and reliability of their products.
Some of the obstacles that the food and beverage industry face are as follows:
Adhering to food safety regulations
Food businesses must understand and ensure that all operational processes meet the relevant legal requirements. They also must establish that the right documentation and controls are in place to address food safety, food hygiene, food inspection and in the worst-case scenario, can respond to any incidents.
Recent high-profile incidents surrounding food allergens have highlighted the importance of having a robust approach in the areas identified above and show the implications to a business if they are not adhered to.
Optimising the supply chain while reducing costs
Due to the never-ending pressure of maintaining margins, there is a continual need for food companies to focus on waste reduction and streamlining processes; driving unnecessary costs out of the business.
Also, with future uncertainties surrounding Brexit in the UK and the potential impact of tariffs on costs, the need to reduce waste has become even more critical in the desire to remain competitive in the future.
Creating a value proposition
In conjunction with the previous point, today’s marketplace means that it is even more paramount than ever before to maintain a competitive edge.
Food companies must be clear on their value proposition, not only in terms of product placement and promotional activities but also their delivery reliability, distribution capability, and customer service.
Gone is the loyal buyer! He who delivers the fastest with the best experience now wins! Food businesses are now under more pressure to monitor market trends and respond to changing consumer behavior quickly, creating strategies to improve efficiency and customer experience in all these areas.
In recent years, consumers have also become more environmentally aware, think of the current ‘war on plastic’! From packaging to production, food shoppers are willing to pay more if they feel they are helping the environment.
Therefore, the implementation of sustainable business practices across the food industry has become more common practice. They have started to change their ways, to again, drive their competitive edge, enhance their profits and of course in this scenario, help the environment.
So how can Columbus Food help?
As we have already mentioned in this piece, part of achieving success in the food industry requires a focus on reducing waste. Margins are often very tight and so the need to provide efficient ways of working to maximise food yield is critical to ensuring ongoing business viability.
Implementing ERP solutions for food companies ensures the accurate traceability of every ingredient through processing, packaging, warehousing, transportation, and storage at the end retailer. By having a solution that can manage these processes, a business can ensure its operations are efficient, that productivity is improved, waste is reduced and subsequently, profits can increase.
Columbus Food - as part of Microsoft Dynamics Business Central, can address these challenges - not only through enabling compliance but by improving overall business processes.
The Columbus Food solution is embedded within Microsoft Dynamics Business Central to extend the core functionality of ERP, providing an industry-specific solution out of the box!
Our food-specific core module enhances the capabilities of Business Central and helps to solve the challenges of many types of food businesses. However, if your requirements are more complex, we have further modules that can improve and streamline your specific business processes, with container tracking or allergen management as an example.
The Columbus Food solution impacts food manufacturing and distribution in the following ways:
- Ensures top-quality, resource-efficient production and distribution
- Provides profitable product innovation as you can stay in tune with changing customer demands
- Enables streamlined, end-to-end regulatory and food safety compliance
- Promotes robust demand planning to help you hit your waste reduction goals
- Gives you the flexibility to source ingredients and raw materials at optimal conditions