7 Steps to Choosing ERP Software for the Food Industry

By Diane Harvey | May 12, 2022 | Cloud ERP , ERP , Food and Beverage

Choosing the right ERP software for the food Industry isn’t easy. There are a lot of decisions to make and multiple elements to consider that can impact your business when choosing a new ERP solution that can fit your business.

This guide will help you in your search for a new ERP solution that can fit your business so you can better reach your goals.

Step 1: Define Your Industry Needs

To implement a successful ERP solution, it is essential to define your industry needs. Do you have multiple plants or locations? Do you have a multi-tiered product hierarchy? Are you involved in packaging processes and contract manufacturing? Do you manufacture for a vertical market? Are you required to comply with government regulations? What are your other software requirements (i.e. quality management tools, electronic data interchange, regulatory compliance tools)?

You should also consider how your business differs from similar companies in your industry. There is no doubt that there will be similarities between you and other businesses in your industry, but what makes your company unique and differentiates it from your competitors?

Think about how an ERP system could help you improve these areas as well as how it could help bring up weaker areas of your business. This will help you determine if an out-of-the-box solution will work for you or if you need something more customized to fit the specific needs of your business.

Step 2.Explore Your Options

Start by making a list of what you want to get out of your new ERP system. You may uncover that you need an omnichannel solution that integrates with Amazon or Shopify, or you may find that you want an ERP system that is built on the cloud so it can be accessed anywhere on any device. Regardless of what features you are looking for, make sure they fit the needs of your company and align with your goals.

Once you have outlined the must-haves, start researching what solutions are available to you in the market. Use this time to compare different systems against each other and see how they stack up against one another. Some software for the Food Industry may offer many more features than others, but it’s important to remember quality over quantity when it comes to finding the right software for your company.

It’s also worth looking at customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies on their site or through other sources. This will give you an idea of how well they’ll work with you and connect with their customers’ needs.

When it comes to software for the Food Industry, one size does not fit all. Choosing an ERP system for the food industry requires a great deal of research and planning to find a solution that will meet the needs of your business.

Step 3. Shortlist Your ERP Options

Once you know what you want, start researching potential vendors/products. It’s a good idea to look at one or two vendors who focus on food industry solutions, and then at a few broader ERP providers with solid expertise in food and beverage industries. You can also ask fellow food industry professionals for recommendations.

A good rule of thumb is to select three vendors to evaluate. The trick here is that you should look at one vendor with a high price, another with a medium price, and a third with a lower price. That way, you’ll have options that offer the functionality you need at different prices and can make a more informed decision.

Make a list of all the features you require in an ERP solution and make sure it matches up with what each vendor offers. Shortlist those that offer the most appropriate combination of features and functionality for your business requirements.

Step 4: View Product Demonstrations

Ask each vendor for a product demonstration so that you can see exactly how their software works and whether it will fit your business needs. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them during this process—the vendor should be able to answer any questions you have and give you an idea of what it would be like to use their software.

This is also a great opportunity to get a feel for the company culture and what it would be like to work with them personally. Does anything about the demonstration strike you as unprofessional or off-putting? These insights could help you decide who among your shortlisted vendors is right for your business.

Step 5: Ask Questions About the Software

Before you commit to any software, make sure you ask questions and get answers. The more questions you can ask, the clearer a picture you will have of whether this software is right for your business.

An ERP system is a significant investment for any company, so you want to be confident that it will work for your business and its unique needs. Here are some questions to help you choose the best ERP software for the food and beverage industry:

  • What are the goals of your company?
  • What challenges are you facing?
  • How will this software help solve those problems?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Is the price all inclusive or is there additional fees for training or support?
  • Will there be downtime during implementation? How long will it take to get back on track after implementation?

Step 6: Consider User Adoption and Training Requirements

We’ve identified the requirements for our new system, but that doesn’t mean the process is over! We still need to consider how it will affect our employees and customers.

How will they adopt? What kind of training do they need? Who’s going to be affected by the changes we’re making? These are all important questions we need to answer before moving forward with implementation.

As with any new system, you must make sure that users are comfortable with it. You will need to train users in how to use the new system. There may be some resistance from employees who are comfortable with the old system and do not want to learn a new one. For this reason, it is important that you ensure that employees see the value of the new system.

Step 7: Get Internal Buy-In

You’ve made it to the last step!

However, this is probably the most important one.

As with any new software implementation, you’ll need to get internal buy-in and support from your team. You won’t be the only one using the software, so while it’s important that you have a voice in selecting it, you can’t make all of the decisions on your own.

Make sure that the ERP solution you’re considering is one that will make the lives of everyone else in your company easier. Ask for feedback at every step of the process. You don’t want to find yourself implementing a system that no one enjoys using!

Hopefully, this post has given you a better idea of how to approach looking for a new ERP solution. Whether it’s the right time for you to begin a software selection process or if further consideration and research is necessary, this post can help you get started down the path towards finding the software that will enable your business to grow.

There are so many great solutions out there but you have to figure out which system is going to be the best for your business. With these seven steps you can make an informed decision and choose a solution that will help your business grow.

Our experience with SAP Business One is that it’s an excellent solution for companies within the food and beverage industry. The software provides immense flexibility, allowing you to manage your product portfolios and business operations as required by your market.

If your organisation is considering a digital ERP software solution, you might like to speak to one of our consultants to find out more about SAP Business One as a potential option.

 

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