When you’re in the food business, it takes a lot to keep your inventory organized. A restaurant or grocery store may have thousands of items to track and maintain, and that can be very complicated. Food distribution software can help.
Food distribution requires a lot of planning, organization and resources. From shipment schedules to production demand, there are many factors that contribute to the success of your business. Managing all these details is much easier with the help of automation, which can simplify tasks and cut down on errors.
To stay competitive in today’s rapidly changing marketplace, food distribution companies must focus on both efficiency and profitability. While many of these companies try to address the challenges that arise from their unique markets by deploying a variety of disparate software systems, there’s a better way to manage the complexities of food distribution software: ERP solutions for food distributors.
ERP software for food distributors can make a big difference in how you handle inventory. Here’s how:
1. Automate processes
An ERP system can automate your most essential business functions, including purchasing and inventory management. This gives you and your employees more time to concentrate on other tasks, such as expanding your customer base and making sales calls.
Automating inventory management processes can help you avoid errors, make it easier to find information and reduce the time it takes to complete daily tasks. All of those things add up to more productivity and less stress on your employees.
2. Make purchasing easier
When you use an ERP system that’s designed specifically for food distributors, you can use it to manage inventory automatically, so you always know when it’s time to order more. With the right software in place, it can even generate purchase orders automatically once stock reaches a certain level — saving you lots of time and stress.
When you know exactly what your customers want, when they want it, and what stock needs replenishing, ordering is simple. ERP systems help you manage supply chains by getting more accurate data from suppliers and keeping track of every step in the process.
3. Get better supply chain management
Inventory issues can quickly get out of hand if they aren’t properly managed, which is why so many food distributors are turning to ERP systems for help with this task
ERP systems help you maintain visibility into all aspects of your supply chain and improve oversight of operations. In addition to automating many tasks such as inventory tracking, they can also automate ordering and help you manage vendors so that you always have accurate data on the status of orders and deliveries at all times.
4. Boost productivity
An ERP system enables better workflows that allow food distributors to manage inventory more efficiently. By providing real-time data on hand, on order and committed quantities, the software helps them plan deliveries accordingly and avoid common supply problems such as overstocking or understocking.
Food distributor ERP software helps improve productivity by eliminating unnecessary work, automating processes that would otherwise require manual work, and providing access to a centralized location where all information is stored and widely accessible.
A good ERP system will automate many of your inventory management processes, freeing up your staff to work on more important tasks.
5. Improve accuracy and efficiency
Automation means fewer delays and mistakes due to human error and better coordination among different business functions that depend on inventory data, like accounting and purchasing.
The system automatically updates itself as products are moved in or out of the warehouse, so there’s no need for manual recording of transactions. In addition, it comes with barcode scanning capabilities that are necessary for high-volume operations. This means that employees no longer need to spend hours checking inventory by hand; they just have to scan each item using a scanner device which will be recorded automatically in the system.
6. Reduce waste and spoilage
Food distributors typically stock large quantities of perishable items in refrigerated or frozen storage. With ERP software tracking your inventory, you’ll know exactly how much food you have at any given time, so you’re not overstocking or letting food go bad in storage while it waits to be sold and delivered. This also helps prevent stockouts, so you always have what you need when it’s needed, whether it’s on a regular schedule or special order basis.
Overall, you’ll have a much better view of what you have on hand, so you can reduce overstocking as well as understocking of products that are essential for your customers’ needs. This can save money as well as help prevent food from spoiling before it can get into the hands of paying customers.
7. Ensure supply readiness before each delivery
With food distribution software, you can create detailed records for each item that tracks information such as expiration dates, storage requirements and special handling instructions. In addition, ERP software connects with your accounting system to provide real-time data about customer orders and your own production schedule
It’s important to send the right amount of food each time you deliver an order. Food distributors using ERP for inventory management can quickly find all orders that are scheduled for delivery at a particular time. This is especially important if you deliver perishable goods — no one wants their steak or produce to sit around too long waiting for the truck!
An ERP software solution is vital for your food distribution business in order to automate processes, make purchasing easier, and get better supply chain management. The right ERP software can help you boost productivity and ensure supply readiness before each delivery.
If this sounds like a good fit for your business, here are some more benefits of ERP software for food distributors:
Track your inventory and shipments
Food items have expiration dates, and it’s imperative that you pay attention to them. With an ERP software solution, you can easily track your inventory and shipments so that your food items never expire or reach the customer at their worst condition.
This feature saves time and money for your business. You will also know exactly when a shipment is going to be delivered, allowing you to determine when to place another order with the supplier.
Manage orders efficiently
With an integrated system from the point of sale to the point of shipping, you can manage orders efficiently across several departments through one single platform. Your online ordering system automatically sends orders from customers directly into the order management system.
This means no more manual entry into a separate system by a second team member or department. The amount of time saved in this process alone is huge.
Break down silos between departments
When everyone is using the same platform, it’s much easier to communicate across departments and share data that helps drive better business decisions.
Manage multiple product lines
ERP software allows you to run multiple warehouses simultaneously. This way, it will be easier for you to manage all your products and product lines across different warehouses or locations in one program.
Organize your processes and data into one system
You can organize everything from customer information to vendor information, product information and so on. In fact, everything from financial records to customer service information can be organized into one system with ERP software for food distributors.
The key takeaway from this should be that ERP, and specifically food distribution software, can have a major impact on your business’s success—particularly if you’re a food distributor who is currently running things fairly “by hand.” Finding a solution will take some time and effort, but it’s well worth the effort in the long run. You might even be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish.
So, if you’re a food distributor and your business is currently running on disparate systems or Excel, think about implementing an ERP system that will help control inventory, receive orders, invoices, and more.
There are plenty of options out there for food distribution software, and SAP Business One happens to be one of them. Like any piece of technology, it’s not the only one that can accomplish what you need done—but it is a viable option. Whether you choose this or something else, it’s worth taking the time to find a solution and organize your business more effectively.
All in all, ERP is a powerful tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes, but most importantly for food distributors, who have come to rely on technology as an integral part of their business. By partnering with a platform like SAP Business One, you can build in greater flexibility and streamlined efficiency into your daily operations.