How to Maximize your Food and Beverage Supply Chain with ERP

How to Maximize your Food and Beverage Supply Chain with ERP

Author: | Published: 10 May 2018

Taking the food supply chain for granted these days is risky. Different rules apply when bacteria is found in your product as opposed to, for example, the odd squirt of petroleum grease that may affect the automotive industry. And, to add to the horror, it may still be growing, ripening or fermenting in its packaging. Completely unlike the problems experienced with automotive components or fabricated metal sheets that arrive from your supplier. Even sparkling drinks can osmose through their plastic bottles if they sit on the shelf too long.


Food consumers expect the right product at the right place at the right time. In addition, we expect it in the best condition, looking edible and at the right price. And we have a long string of expectations beyond simple logistical efficiency.


Food, and beverages such as fruit juice and fresh dairy drinks, need more controlled supply chains with many additional dimensions to quality control besides size and weight. They incorporate cold-chains where temperature level/stability cannot be altered without consequences to shelf life. ERP coordinates food manufacturing and customer delivery plans, driving execution like appropriate sourcing, correct formulation/BOM, QA checks, maximizing service AND operating efficiency.


This supply chain is “Farm to Table” with a number of handoffs along the way – not just finished goods directly to retailer into customer fridge. Sure, each leg is critical and can delay or add cost to the end product but with fresh goods it can destroy the product for anyone downstream and hence any income/profit.


Take fresh milk procurement. Suppliers range from large corporate operations to thousands of small rural groups/individuals producing milk daily. Small farmers give their milk to a middleman with a refrigerated truck. Farmers maybe receive a paper receipt after QA testing and weeks of admin later payment happens. Small farmers don’t tend to have ERP systems but with a smartphone App access to YOUR system, proof of supply at pick-up and payment can happen fast. Now that’s a cool milk process.


Now manufacture some chili sauce. There could be 100 spices from many suppliers in that mix. Just one suppliers’ rotten phenol can ruin the mix. But you’ve packed it and you have to find which production-line filled which bottles. ERP batch management and lot-traceability replace the old paper-based process to far more quickly and accurately identify and remove the problem batches.


Returns of over-shipped/ordered good product adds more complexity. Arriving back at our holding area, we check and if OK, send it back to the warehouse? No! ERP’s management of returns helps us find existing orders to fill and send straight out again, recording any scrapping of the bad stuff.


So SYSPRO eats, sleeps and breathes food manufacturing to keep your plate, and those of your customers, full.

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