Collins Computing, Inc.

The Complicated Relationship Between Food Manufacturers & ERP

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A recent study of North American food manufacturers by TR Cutler, Inc. revealed an interesting and complex relationship with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.  In an industry facing thinning profit margins and expanding SKUs, food manufacturers indicated that they need ERP to address complicated operational needs, are disappointed by insufficient solutions, and are also unlikely to make changes in the next three years.  Why is there such a mixed message?

Key findings of the TR Cutler, Inc. study are discussed in “The Survey Says:  Leveraging Existing Technology Investments A Top Priority For Food Manufacturers,” posted by Thomas R. Cutler on FoodLogistics.com.  Results of the study revealed interesting insights on the love/hate relationship with ERP by businesses in the food manufacturing industry.  Of the 512 businesses that participated in the survey, nearly all of them invested in ERP technology.  Although less than 10% indicated that they would change ERP solutions within the next three years, a whopping 68% complained that their existing technology was inefficient.  Worse yet, about 88% indicated that their current technology couldn’t address food safety, quality, compliance, and supply chain complexities – several pretty important factors in running a successful food manufacturing operation.

The study also indicated that food manufacturers were feeling a touch of buyer’s remorse, particularly with the ERP platforms that were designed for discrete manufacturing.  Addressing gaps by adding process manufacturing enhancements or customizations didn’t provide relief and added more risk and overhead.  Adding to the challenge are the complications of working in a global marketplace with global suppliers and the constantly-changing regulatory and compliance standards.

While each case is different, one common thread highlighted in the study is that ERP is both needed to manage a successful business, yet dreaded because of its inefficiencies for that unique business.  Some relief can be found in choosing an experienced software provider and an ERP solution that offers the flexibility and agility needed within an industry that faces so many changes.  Your relationship with ERP doesn’t have to be complicated.  Contact Collins Computing for guidance, insight, and support with choosing an ERP platform that meets your needs today and offers the flexibility to grow and change as your business grows and changes.

By Collins Computing, a Microsoft Dynamics GP Gold Certified Partner out of California

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