11 December 2020

Why integrated ERP software is crucial for the food industry

Dropped in Food Industry

Pondered by Chloe

It’s no secret that the food industry has experienced a strange and unpredictable year. The pandemic has resulted in excessive bulk buying and trying to restock shelves before they empty again, to the government declaring all restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues closed or only being able to offer take-away. 

From one extreme to the other, businesses within the food industry have had to respond quickly to the changes. Whilst some food companies have struggled to react, those with fully integrated ERP software, designed specifically for the sector, have typically fared better. ERP software for the food industry has again demonstrated its essential, and crucial, role in food processing & distribution, both for the challenges faced in 2020 and beyond. 


Optimising shelf life

Businesses in the food industry will naturally face more time-precious challenges than other sectors because of the additional health and safety layers than need to be applied. When you have a sell-by, use-by and/or display-by date on your products, you must race against time to ensure these orders are with your customers with an acceptable amount of shelf-life remaining. But how can you manage this? 

Dynamics Food, with Dynamics 365 Business Central at its core, will underline the importance of keeping your fast-moving and short-use inventory near the front of your warehouse, allowing your fork-lift drivers to pick up the orders that are ready to go. By using Dynamics Food, you are adding huge value by optimising your warehouse management, simply by considering the remaining shelf life of a product and matching it to the requirements of the next part of the handling chain. You are also giving your warehouse staff back their valuable time and money, as they are avoiding diving into the deepest depths of your warehouse to retrieve a product. 


Integrated EDI with the major food retailers

Manually printing out and rekeying EDI orders, as well as creating invoices, ASNs and barcode labels is a time-consuming task that leaves plenty of room for human errors. 

Being more responsive to the changing demands of the retailers will only help to elevate you above the competition. Dynamics Food has fully integrated EDI, which will leave your business ready to ship out to your customer in less time than it took to print the original EDI order and evaluate the changes.   


Integrated EDI and stock management with the 3PLs in the Food Sector

The more you continue to increase your use of Third-Party Logistics (3PLs) companies, the more you will need to keep track of your consignment stock in these warehouses, and unfortunately, paper-based trails aren’t reliable enough for such rapid food stock movements.  

Using Dynamics Food, you can access a fully integrated EDI that automatically receives orders from retailers and passes information directly between both your systems and that of the 3PL – so that your stock movements can be controlled and executed accordingly. By having Dynamics Food on your side, you will never be in the dark about your deliveries that land in Goods Received at your 3PL or major retailer again. 


Lot traceability – from Farm to Fork

Relying on a paper-based traceability process to manage your stock will not only become outdated very quickly, but the manual labour of keeping this accurate will be difficult to keep on top of. Plus, the lack of automation will cause unnecessary stress during BRC audits, which nobody wants. 

Dynamics Food is a centralised ERP software that will ensure your food manufacturing or distribution business can maintain farm-to-fork traceability, whilst enabling you to complete an end-to-end reverse trace in seconds (rather than hours!) on your raw ingredients and packaging. 


Catchweight management, right out the box

When working in the food industry, you may distribute products that naturally vary in weight, shrinks or is sold in one unit of measure whilst priced in another. But, manually tracking the catchweight of all your food items is costly, time-consuming and holds the risk of human errors. To work more effectively, you need a catchweight solution that will automatically and accurately measure your margins and profitability without the extra labour. 

Dynamics Food will help you manage shrinkage and/or wastage from goods receipts to production and shipping at a variety of different stages in your business processes.  



Despite the difficulties faced with this year’s series of unfortunate events, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Having access to, and utilising, your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Food ERP system will improve food safety and shelf life, streamline operational efficiency and manage business growth. 

To find out more about Dynamics Food and Dynamics 365 Business Central, click here to request a demo.

Enhanced on 11 Dec 2020

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