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Food manufacturing and ERP software: A beginner's guide


Investing in integrated business software for any company is a large undertaking and not something that can be taken lightly. You need to look at every business process at your company and reconfigure it into this new system. For food manufacturers and distributors this is an especially daunting task, as there are many unique processes that you need to sure can be ported over to a system.

With this is mind, we’ve created this beginners guide to help food companies determine if they’re ready for an integrated solution and what type of software would help them achieve their business goals.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

When does a food company need ERP software?

An ERP implementation is a complex process. For food manufacturing companies, there are very specific signifiers that need to be observed in order to really know when it is time for an ERP. In the early stages of managing a business, getting customers and delivering orders are the most important priorities. Transactions between you and your customers as well as between departments in your facility can be handled manually and with basic business software.

However, once a business starts to grow in size, management needs to start measuring everything related to sales, purchasing, inventory, production and quality. The various spreadsheets or disconnected applications that a company has been using to manage their data will ultimately fall short. Only an integrated system, like ERP software, can offer a single version of accurate data visible to all employees, allowing them to accurate input information throughout the process.

What functionality can ERP bring to a business?

There are a lot of moving parts in a food manufacturing plant. A standard ERP system can bring together common functional requirements like accounting, sales, and ordering. However, by investing in an industry-specific ERP system, in your case food manufacturing, you can ensure additional functionality geared towards your unique business practices like QA, warehouse management, recipe management and formulation.

Below, we briefly highlight the main functionality you should expect from an ERP system built specifically for food manufacturing:


ERP software digitizes the following functionality, dramatically reducing user time and error:

Cost accounting

Cash flow forecasting


General ledger


Sales and marketing



Production/shop floor

What are the benefits of ERP to your food manufacturing company?

While ERP software is no small undertaking, it does bring many benefits to your business, including:

ERP helps foster a collaborative environment within your company. A single, integrated system helps break down the barriers that keep different departments from working well together

Are you ready for ERP software?

Not all ERP systems are the same. When considering whether or not your business is ready for ERP software, these below points will help you understand the type of solution that would fit your needs best.


In an industry with tight profit margins, fierce competition and strict compliance requirements, having the right business management software is critical to maintaining and growing market share and profitability. ERP software is the right tool for food companies with the maturity and complexity to require measurement, control and continuous improvement of their operations. ERP software that is built specifically for the food industry can lead to significant cost savings and revenue enhancements.

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