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7 Must-Have Features for a Food & Beverage ERP system

The food and beverage industry is highly competitive. Food and beverage businesses must remain agile and leverage innovation to meet customer expectations and stay relevant in the industry. An Enterprise Resource Planning system designed specifically for food and beverage companies can increase the odds the company not only achieves these goals but thrives as well. This blog looks at those critical features that a Food and Beverage ERP should provide.

End to end solution

An ERP for Food and Beverage businesses should be an end-to-end business-wide solution. Implementing a proper solution will eliminate data silos and unite all the major data in one single version of the truth. In addition to tracking customer data, it will help optimize the supply chain, finances, and other aspects of the business. It should allow seamless data flow across different departments.

A Food and Beverage ERP solution provides a mechanism to capture, analyze, and provide insights to key stakeholders, empowering them to make data-driven decisions quickly and accurately as consumer demands changes. Data speed increases by real time reporting which empowers business principals to more quickly pivot when market conditions shift.

Real-time inventory management

The Food and Beverage supply chain consists of multiple products with different shelf lives and storage conditions. With perishable products, there will always be some level of waste and spoilage. However, elevated levels increase costs substantially and make a visibly negative impact on the company’s bottom line.

To control waste and spoilage, a Food and Beverage ERP will track inventory in real-time at each step of the supply chain. The ERP for food and beverage businesses reduces stock-outs through transparency and real-time visibility across multiple channels. It enables the company to order inventory and allocate it properly, while keeping a real time count. In this manner, the ERP for food and beverage businesses reduces both stock-outs and excessive levels of inventory.

The ERP must also have the capability to automate processes through workflow capabilities. Doing so reduces manual errors and saves time, thus resulting in a quicker transfer of inventory across multiple warehouses and locations. An example of this is automatic reordering points. By defining a pre-determined inventory level for various items, when stock falls to a specified level, the ERP sends a notification to concerned stakeholders and an order is automatically placed with the vendor. The vendor will receive the purchase order to deliver a specific inventory quantity at a pre-determined price per the agreed schedule.

With optional demand planning functions, after a few months of this type of activity, the ERP learns expected vendor behaviour and adjusts the order timing accordingly.

Real-time order management

Order management is another critical part of an ERP for food and beverage businesses, particularly for multi-location and multi-channel procurement and distribution companies. Order management helps determine which locations will fulfill orders based on lead times, service levels, availabilities, and demand. It includes native capabilities to buy, return or fulfill orders from any location, all while providing lot and serialized tracking of orders, as necessary.

This helps companies expedite the movement of products to the desired locations. Also, it ensures that the businesses’ customers can buy the product they want without delays created by stock outs. The ERP for the food and beverage business also helps manage the expiration of products that move slowly.

Recipe and ingredient management

To keep up with changing consumer tastes, the food and beverage ERP must have in-built recipe and ingredient management capabilities.  As newer recipes become popular among customers, companies set up systems and processes to manufacture these recipes. An ERP for food and beverage businesses helps facilitate innovation by enabling recipe creations and adjustments. Additionally, it provides quality control mechanisms in the form of lot and serialized tracking, as needed.

To maintain quality, an ERP for food and beverage businesses optimizes recipe development while providing necessary documentation in the form of manufacturing instructions.

Omni-channel

Currently most food and beverage businesses sell their products through multiple channels, potentially including eCommerce platforms, retailers, franchise partners, and other distribution affiliates. A food and beverage ERP help businesses efficiently manage these different customer touchpoints.

By tracking demand for the full mix of its Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), an ERP for food and beverage businesses helps companies scale their business across multiple channels. To the customer, the products are available at the right place and at the right time. The ERP for food and beverage businesses helps the business provide a similar shopping experience to its customers regardless of their type and location.

360-degree customer view

The Food and Beverage ERP help the business track its customers across all touchpoints. This results in easy access to needed information by role and company function. For instance, the complete customer details needed by the sales and customer service teams are instantly available. Customer service representatives quickly resolve disputes while sales team members more readily cross-sell and upsell products based on customers\’ buying patterns and spending habits.

The marketing team is a primary benefactor of business intelligence provided by the food and beverage ERP. Its members can easily view customer reports by demographics, purchase patterns, and purchase types. The ability to drill down to view real time information on everything from online purchases by time to highest margin sellers helps the team run personalized marketing campaigns for different customer segments. This allows the company to optimize promotional discounts as well as advertising to present the right product to the customer at the right time, at the right place, and at the right price.

Seamless financial management

Food and beverage businesses frequently operate in different geographies with cultural, language, and currency differences as compared to their company headquarters. Typically, each location will have a distinct set of regulations and a different tax nexus.

An ERP for food and beverage businesses must have the capabilities to manage these differences correctly, including the production of accurate consolidated financial reports. In addition, it will automate collections, billing, and invoicing processes.

The food and beverage ERP tightly integrates different departments in a business to streamline financial processes, particularly producing a dramatic reduction of the time required for the financial close process.

It enables input of data in real time, no matter the location of the input. Utilizing handheld scanners, raw materials and other product data enters the ERP’s warehouse management system instantly. Manual input is reduced but adjustments to data can easily be recorded by authorized parties as, for example, after inventory counting.

Financial reporting and overall business intelligence occurs in real time for the systems’ users. This dramatically improves visibility into costs, revenues, and margins.

Softype is a global provider of cloud business automation solutions and an experienced enterprise consulting provider to medium and large enterprises. With offices in the US, Philippines, India, and Kenya and remote delivery and support capabilities, our friendly experts provide Softype clients with the help they need, no matter their geography.

Softype, a global Oracle NetSuite Solution Partner, successfully completed more than 400 NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations in the previous 18 years. NetSuite, the original cloud ERP system, is the solution of choice for organizations requiring the ability to pivot with the rapidly fluctuating economic conditions of recent years. In addition to NetSuite, the Softype team also specializes in workflow automation technologies and integrations for the Wholesale Distribution, Retail, Education and Light Manufacturing industries, partnering with StoreHub Cloud Point of Sales (POS) systems, Workato integration and automation services and BeatRoute sales force automation software.

Softype combines practical solutioning with expert service, thus maximizing our clients’ investments in their business automation solutions. We have the friendly experts who can help guide your team through its digital transformation. From mutual discovery to understanding your requirements and implementing the solution, we will support you every step of the way.

For further information, reach out to us at info@softype.com or call us at +1 650 488 4412 (Global), +632  7216 5582 (Philippines), +91 22 4087 1095 (India), and +254 720 940 174 (Africa).

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Ms. Juliana Luz

Co-Chairman and Co-Founder

Juliana (Nana) holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University.

The first development of cloud computing found Nana working in this area with her own start-up. Understanding the benefit of consolidating data and systems into a single version of the truth, she then partnered with NetLedger (now Oracle NetSuite) to offer a fully functional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system built exclusively on the cloud.

Nana’s expertise includes envisioning change and delivering value to growth-oriented businesses. Utilizing ERP technology and her advanced skills in process optimization, she streamlines processes, eliminates redundancies and manual processes, and facilitates digital transformations for Softype clients.

A ‘hands-on expert, Nana has, since founding Softype, participated in dozens of projects across 26 countries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and all over Asia. Nana serves on the board of La Proteccion de la Infancia (Gota de Leche) and United Success Global.

Mr. Hugh Klesch-Sawyer

Digital Marketing Specialist

Hugh holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Old Dominion University.

As the son of a grocery store owner’s parents, Hugh started his marketing education early, beginning at around 10 years old. After beginning his Softype career in Sales, he discovered that additional marketing knowledge would be beneficial. He began to immerse himself in marketing education and in 2021, Hugh started a 6-month Digital Marketing certification course through the Digital Marketing Institute and American Marketing Association. After 4 months in the program, Hugh earned his Digital Marketing Specialist and Professional Certified Marketer certifications. In January 2022, he accepted a position  change from Sales/Business Development to Digital Marketing Specialist.

Hugh’s mantra is: “If you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right.”

Mr. Terence Michael C. Rena

Customer Success Officer

Terence holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines with a major in Tourism Management.

Terence’s experience includes sales and marketing roles, particularly creating marketing strategies, promotions, and retention programs in the travel and tourism industry. Since joining Softype in 2021, Terence has been a prime driver of marketing insights and a facilitator of key marketing initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. Event management is his specialty, including both online and in-person events that attract potential Softype clients to engage with the brand. Additionally, Terence is the face of Softype to our clients in Asia and Africa, ensuring they receive optimal service.

Personally, Terence enjoys basketball, cycling, guitar playing, mecha (robot) modeling, and video games. His daily mantra is as follows: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Mr. Ebenezer (Ebe) Mutungwa

African Sales

Ebe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ebenezer (Ebe) Mutungwa earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). Ebe combines outstanding communication skills with expert knowledge of NetSuite ERP (5 years in pre-sales for NetSuite Africa). Although, as Softype’s Sales officer for the African continent, Ebe works with organizations in various industries, he has a soft spot for nonprofit organizations. A previous
NGO manager, Ebe understands their challenges and demonstrates how they can leverage the Oracle NetSuite ERP and NetSuite’s Social Impact program to support their mission.

When not working, Ebe enjoys traveling, jogging, playing the guitar, and spending time with family and friends. His words to live by are “Through it all; all is well.”

Mr. Jack V. Lazo

North American Sales

Jack attended the University of the Philippines, majoring in Hospitality Management.

Jack’s experience includes 4 years in the broadcasting industry and more than 33 years in enterprise information technology solutions sales. In the broadcast industry, Jack learned to match his style to anyone’s; he uses this skill today to communicate in a manner his clients appreciate. Jack combines empathetic listening skills with IT solutions knowledge to understand the finer points of what his customers require, need, and want.

Jack prizes spending time with his family. When he has time, he enjoys listening to music and watching soccer and mixed martial arts.

Mr. Chris Beecroft CPA

Vice President of Sales

Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University, an MBA from Florida State University, and is pursuing a DBA degree from AMA University.

Chris has more than 16 years of software sales experience, including 13 years in ERP sales with Oracle and SAP. Combining his ERP and accounting knowledge (CPA), Chris finds the right solution for our clients. He dives headfirst into the details of his team’s engagements, ensuring that Softype’s solutions are always the best fit. Others describe Chris as action-oriented, hands-on, and accountable.

Personally, Chris enjoys tennis, squash, badminton, biking, and reading. He also enjoys leading others to change their lives by providing personal guidance. His words to live by are “Who Dares Wins.”

Mr. Upendra Rabde

Solutions Architect

Upendra holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Indus Business Academy in Bengaluru, India. His credentials include the academic specialties of Information Technology and Marketing.

Upendra’s experience includes business consulting and business process re-engineering. He brings more than 17 years of technical solution development experience to Softype. He counts experience in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) integration projects in the manufacturing, telecom, healthcare, retail, banking, and insurance industries. He is proficient in procurement solutions and complex regulatory and compliance areas. Upendra also counts additional product management experience in the health care industry.

Joining Softype in 2021, Upendra brings a capability for hyper learning and an outstanding attitude, two traits in the Softype DNA, and is always a pleasure to work with.

On a personal note, he enjoys HAM radio operations and watching cricket matches. Upendra’s philosophy of life is summarized in his daily mantra: Past is history, future is mystery but today is a gift; that’s why it’s called present.

Ms. Pooja Manudhane

Product Manager

Pooja holds a degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai. She has also completed an MBA focusing on accounting and business processes.

Pooja’s association with Softype began in 2012. She joined Softype as a Junior Functional Consultant. From the beginning, she was engaged in working with clients, specializing in training clients to undergo digital transformations successfully. Pooja developed a knack for visualizing ERP solutions to inefficient processes and communicating her vision to clients.

Pooja automated manual processes using the NetSuite ERP solution, thereby improving worker productivity. As her experience grew, Pooja received promotions to Senior Functional Consultant and Product Manager. She mentors junior colleagues in technical and business processes and, in so doing, helps evolve and propagate the Softype company culture.

Pooja understands that NetSuite ERP is the cloud ERP provider of choice because of the ease with which it can be adapted to different industries, its intuitive User Interface (UI), and the speed with which Softype can successfully implement it (a few months).

Pooja delights in working with customers in different countries. Her patient approach to managing change and guiding subordinates has won her praise from clients and co-workers
alike.

Ms. Prachi Shende

Program Lead, Education Vertical

Prachi has a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics from the University of Mumbai and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas.

Prachi began her working career in the US (California). Over the years, she has moved from a purely technical role to a techno-functional role. As a techno-functional consultant, she can work with business, functional, and technical teams. Her specialty is implementing and customizing systems aligned with industry best practices. During her tenure of service, Softype promoted her five times in five years, culminating with her current position. Versatile and dynamic, Prachi cherishes a fast-paced work environment that allows her professional skills to grow. Her work is in the K-12 and tertiary education domains. She oversees the Softype education ERP (edERP) product development and management. The edERP product continues to evolve and expand due to new requirements in an ever-changing education sector. This gives her a chance to grow by constantly reinventing herself.

Prachi’s passion is to help educational institutions grow by migrating their enterprise-wide resources to cloud based systems. She believes that “Given new situations, the market for edERP, i.e., education on the cloud service, is here to grow. It’s about how we best serve it.”

Ms. Manisha Hule

Chief Operating Officer

Manisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Mumbai.

Manisha is the delivery manager for Softype’s ERP services. Experienced in project planning and execution, she provides leadership for all Softype’s solution consulting and implementation activities. Manisha began her career at Softype, working in all of its various departments, culminating in her selection as a member of the Executive team. Manisha has experience in all aspects of project organization and delivery. An excellent team manager, Manisha ensures that customer projects get the optimum resources required, facilitating minimal risk implementations that meet delivery schedules. Manisha’s expertise and guidance are significant factors in ensuring, that, unlike many ERP vendors, Softype implementations are delivered successfully and on time.

Mr. Moses Rajan

Global Finance Officer

Moses holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, specializing in Accounting and Economics.

Moses has more than 15 years of experience in ERP implementations and rollouts in a wide variety of industries across multiple geographies. He has engaged with clients across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Building on this experience, Moses helps Softype’s customers manage the financial complexities of multi-books, multi-currencies, multi-exchange rates, landed costs, and the myriads of tax regimes such as sales tax, VAT, GST, and others that impact businesses. Working with Softype’s customers, Moses brings his experience to bear on their challenges of dealing with budgets, cash flows, currency revaluations, and financial controls.

Mr. Nikunj Shah

Chief Executive Officer

Nikunj holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, specializing in Audit and Finance.

Striking a balance between theory and practice, Nikunj helps clients through solution consulting and implementation work. Working at the nexus of accounting and technical change, his wisdom and insights are invaluable in steering the digital transformation of Softype clients. With extensive technical awareness and expertise, he is particularly adept at juggling multiple stakeholder interests that manifest themselves during the journey, always mindful of the client’s interests while fostering the teamwork and trust needed by all.

Nikunj’s portfolio includes designing an accounting solution and implementing best practices for the order to cash, procure to pay, and cost accounting processes. He has enabled ERP solution implementations across many countries, including Nigeria, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, and the United States of America.

Nikunj professes that “Digital Transformation requires People, Processes, and Technology to be in harmony. Where this synergy exists, success will follow.”

Dr. Arvind Khilnani

Chairman and Co-Founder

Dr. Arvind holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts), a Master’s degree in Management (MIT Sloan School) and a Ph.D. in Engineering Economic Systems (Stanford University).

A dedicated teacher and mentor, Arvind believes in Leadership through inspiration. Trained as a mathematical modeling and optimization analyst, Arvind focused his early career on developing tools to enable company growth. He worked with Fortune 500 companies to adapt their use of technology for growing new, evolving markets. Presently his efforts seek to expand these tools to small and medium enterprises.

Since co-founding Softype, he has channeled his energies to help international organizations grow by leveraging the benefits of technology, including process optimization and automation.