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Why ERP Isn’t Enough For Food And Beverage Manufacturers

The food and beverage industry is worth more than $5.9 trillion, but the truth is that profit margins are razor-thin. F&B manufacturers need every conceivable advantage to thrive in an exceptionally competitive marketplace. But the industry is plagued by issues that are only increasing in number and complexity. Smart manufacturers are expanding their market share by participating in global distribution, but stringent regulatory compliance challenges can make exporting products an adventure in frustration. Add to that the growing challenge of managing fragmented product data, coupled with consumer demands for detailed, clean labels. It becomes even more challenging to focus on new product development and maximize the lifecycle of a recipe. Antiquated product workflow management tools — like spreadsheets — put food producers at a distinct disadvantage. Automation, and comprehensive, integrated process management solutions are a necessity for survival. Many F&B manufacturers turn to enterprise resource planning (ERP) as a solution to solve these workflow and data management issues, but it may not meet all their needs. Integrating AI-enabled product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms are key to solving the most pressing problems.

Why ERP is Not Enough

While some ERP solutions can transform specific components of business, F&B manufacturers cannot depend on them as an end-to-end process solution. It’s simply not what this product was designed to do. Of course, ERP software has value. It provides opportunities for organizations to integrate and automate back office functions — think QuickBooks or reporting. ERP simplifies purchasing, human resources, financial planning, and distribution — mostly day to day work and transactions — but leaves huge gaps in research and development and new recipe creation. Say a recipe-based food manufacturer produces spices, seasonings, and herbs, and they want to use the highest quality ingredients and deliver custom products for retail and commercial use. Product quality, speed to market, and food safety are their biggest challenges. Salt, vinegar, and sugar are included in the recipe for most of their products, but their ERP will not allow them to support the information required to experiment with additional flavors and spices. Your ERP will provide all the material data for your raw ingredients, but it cannot support additional information, like a dry rub made with organic chili peppers, or sustainably sourced oregano and garlic, gluten free meatloaf seasoning, or vegan all-purpose spice mix. No recipe management, no specific food support, no specifications, no recipe development, trials, or simulation data — just the basic materials data. So even with an expensive ERP onboard, you are back to spreadsheets.


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!


Unlock the secrets of PLM and take control of your product development journey. Click now for our comprehensive ‘PLM for Manufacturers’ guide!

The Best of Both Worlds: Integrating PLM and ERP Together

PLM solutions integrate perfectly with ERP systems to manage and enrich product data, and
add functionality. Revalize is the premier PLM process solution that customers around the world have used to optimize their data. When used with ERP, it gives a distinct competitive advantage over manufacturers who rely on single-solutions or manual spreadsheets to manage their product lifecycle.

Even customized ERP software will not provide the benefits of an integrated PLM platform. Great things happen when these two solutions team up:

Food and beverage manufacturers must go from idea to shelf as quickly and cost effectively as possible. PLM software delivers transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain — creating a single source of truth for your products. With proper training and support, an integrated PLM solution with an existing ERP can be simple and seamless.

Once PLM is in place, users can access, upload, and manage any kind of data or document used throughout the product lifecycle. PLM houses everything from concept and design documents, to bill of materials, to product files, all in real-time.

Revalize is the only PLM process solution that has tools dedicated to the F&B industry. Already, it’s transformed customers across the globe from struggling F&B manufacturers to thriving businesses leading the way on retail shelves.
To see what Revalize can do for you, schedule a free demo with one of our automation experts.

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