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7 signs your produce company is ready for a field-to-shelf erp solution

INSIGHT ARTICLE

Grower-shippers, wholesaler-distributors, fresh cut processors and retail food service organizations contend with several challenges, including seasonal availability, dynamic scheduling, production, packaging and fulfillment processes, and stringent regulatory demands. The appropriate enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help mitigate the effects of these challenges and provide long -term benefits such as increased efficiency, improved visibility, reduced operating expenses, expanded delivery channels, enhanced customer relationships and greatly improved information sharing and performance management. It’s no wonder today’s leading produce companies view ERP as a strategic investment. 

However, the risks to an organization for not making a well-informed, industry-specific selection and engaging in a well-planned ERP implementation can result in huge unanticipated costs, extensive configuration and integration, extended project timelines and poor ROI. Therefore, it’s critical to first determine if your organization needs an ERP solution. 

If your organization is experiencing one or more of these business conditions, it is time to seriously consider implementing an appropriate, industry-specific ERP solution. 

1. Fast organizational growth: You have recently opened multiple growing, processing or distribution centers in various locations, and there is an increase in production, processes and workforce. 

2. Limited operational transparency: You are not able to automatically access real-time data and reporting on orders, inventory, lot information, production and delivery from any point in your supply chain operations. You face challenges accessing critical company performance data. 

3. Lack of control over and real-time reporting on grower accounting: You face problems automatically managing, creating and distributing grower reports and settlements efficiently. 

4. Lack of sufficient way to manage Produce Traceability Initiative and other regulatory requirements: You face challenges automatically managing your organization’s critical control points, responding quickly to requests for lot information, viewing lot information forward and backward and at a granular level, and attaining a realtime view of products from farm to shelf. 

5. Utilization of manual processes to manage inventory and production: You currently use spreadsheets and other manual tracking and data collection methods to manage inventory, including shelf-life management, customer specifications, and quality process and testing. You are using manual processes to manage conventional and organic product orders and changeovers for slicers, shredders and other packaging equipment. 

6. Little ability to track and accurately manage: You are unable to accurately track and manage key activities from trade promotions to grower accounting to consumer feedback and preferences in order to more effectively and proactively compete in the market. 

7. Your current systems are disparate and becoming obsolete: Your existing solution(s) are disparate and no longer effectively support your organization’s enterprise operations, having a negative impact on growth, performance and profitability.
 

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