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4 ways grocery retail operations can stay ahead of the pack

INSIGHT ARTICLE  | 

The pressure is on for all supermarkets, grocery stores, supercenters and other venues competing for customers in this over 6 trillion dollar market. Replacing old databases, archaic spreadsheets and homegrown financial systems is not enough. Grocery retailers or manufacturers, who want to stay ahead of the pack, need to integrate cutting-edge technology to support their businesses sustainability and growth goals. Today’s savvy shoppers expect conveniences like curbside pickup and delivery that ensures quality and freshness, and are loyal to brands that offer flexible shopping options and robust product variety.

According to retail analysts, where a single store use to serve most of a consumer’s food and beverage needs, now buyers are shopping for groceries across more than a dozen different retail channels. From a report in Packaged Facts: In the 1990s and the beginning years of this century, the greatest threat to supermarkets and grocery stores came from supersized one-stop shopping venues like supercenters and warehouse clubs. Today, the threat spreads across all retail channels, including drugstores, dollar stores, limited assortment of chains and—the elephant in the room—e-commerce.

If your objectives include tighter cost control, better short- and long-term planning, and flexible inventory control, and data analytics to analyze shopper buying habits and optimize SKU mix, it’s critical to evaluate the capabilities of your current technology to support those objectives. A modern, leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform designed specifically for grocery retail can help you.

Here are four ways ERP can make a difference:

1. Maximize profit with a streamlined grocery retail operation supply chain

Grocers can streamline the movement of goods through the supply chain by tightly monitoring their critical control points (CCPs). This reduces the number of delivery challenges and other problems caused by delays in data transfer, redundant data entry and lack of real-time visibility. This helps grocery retailers and manufacturers compete with drugstores, dollar stores and others more effectively. With a more streamlined supply chain, complete with more accurate inventory management, the right goods are always delivered at the right time and in the right quantities. Due to greater efficiencies, businesses can be more price-competitive as these savings are passed along to customers.

2. Reduce carrying costs and unnecessary spoilage

Modern ERP plays a significant role in accurate inventory management and warehouse operations, helping organizations honor business contracts and manage shelf-life time limitations. Warehouse inventory control gives ERP users precise visibility into stock levels at multiple locations to reduce carrying costs and limit unnecessary spoilage.

3. Achieve enterprise-wide cost control

The benefits of a cutting-edge ERP extend beyond the supply chain and the warehouse, integrating business processes across departments and streamlining intra-enterprise operations such as purchasing, production, sales, cost management, human resources and accounting. Eliminating redundant and manual processes, as well as increasing accuracy is perhaps the biggest advantage ERP systems provide, especially when it comes to enterprise-wide cost control and financial responsibility.

4. Maintain Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance

It isn’t often when government compliance regulations and good business practices are compatible and well-suited to one another. However, in the case of the FSMA, aspects of this law do require that food and beverage (F&B) and consumer product enterprises meet government standards that actually help them run a more efficient and profitable business.

The right ERP solution provides both an information technology backbone to support good business practices, and a system to meet FSMA requirements, allowing your enterprise a competitive edge in a dramatically shifting marketplace. An ERP solution should help you meet compliance requirements by:

  • Providing information about supplier compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • Developing reports to warn suppliers of compliance issues
  • Identifying and disallowing importers that are out of compliance
  • Adjusting for price and cost changes associated with re-inspection fees
  • Storing and accessing certification and hazard analysis documents for FDA
  • Quickly identifying the origin and current location of received or produced products and related byproducts
  • Defining important data elements by category that can be used to trace products from farm, field, sea to fork
  • Supplying flexible product recall reports to give a view of inventory received, sold, produced and by stock location

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