2020 will go down in the history books for so many reasons but for us it will be the year where many of us were given the opportunity to make some fundamental changes to how we operate. Change of this nature is rarely easy but can bring so many benefits that we would never normally have considered.
Like many sectors, food and beverage manufacturing has been faced with the challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit, uncertainty about supply chains as well as dramatic changes in customer habits. Many companies will rise to the challenges, focus on opportunity and thrive, others have been head down and focused on survival and unfortunately there have been some who have been unable to weather the storms so far.
Our business operates firmly within an area of change, implementing an ERP system is all about making improvements and the success of such a programme is dependant upon the willingness and ability of companies and people to adapt. Earlier this year, as we entered lockdown, we took the opportunity to do some research within your field on the use of ERP software: looking to understand how the market views these systems, which programmes are in use and ultimately provide support to those looking to make the next move.
A short survey was sent out to over 3,000 contacts within Food & Beverage Manufacturers across the UK seeking their input, so what did we find out?
Although relatively new to the sector, ERP software is really starting to prove it’s worth and earn its place as a valuable business tool that will help move the F&B sector forward. Currently just under half of those surveyed are utilising an ERP system within their manufacturing process with the 3 most popular systems being IFS, Sage and Microsoft. Many companies are reliant upon a variety of different systems with two thirds using more than 5 and some running up to 20. That’s 20 systems that have been purchased, 20 systems requiring ongoing support and 20 sets of license fees to pay annually.
The costs of running multiple systems which don’t communicate with each other are not only monetary but also time, resource and even income, however only 31% believed they would benefit from a consolidation exercise while just 29% thought they would see benefit from having to run fewer systems. These figures weren’t that much of a surprise to us, particularly when 40% of our survey pool hadn’t yet considered an ERP solution for their business! We know that the majority of manufacturers within the F&B arena would see tangible benefits from the implementation of an ERP system.