Apr 16, 2019

How To Pick A Food ERP System


Have you found yourself asking, “How do I pick a food ERP system?” Or maybe you’ve wondered, “What’s the best food manufacturing ERP software?” Or even, “What ERP software should I use for my food business?”

Finding the right ERP software is a hard task and maybe you don’t know where to start. Picking a food ERP system is an investment of both time and money so you don’t just want to pick one, you want to pick the best food ERP system for your business. To help with your search, here are our 4 Bs to consider in order to pick the best food ERP system for your business.

  1. Consider The Basics: The first step in finding and choosing ERP software for your food business is to determine your list of “must-haves” regarding the actual software features. Prioritize the features you need, starting with the must-haves, and then finish off the list with the “nice-to-haves.” Are you most concerned with finding a sales system that can handle sales programs really well? How important is an inventory system that handles lot tracking and UOM conversions? Are payroll, project accounting, price lists and/or delivered freight management important? Start by asking yourself what features are most important to you and write them down. Once you have your list, prioritize it. Once you have a prioritized list it can serve as the requirements to filter each food ERP software you research through.
  2. Consider The Base: The second step in determining what type of ERP software your food business needs is considering the software infrastructure your business needs for it to be effective. Do you need your ERP software to be cloud based or web based to be most effective for your business? Don’t know? Review your food ERP software hosting options at this step to determine what your business needs. Still unsure? Keep doing your research on the differences between cloud-based and web-based ERP and if you still can’t determine the “base” that makes the most sense for you, add this to your list of questions to ask ERP providers that you come upon in your research.
  3. Consider The Business: The third step in picking a food ERP system is to consider the business – or in the other words, the industry you’re in. Look for the answers to these questions in your hunt:
    • Does the ERP software specialize in food manufacturing? Does it specialize in your niche market such as Alaska Seafood, Fruit and Vegetable, Aquaculture or Primary Food Processing?
    • Do the features of the software (beyond the basics) support the daily tasks I do in my role? As an Alaska Seafood Processor, does the ERP software support fisherman accounting? As a Fruit and Vegetable Processor or Aquaculture Processor, does the ERP software support grower accounting? As a Primary Food Processor, does the ERP software support safety and quality assurance with lot tracking?
    • Does the ERP software integrate with industry-specific tools I use? For example, as an Alaska Seafood Processor I need software that integrates with eLandings for my Fish Tickets so I need to know if the software can do that.
    • Does the software team implementing this ERP system have experience in my industry? Do they understand my needs, have a proven track record supporting my industry and speak my language?
  4. Consider The Bonus: The fourth and final step in narrowing down your search for the best food ERP system is to consider the bonus you’d be getting beyond the software – the people. When you select an ERP system you’re entering into a partnership with the software, but what about the team behind the technology? Be sure to explore the business relationship you’d be entering by choosing that software. For example, with NorthScope, you’re getting a business partnership with a team that will not let you fail, even if you want to as we want to help make your company better, even beyond our software. Our partnerships include a high level of communication (we think the best partnerships do) and you have the ability to influence the software development as we continue to add features to make our software and your business better.