A typical company in the food industry starts small, sometimes even as a one-man-business, where one enterprising individual can maintain an overview over all the processes that take place within his or her company. In the transition from a one-man-band to a small company, the need for support will quickly become apparent in the form of accounting software, for example. Software of this nature has significant limitations for a company that truly wishes to streamline and optimise complex processes such as procurement, production, sales and financial reporting.
Processes of this nature are closely linked to one another, implying that software that only targets one of these corporate processes is far from ideal. Optimal inventory control demands that both the procurement and sales functions are closely aligned to one another. This streamlining of functions requires that information about procurement, sales and other business processes can be collected, shared and retrieved throughout the company. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) makes this possible.
Put simply, ERP means integration of an organisation's most important business processes into one management system. To be specific, this means that a sales employee has access to the same information and the same information system as somebody from Procurement. This is the best way to prevent different corporate departments from operating in isolation from one another. This prevents island automation resulting in the various corporate functions or departments being unable or barely able to connect to one another. Due to the fact that all employees have access to information about other departments and business functions, they can use this information in their day-to-day work. ERP software supports employees in this quest by providing modules aligned to the specific requirements of a company and its employees.
A company can enjoy a wide range of benefits if a single system can collect, share and retrieve information. Not only can business processes be better aligned in this manner, but ERP simplifies the task for employees of entering data and fulfilling other administrative tasks. This results in the data used throughout the company always being up to date, so decisions taken by the company are not made on the basis of outdated information. Thanks to ERP software, internal and external requests for data are easier to answer. In conclusion, customer satisfaction can be improved because the sales department - thanks to its unlimited access to recent data - is able to keep customers abreast of accurate information and forward relevant information to specific customers.