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Chefs all around the world use an approach to cooking called mise en place, or “everything in its place.” This is supposed to make the cooking process easier by pre-measuring and placing all the ingredients that will be required to cook a meal within reach. This is meant to make the cooking experience streamlined, much like the Intelligent Enterprise aims to make running a business an integrated flow of processes that engage seamlessly. 


To keep track of any link in the production chain within a food and beverage business, it’s imperative to have a suite of systems that help keep all data and information in one place. These solutions keep the business up to date on the progress of the supply chain in real time, with data that can be accessed through any smart device. This is not only nice to have but necessary. It’s how all food and beverage operations should function today to remain competitive in the post-digital transformation age. 

 

Murphy’s Law & Food

If you distribute ingredients, then you understand the importance of timely deliveries. Issues with spoilage and the domino effect when something goes wrong in the journey of food items can create recall problems and serious logistical headaches. If you’re in the area of inventory then you know how critical it is to have an eye over all items, especially those with shorter shelf lives. For those that deal with carrying food items across borders, there’s a whole other component of declaration statements through customs among others. With so many moving parts in the foodservice industry, there are plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong and cause serious loss of money. And chances are that if there’s room for something to go wrong, then at some point it’s likely to do just that.


For example, a routine delivery of vegetables can be stranded and delayed due to bad weather. Does your solution take into account weather and geospatial data to help you prevent problems instead of going into “putting-out-fires” mode? 

 

Cut Everything but the Corners

The food and beverage industry is one of the few industries that cannot increase profits by using less costly ingredients. By sacrificing food quality for profits there will almost always be a noticeable change. So how does any food and beverage company reach better margins when the main component of their business needs to remain at the rate set by the providers? Intelligent enterprise. 


There is a lot of buzz in the industry about robotics, however, this is just peripheral to the software foundation that you use to manage your entire business. It all starts with the right intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, which will help everything else to fall into place. The perfect software should be configured to cater specifically to the needs of your sector and business, meaning operations can operate at the highest levels of efficiency. What makes intelligent business management systems stand out, however, is their utilization of revolutionary technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and predictive analytics among others.

Some of the features you should look for in an intelligent ERP system include:

 

  • Traceability: you need to be able to track your batches and use the data to optimize quality control. 
  • Automation: reducing manual processes means saving resources and money – freeing up time to concentrate on mission-critical aspects of the business.
  • Real-time visibility: a real-time overview of products and processes is a must for any industry, but especially important for foodservice. 
  • Quality process management: processes need to be in place for every step of the way to guarantee that customers get the best product available. 
  • International customs requirements: ingredients are sourced from all over, and your software solution needs to be able to manage declarations and quality control across borders. 
  • Third-party integration: when choosing a software, it’s hugely important to make sure it’s compatible with vendors and the data can flow back and forth seamlessly. 

 


Prep & Post

The best thing the Intelligent Enterprise can provide you is a solid plan of action for the journey of your products. When it comes to food, there are two phases to help you establish the supply chain plan to guarantee the journey is seamless: prep (possible hurdles and what can be done to fix an eventual issue) and post (if something were to happen, what’s the protocol/backup?). 


In phase 1, preparation and prevention are key. It’s not only about ingredients arriving at their destination in a timely manner but about helping to prevent contamination of products. Phase two is about response and recovery. It’s important to have a strategy in place in the case of customer complaints and a backup plan for worst-case scenarios. 


Food is a commodity that is often taken for granted due to the constant presence in our daily lives. The truth is that “from farm to table” is only made possible with serious technology in place, and the Intelligent Enterprise is the best opportunity we have to make it even better. If you are ready to step into the era of the intelligent enterprise and better manage your food and beverage company, contact us.  
 





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