Software Product or Industry Specific Solution?
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
In a world where we have too many choices and too little time, the obvious thing to do is just ignore stuff. - Seth Godin
As more innovative companies enter the food industry, demand for intelligent and customized business solutions are growing faster than ever. Gone are the days when food businesses tracked batch merchandising, inventory, compliance documents, and financial reports in Excel spreadsheets; sophisticated food distributors, importers, and manufacturers are faced with too many needs to risk managing their business offline. As teams grow larger and more remote, solutions accessible beyond a centralized office space become are becoming more and more necessary. But as a food business, do you really need a food and beverage industry specific ERP solution?
Staying with the same software you used as a $1M organization results in stagnant growth; if you expect your business to grow, it's crucial to adopt business systems you can grow into. However, choosing the right enterprise software solutions can be a daunting task. In fact, many companies simply choose to ignore the problem and stifle their business growth, thinking that they'll be able to expand later once their business as grown. And, really, we get it!
For obvious reasons, companies resist the change that comes with adopting and implementing new software. They've heard all the horror stories about failed ERP solutions and the negative impact it had on businesses. We've heard those stories too! Here at GoldFinch, we've talked to many clients who have experienced the pain of a growth project gone horribly wrong, and do you know what tends to be the primary culprit?
They didn't choose an ERP solution specifically designed for their needs.
Here are a few misconceptions that we've heard around choosing the best ERP system for your food and beverage business.
There are too many risks to switch ERP software solutions now!
As a business owner, you are well acquainted with risk—it comes with the territory! However, despite the many hours accounting teams, warehouse employees, and manufacturing plants waste rectifying your inventory and financial numbers on the back-end, many business owners still think their current solution is better than confusing their employees with a whole new software system. After all, it works, right?
But what happens when your books are off or you fail to meet a compliance requirement?
Makeshift solutions only work to a certain point before they hinder your company's growth. You may think your current solutions—like spreadsheets, Quickbooks, and endless email chains—are easier than a true ERP system could ever be. Maybe you even sat through a demo or two for an ERP solution, scared to admit that it intimidated and confused you. However, when an ERP system is developed specifically with your company's needs in mind, it can make managing your business more seamless than ever.
Our experience in the food industry means we're well aware of the hoops your organization has to jump through to remain compliant. One mistake could mean the end of your business, and it's crucial that you catch small issues before they become big messes. With a customized ERP solution, you can keep track of your processes from start to finish. In fact, our integrated Salesforce CRM system works flawlessly with multiple ERP solutions so you can track your product from the moment materials arrive at your plant to the moment your client receives their order and every step in between.
If you think it's risky to switch to a new ERP solution, just think about how risky it is to wait!
My team won't respond well to a new ERP system
It's easy for any company—no matter how small or young—to quickly become stuck in its ways. When you have a more traditional team, it can be frustrating and disheartening to consider the training necessary to implement a new process. We know that new systems take some getting used to, but our food industry-specific ERP system is designed to be easily adopted by any and every member of your team. Even remote team members and teams across multiple locations can quickly access the ERP and CRM solution when it is completely designed on the cloud!
Moving to the next level can be an intimidating process, and switching software can result in employee turnover. However, with our 3-month implementation plan and a nearly 100% adoption rate, we're confident we can help your team members integrate our custom ERP and CRM solution into their daily work. To accomplish this, we offer dedicated implementation support teams pre- and post-launch so your employees feel supported and empowered to adopt your new ERP solution. Many business owners underestimate the flexibility of their employees; providing them a chance to raise the bar can actually boost employee morale and can offer your company a unique opportunity to define company culture. Growth is all about changing with the tide, and preparing your employees to have an innovative, forward-thinking mindset will have a lasting impact on your company.
Teams are changing, and even small organizations are likely to have remote teams, salespeople in the field, and multiple locations. Virtual training options help every member of your team get up to speed with your new ERP solution. Plus, since our integrated CRM and ERP solutions are all created with through Salesforce, your team members can connect to the cloud to access and update real-time data no matter where they are, even on a tablet or cell phone! Our multi-tenant cloud solutions give your food business the freedom to expand no matter where your team grows.
Think about how many complaints you've heard about out of date inventory levels, off-schedule manufacturing dates, compliance concerns, and troublesome financial reporting. What if you had a real-time solution, available to teams across your organization, that allowed your teams to work together more collaboratively using the same data? A focused ERP and CRM solution lets you focus on company development rather than mediating disputes among your team leaders.
It takes too long to implement a new ERP solution
We've all heard the horror stories of software projects that never seem to end, costing more and more money to implement what you thought would be an easy and quick solution. Just the thought makes us shudder.
While it may seem easier to choose an “off the shelf” solution, paying for a partner company or consultant to implement can take just as long or longer than a custom solution. There are lots of ERP system providers, consultants, and implementation teams that provide complex, costly solutions without the skill or industry-specific knowledge to make them work for your food business. At GoldFinch, we think it comes down to integrity. We provide a dedicated implementation and launch team to each project so that we can provide a quick and reliable implementation timeline without cutting corners. We'll have the coffee brewing at 2 AM if it means delivering your ERP solution on time. That's our promise.
We create intuitive, affordable solutions that only offer the tools you need. Add on to your customized ERP solution as you grow; there's no need to pay for and implement a full suite of services you have no use for yet. Plus, there are no surprises when the bill comes—we take the time to determine your business needs well before we start implementation, so you won't see add-ons to your initial quote. Choosing what your company does and doesn't need can be challenging in the beginning, but working with an experienced team who understands your industry goes a long way to help you build a solution that serves your company.
How should you choose the best ERP solution for your food business?
At the end of the day, an ERP solution will not be the miracle or saving grace that transforms your company. However, if you approach your search for software with your current pain points in mind, finding the right ERP solution for you can feel like a sign from heaven. Not to mention, standardizing your processes goes a long way in protecting yourself against costly mistakes or paying your best people hours of overtime wages.
Before you start shopping for an ERP solution, notify your employees that a change is coming. Implementation only becomes more challenging when a software transition is unexpected, so be sure to communicate well in advance of planning your implementation. At the latest, employees should be notified of the upcoming transition and the impact it will have on their responsibilities as your solution is being developed.
While many ERP solutions might fit your needs, selecting an industry-specific ERP solution goes a long way for most organizations, particularly in the food and beverage industry. Choose a partner well versed in your industry to best determine what tools you need to thrive; a good partner will focus on what you actually need, not what they can upsell to you. Ask as many questions as you need to ensure that you know precisely what your solution is capable of.
Transitioning to new ERP software can be intimidating, but the process does not have to be overwhelming or cost-prohibitive. You want the best for your organization and its employees, and making a thoughtful ERP and CRM solution decision requires some intentional forethought about your goals, expectations, and pain points. With such a vast market, finding the right solution can feel like looking for a needle in a very large haystack. Armed with this information, however, you are well on your way to finding a practical software solution that helps your business thrive.
See if a customized GoldFinch ERP & CRM cloud solution is right for you. Request a demo today.