How tech can help your food & beverage business grow
The Food & Beverage sector is experiencing a major surge. The best performers are seeing strong demand and solid cash flows – and a real opportunity to scale up significantly in the coming months.
This can be a permanent change. If they do it right, Food & Beverage companies will see a consistent increase in market profile, profits, and company value.
But it won’t stick unless they get their IT right. If your Food & Beverage company is to grow and thrive, you need to improve IT, systems and digital strategies.
In our experience, there are 5 areas to focus on:
- Streamline processes.
Often this means simply ensuring that existing ERP systems are fully exploited:
a. Reduce time wasted on manual processes like rekeying and tinkering in Excel
b. Rollout unused or underused features (you may already have paid for!)
c. Retrain staff to ensure tech is properly used and processes followed
- Reduce product wastage – especially for perishables.
But maintain quality and quick response to retail demand by:
a. Improving demand forecasting and business intelligence
b. Enabling intelligent trend analysis
c. Efficiently controlling inventory, production, and warehousing processes
d. Utilising AI and machine-learning where practical
- Take an agile approach to online direct-to-customer sales.
Focus on flexibility and foresight:
a. Look for simple, low-cost entry points, perhaps based on Amazon as well as your own website, with minimal capital outlay
b. When cost-effective, integrate to ERP system to minimise rekeying and to provide accurate stock availability
c. Create a roadmap for warehousing and delivery options as the online business grows
- Optimise promotions and ramp up marketing.
Improve promotion ROI and establish brand with:
a. Wider use of marketing tools like social media and an email database
b. Better analysis tools to optimise planning, execution and analysis of promotions (investments in retail price reductions)
c. Improved integration and sharing between tech and marketing
d. Well-implemented CRM and data-driven marketing systems
- Seize new opportunities.
Keep testing new products and new markets!
a. Combine new and existing data to identify capacity and market demands
b. Combine costs and sales forecasts to model ROI
Our Principals are often asked to help scale up companies in the food and beverage sector, they’ve got the commercial and tech experience to help your company grow. If you’d like to know more about what we do, or even if you just have questions about Food & Beverage and IT, get in touch!
Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it “fractional”) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.