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How to accelerate growth in your food and beverage business with NetSuite.

Tiernan OConnor
August 26th, 2020

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The food and beverage industry has been hit hard in 2020. The need to be adaptable and pivot quickly has become a requirement to do business this year, and some businesses have managed it better than others.   With this challenge comes the opportunity to pivot and refine operations, so your food and beverage business is in a strong position when restrictions ease.

The ability to change and scale requires a real-time overview of key information. Typically, as a small business scales, they add the processes as they are needed. However, this process not only increases risk and errors but also leads to wasted time and resources being pooled into the wrong areas. The solution: adopting NetSuite to grow your food and beverage business. With thousands of IT professionals on hand to guide you through different phases of development, you gain the support you need to see your business succeed in these challenging times. Wondering if you could benefit? Read on to see where your business currently sits, and where you want it to grow.

Red Flags For Your Business

Often, when we get so caught up in the way our business operates, we are unable to see It with fresh eyes. Complex business process have been built on for years, across areas such as financial management, revenue management, fixed assets, procurement, order management, billing and more. Instead of a single, streamlined system, you are limiting your business with manual processes, lack of real-time data, errors and poor visibility, which make it harder to make important business decisions.

Consider whether these five business issues apply to your business:

1.It’s difficult to find out what’s really happening across the business in real-time

Many systems are designed to offer you data at the end of each month. These days, consolidated views and real-time reporting are the difference between thriving and barely surviving. If you have team members wasting time trying to find spreadsheets and out of date management report, then it’s a sign that your reporting isn’t currently meeting your organisation’s needs.

2. Manual process are used to enter and reconcile data across systems

Entering data manually may have worked for you in the past, but as you grow, you are wasting time and resources on outdated manual systems. Wondering if this applies to your business? Ask yourself the following questions. Are your sales orders, order entry and invoicing paper based? Are approval processes slow and disjointed? Does financial consolidation take time? Are sales forecasting and budgeting processes relying on guesswork? These are signs your company is ready to transition to a single-platform solution.

3. Sales are lost because employees can’t get information where it is needed fast enough

More and more people are shopping online, and they expect immediate responses, from real-time stock levels, to confirmation schedules and more. If you are unable to provide this level of responsiveness, you are currently missing out of a huge portion of your audience. Take a look out for some warning signs in your business, such as customer service is failing because agents don’t have up-to-date information, stock levels don’t show in real-time, customers don’t have access to self-service information on your website, customer information can’t be easily collected or filtered for sales campaigns.

These are all key capabilities that allow you to gain and retain customers.

4. More accounting is done outside of the financial system than in it

It is easy to run out of headroom when you have more customers, vendors or inventory items than many standalone financial systems can practically handle. Greater transaction volumes and speed are the keys to your success. If your finance staff members are using several applications to do their job, or it’s too hard to add new sales channels, product lines or locations, or you can’t adapt to changing business conditions, then it’s highly probable you have reached your financial system’s limit.

5. The business spends too much time worrying about technology instead of focusing on business results

Every time you add a new layer of business software, the underlying systems infrastructure becomes more complicated and inflexible. NetSuite, the first cloud ERP, is real-time and always current. Its native and the overhead of maintaining an underlying technology layer is non-existent. NetSuite is designed to stay up-to-date with the state of the art in business automation, giving companies the tools needed to stay ahead of the competition and to seize new opportunities as they emerge and grow. So how do you know if it is time to update?

  • System upgrades and improvements are pushed to the back burner, due to the associated cost and disruption.
  • Backups, server failures, malware and data security are constant worries.
  • A major deterrent to investing in new technology is the time required to see a return on investment.

How To Embrace The Cloud

Recognising that your current systems aren’t working is the first step to future success. While money is currently tight as you navigate your way through the current recession, it’s the best opportunity to see where you are wasting resources in your business, as well as missing out on key sales opportunities. Of course, moving to the cloud is a big step for any business. Here are some key ways to ease that transition:

  • Reduce the burden on limited IT resources. Growing companies typically have limited IT resources. Cloud solutions eliminate the need to maintain on-premise hardware and software. The cloud also enables mobility, since workers can access the application anytime, anywhere and from any device. Cloud solutions are also highly scalable, allowing growing companies to accelerate growth without needing to invest capital in technology or add additional resources.
  • Consider a suite. Rather than perpetuating the “applications hairball”, many companies decide to adopt an integrated product suite. A single cloud-based platform eliminates the need to piece together different solutions. An integrated suite makes managing data much easier. Dual data entry is eliminated, since all information is stored in a single, centralized data repository. A suite solution enables companies to start with the basics and add functionality as needed—for example, new revenue management requirements, recurring billing, etc.
  • Take time to understand the business needs and key business requirements. Before selecting a cloud solution, be sure your organisation understands its business and key business processes. Growing companies often believe they are saving money by not spending the time needed to understand and capture business requirements. Unfortunately, this can lead to selecting the wrong solution.
  • Hire a partner to help with data migration. Regardless of what platform a company adopts, it can be helpful to find a suitable partner who can help migrate data and perform checks and balances before the system goes live. This approach will ensure that the transition to a new system is consistent with business processes and objectives.

Your Food and Beverage company is currently facing a number of external challenges that can’t be controlled. This makes it the best time to fix up your internal processes to make sure they have you on the right path to success, and aren’t limiting you in anyway. Moving your company to NetSuite allows for more efficient and effective business operations—essential for growing an organisation and enabling employees to react to client and organisational needs in real-time.