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 If you have team members wasting time trying to find spreadsheets and out of date management report, then it’s a sign that your reporting isn’t currently meeting your organisation’s needs.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Entering data manually may have worked for you in the past, but as you grow, you are wasting time and resources on outdated manual systems.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.


Adapting to the changing face of Food and Beverage Distribution with NetSuite.

Tiernan OConnor
July 15th, 2020

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The entire face of the food and beverage industry has changed in light of the Coronavirus.

With many hospitality businesses forced to close in line with Government restrictions and regulations, some took the opportunity to pivot their business model entirely. We have seen food and beverage distributors switching to direct to public distribution models, offering online ordering and more, changing the way things are done now and potentially into the future.

To facilitate and manage this level of change, it is essential to have the right technologies in place to ensure seamless integration of new business models within a company. A cloud-based ERP system like NetSuite offers scalability, agility and flexibility to support a business’ growth in real-time, with advanced functionality to achieve end goals. Let us explore this in more depth.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Now it is more important than ever to get a leg up on the competition and adapt to change. Running a successful food and beverage business demands constant change and innovation to comply with government restrictions as well as meeting the needs of customers.

This is precisely what we have witnessed with Coronavirus pandemic with businesses forced to pivot and adapt to these changing needs. Often, these changes are made quickly to stay ahead of the times, with IT managing numerous disparate systems in the background to effectively streamline all the processes. What companies need to be looking for is a reliable, integrated and easy-to-use ERP system like NetSuite.

NetSuite – as a true cloud software platform – is built to accommodate the largest enterprises down to the smallest startups and provides enterprise-level security for its entire customer base through economies of scale. With a cloud solution unifying core processes, personnel can focus more on delivering superior products, value and customer experiences, and less on their software.

New Challenges Faced By The Food and Beverage Industry

Unfortunately, many food and beverage distributors have the old legacy systems in place and cannot react to changing market conditions brought on by the Coronavirus. Here are just some of the challenges they face in the current business environment:

  • A wide range of disparate systems that limit visibility into business operations. With separate software systems for ingredient sourcing, fulfilment, inventory management, production planning, quality management, accounting and customer service, there is unnecessary complexity placed on the processes.
  • Strain on IT resources to get new systems up and running when required to pivot their business model due to the Coronavirus.
  • Limited ability to track and trace, making it hard to manage quality and industry standards in a new market.

With so many unknowns surrounding how this global pandemic is going to play out and how the industry will come out at the end of it, businesses need to address these challenges now to gain the upper hand.

Creating a Level Playing Field

Whether you are a startup business looking to grow or have been in the industry for years, the manual processes and point solutions offered through QuickBooks for accounting and Excel spreadsheets for inventory management will only get you so far without placing limitations.

NetSuite levels the playing field, allowing smaller contenders to match the biggest brands. With a firm command of costs, margins and availability throughout the supply chain, innovative brands can adapt and change within the industry at the same pace as their competitors.

Adapting With Cloud Technologies

Unlike conventional, on-premise software, cloud solutions make it easier to expand and reach customers through new and emerging channels. One NetSuite customer that has embraced the platform for growth is Sydney based coffee roaster, Seven Mile Coffee Roasters.

NetSuite’s commerce platform seamlessly links to the NetSuite cloud ERP platform making inventory management, the pick-pack-ship process, and customer service a coordinated effort on a single system. For businesses now pivoting to direct to public distribution models and offering online order, NetSuite’s seamless technology creates a path to sustainable, profitable growth and limitless scalability.

Here’s what they offer:

  • Real-time, 360-degree video of the business by seamlessly integrating financials/ERP, CRM, inventory management and eCommerce. This empowers companies to manage their interactions directly with consumers and other suppliers.
  • Improved demand-planning operations with integrated inventory and order management. This allows the business to build demand forecasts with real-time data to better meet customer demand across all channels.
  • Data flow to suppliers to ensure communication is open and accurate, allowing for improved quality management and traceability.
  • Management of all transactions and associated customer interactions regardless of the touchpoint i.e., mobile, catalogue, web or store.
  • Shared container, pallet, location, forecasting, scheduling and unit-level data with stakeholders, while collaborating on a common cloud platform.
  • Transparency, responsiveness, and visibility to customers through the front-end ecommerce solution.
  • Anywhere, anytime access for the entire workforce to business data, improving sales effectiveness and quality management.

Cloud Adoption

Cloud adoption to date has already been strong throughout the food and beverage distribution industry. Analyst firm, Forrrester Research, predicts,  “The public cloud market will rise to $191B by 2020—about 20% larger than our 2011 projection”. With this in mind, it’s more essential than ever for businesses in this industry to ensure they have the right technologies in place to remain both relevant and competitive in this ever-changing market that has taken a huge hit in recent months. Cloud technologies create a competitive landscape, offering a level playing field for businesses of all sizes to succeed.