The past several years have been tumultuous for the food and beverage distribution industry. Mass consolidation at every level has made for a tougher market, with challenges on seemingly every front. Here are the top 5:
1. Understanding Demand
Incomplete or faulty demand projections can be disastrous. Distributors need rock-solid reports that detail where demand is coming from. More importantly, this demand data has to be easily available across the company so managers and supply chain partners can access it and make quick, strategic decisions based on it.
2. Controlling Inventory and Costs
The food and beverage industry is extremely time-sensitive: many products need to ship and be in store by a certain date or they’re useless. So distributors must have a highly visible and effective system to control and monitor inventory data in real-time. This type of system also helps managers make better purchasing decisions that’ll reduce inventory costs while also moving time-sensitive products quickly and effectively.
3. Managing Accounts Receivables More Effectively
During start-up and slow months, many distribution companies will often be pressured to hand out “deals” with better terms for buyers. This can impact cash flow severely and make distributors fall behind in paying sales reps or suppliers. So managing accounts receivables can quickly make the difference between staying afloat or sinking fast.
4. Optimizing Delivery Schedules and Routes
To stay competitive and reduce waste, distributors within the food and beverage industry should be constantly seeking more effective means for delivering inventory to end-retailers and reducing expenditures on fuel costs, as well as labor costs involved in loading, unloading, and (depending on the distributor) merchandising.
One effective way to achieve scheduling and route optimization is to use modern communication technology and tracking equipment. New technologies enable distributors to be more responsive to supplier and vendor demands by streamlining interactions and enabling partners to make quick changes to their scheduled deliveries. Some distributors may even consider offering discounts reflective of inventory they’re trying to unload in a given area to further optimize delivery schedules.
5. Create More Collaborative Solutions
The food and beverage industry requires lots of input from a variety of players, while transparency and quick action are needed to succeed. Implementing effective software communication tools will enable a smoother transaction of products between manufacturers, warehouses, and retailers so that everyone within the supply chain is best able to meet customer demands on time.
Solve These Challenges in One Shot
A simple shift to Microsoft Dynamics AX—the premier ERP software solution—can solve the challenges that food and beverage distribution companies face. Contact the implementation experts at AlfaPeople, a premier Global Microsoft Dynamics Inner Circle Partner.
How AlfaPeople Can Help
AlfaPeople specializes in adapting Microsoft’s leading-edge ERP and CRM software to the needs of companies of all sizes around the world. Dynamics AX not only automates key processes like inventory and shipping, it gives you real-time customer data you can use to spike sales by reaching customers more effectively.
To get a quick sense of how Dynamics AX can power up your processes to cut costs, improve efficiency and ramp up sales, contact us here.