Managers in the food manufacturing industry are faced with the ongoing challenge of lowering costs and increasing revenue. Many are pressed for time to achieve this.
Because most of their products are perishable and have a much shorter shelf than other manufacturing industries, it is critical that food manufacturers implement the most efficient solutions with the smallest margin for error. Today we’ll discuss three simple ways BI can help to accomplish these goals.
Efficiency on management level
Managers have many day-to-day responsibilities and not enough hours in a day. Trying to accomplish their myriad of tasks can be difficult. However, using a quality BI tool like Phocas presents many solutions for improving efficiency and saving time.
For instance, preparing for a meeting traditionally means waiting for IT to generate the necessary reports. The wait for these reports can take days, by which time the information is most likely outdated. Custom reports can add further delay if they need to be refined a few times before reaching the manager’s desk. With BI, reports can be generated by anyone at any time in just a few simple clicks. Just pull up the relevant data for the department or customer you’re meeting and you’re prepared without delay.
Also, BI offers managers real-time, lightning fast access to data to make strategic planning faster and more effective. Managers are able to follow their chain of thought through and spot trends in their data. This way, managers can take action on opportunities and resolve a potential challenge before it becomes a time-consuming problem.
Lastly, with Phocas’ features such as the ability to share reports and collaborate with others within the software, the result is clear, consistent, and efficient communication. By improving efficiency, fewer hours are devoted to day-to-day tasks, problems can be averted, and overall productivity is increased. This translates to more time devoted to growing your business without sacrificing precious time with family and friends.
Avoid dead stock
Food manufacturers have the unique challenge of managing perishable products with a relatively short shelf life. There is a delicate balance between under and overstocking their warehouses. Overestimating the need for a product can quickly lead to dead stock, a very costly mistake.
BI provides managers with the ability to quickly visualize stock turns and identify slow moving stock. With real-time updates, you can slice and dice data, as needed, for accurate forecasting and streamlined inventory management. Now inventory managers can take action to return slow moving stock before it becomes dead stock or to quickly order key ingredients before they run out.
For example, a manufacturer may produce a product that requires fish filets and flour. With BI, a manager can see in real time that their supply of flour is running low. By looking at sales trends, the manager can make the decision to order more flour before their existing supply runs out.
Increase sales figures
Healthy sales figures are dependent on both customer acquisition and the retention of existing customers. Understanding customer needs is critical to offering products that sell. Traditionally, this may require research, along with a fair bit of intuition.
With years of experience, many sales professionals have developed strong intuition, and while this is valuable, fact-based decisions have higher success rates. For example, a new customer is likely to purchase a similar range of products as an existing customer if they have comparable customer profiles. BI gives you the insights to pick up on this.
Additionally, with a BI tool like Phocas, you are able to drill down into your data to uncover new sales opportunities for your existing customers. Let’s say you manufacture frozen meats and gravy, it makes sense that your customer would purchase both. You may have other customers who purchase one unit of gravy to five units of frozen meat. However, your data may reveal another customer is only purchasing one unit of gravy to 15 units of frozen meat. Now you can send in a sales rep to investigate. Perhaps your customer isn’t aware of your full range of products, or they may be purchasing most of their gravy from a competitor. Your sales rep now has the opportunity to personally connect with the customer and improve sales.
Achieving greater efficiency and productivity, reducing loss, and identifying new sales opportunities are just a few ways you can use BI to improve your business. To learn more, download our free eBook: Food and Beverage KPIs and Metrics to Know & Measure