What do your customers actually want? This age-old question can be easily answered by capitalizing on your unique food and beverage software stored data.
Consumers are tough to please, and with food and beverage options ever increasing, the competition for products is staggering. Past techniques – for example banking on health claims alone on packaging – now no longer make products stand out. So the big question is how do you make sure that your product is the one customers reach for?
Trend awareness: Convenience and health
Whilst shoppers are choosing the healthier option where they can, different additional factors come into effect for their food and beverage decisions. Time is a massive element when it comes to shopper considerations – ensuring that you prioritize the convenience and health benefits of a food product greatly outweighs a time-intensive product that takes too long to cook and eat. Cost is also a large consideration in the decision-making process – consumers will always seek value for money, but in these cash-strapped times of high unemployment this demand is even higher, and should be a big consideration for any food or beverage manufacturer.
Conversely, people with jobs are often working longer hours, which in turn mean they may have more money to spend on consumable products but far less time for deciding, preparing or even eating.
Health Benefits Not Just Health Jargon
With an increased need for convenience, your products have to get customers attention from the first glance. Suggestions have been made that rather than simple health claims and pointing out the various benefits of food and beverage products it is more meaningful to make your product their final choice. As an example, instead of highlighting the Vitamin D content, use the packaging to explain the benefit to bone health. Van Den Bos suggests further that ‘communicating the benefit, not the health claim is a must’ and utilizing a custom made ERP software solution will help you meet the demands of such customer trends effectively. This leads us to the question of how can a food and beverage ERP software help manufacturers keep ahead of their own unique trends?
By taking a look into your food and beverage software system, you can easily explore where demand for the product is at an increase, and to realize the changing buying trends of your customers. Managing your ERP data in an effective way will enable you to draw on these undeniable facts and help you to create more targeted strategies and will result in smoother processes. A wonderful example of utilizing food software and data stored to react to trends has been quite recently observed by the manufacturers of Weetabix. A British wheat crisis resulted in a massive upheaval for this popular product – instead of trying to find wheat elsewhere, all manufacture was stopped on their products. It was only then resumed when British wheat was available again, to respond to the UK customer demand not only fast, healthy and convenient food but British-sourced products as well. This ability to be able to monitor product supply and balance this manufacture with consumer demand was only possible by utilizing food industry software to quickly re-engineer business processes.
Utilizing food industry ERP software to effectively manage your data
Raw software stored information is completely useless unless it is properly managed. You can have vast amounts of information, but if there is no easy way to identify trends, or to distill purchasing fluctuations, from this data then it becomes very tricky to see how to make your products the customers’ first choice. The hard facts that are presented by data enable you to form a rational basis for innovation, whilst at the same time spotting potential opportunities or threats. A custom made food industry ERP software solution allows food and beverage manufacturers to notice exactly where and when their products are being purchased. As an example, if a certain food or beverage product is more popular online than in-store, it would then make sense to implement online offers to enhance value for money while still providing the convenience level consumers desire. A food industry ERP software system should easily be able to handle short-notice changes to promotions, such as online offers, where in the past a traditional spreadsheet-based solution simply would not be able to react fast enough in time for the next
Where and how should food manufacturing information be handled and funneled?
The potential of data and information can often be left untapped unless it is funneled to the correct people. Quite often, it is not your IT department who need this information it could be the sales manager or product developer or both, who need to see the differences in trends and customer shopping behavior. A food and beverage ERP software solution will enable your information to be accessed by the correct people when they need it. This will enable quicker responses to trends; potential problems and help create new opportunities, meaning food industry manufacturers can be on top of and respond better to customer demands.