Manufacturing ERP: Everything Your Business Needs to Know

Whether you’re a manufacturer looking to replace outdated software, switch to a new provider, or you’re just starting out on your ERP journey, selecting and implementing a broad-reaching system can feel like a high stakes commitment.  

To help you tackle the challenge of investing in or upgrading your ERP software, we’ve created this guide to manufacturing ERP: what is it, when do you need it, what should it do, and when is it time to upgrade to a more advanced ERP solution? We’ve got the answers.  

What Is ERP for Manufacturing? 

Manufacturing enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a software solution designed to help manufacturers digitize and automate your business operations. So, you can run your enterprise more efficiently, save time and money, and increase your accuracy and speed of production.  

One of the major reasons that manufacturers invest in ERP technology is to leverage more data, to manage critical aspects of the manufacturing process, utilize resources effectively and make stronger strategic decisions. 

There are many different types of manufacturing ERP solution available on the market – we’ll talk about this in greater depth in a moment. However, most ERP platforms include a core set of features that support front-office, back-office and shop floor operations, including: 

  • Order management
  • Inventory management  
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) 
  • Warehouse management  
  • Supply chain management  
  • Finance and accounting  

Some ERP for manufacturing solutions will also include business intelligence (BI) reporting tools, to help you analyse performance and progress.  

What Types of Manufacturing ERP Are Available?    

There are three different types of ERP solution available to manufacturers.  

  1. Generic ERP Software, which can be used by companies in multiple sectors – not just manufacturing. These offer most of the features we mentioned above, but they’re not designed for manufacturing use. So, while it may be tempting to choose generalist software if you’ve never had an ERP system before, you will miss out on valuable functionality if you choose to buy generic software. And if your business is using a general manufacturing ERP solution already but if it’s not delivering the specific functionality you need, then it’s time to upgrade to something more specific. 
  1. Broad Manufacturing ERP Systems that can be used in any sub-sector. These provide more value than generic ERP software because they include features built specifically for the needs of manufacturers. For example, tools for managing shop floor process changes, and machine maintenance scheduling capabilities. 

As we mentioned, general manufacturing ERP delivers more value than a software designed to work in any industry. However, if you decide to go with a generic or broad ERP system, you could end up needing to bolt-on additional software or customize your platform to get the exact functionality you need – which makes deploying and running your ERP software more complex, and impacts ROI.  

For true investment value, your business should be looking for ERP technology that delivers functions specifically for your sector. Speaking of which…  

  1. Industry-Specific Manufacturing ERP Solutions such as process manufacturing ERP, discrete manufacturing ERP, and food manufacturing ERP. These are the most popular choices for manufacturing organizations, as they provide you with specific features needed to run your business efficiently. For example:

Process manufacturing ERP software includes formula/recipe management modules, to calculate and scale ingredient quantities for batch manufacturing control. Process ERP systems also include lot traceability, to support accurate labelling, industry compliance and quality control processes, and help with product recalls. 

Discrete or industrial manufacturing ERP software enables manufacturers to turn quotes and estimates into a bill of materials (BOM), to streamline the sales process and accurately match upcoming orders with component availability.  

Food ERP software includes complete traceability tools, quality assurance capabilities, built-in compliance and food safety functionalities and inventory management features that reduce perishable food wastage. It also facilitates automated real-time data capture to ensure the integrity and accuracy of your records. 

We offer a suite of industry-specific ERP solutions including process manufacturing software, industrial manufacturing software, food and beverage ERP and more. And we have extensive experience working with manufacturing organizations in a diverse range of sectors including automobiles, beverages, chemicals, cosmetics, electronics, fabricated metals manufacturing, food manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. 

Combining our extensive industry experience and technical expertise, we deliver advanced solutions to help you conquer your most pressing challenges and ensure you continue to thrive as your industry evolves. 

For further information on Dynamics 365 Business Central Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on, or visit our website         


How a food specific ERP will increase your business’s success

Keeping up with a rapid pace of change is a necessity for businesses operating in the food manufacturing industry. For your food and beverage manufacturing company to succeed now and in the future, it’s imperative that you put the right systems in place to keep the organization agile and as prepared as possible to face what tomorrow may bring. 

This process of modernization and implementation of purpose-built platforms is commonly referred to as “digital transformation.” There are several different kinds of software that can be part of such an initiative, but the one that is considered indispensable and can act as your technological foundation going forward is an ERP solution. 

Cloud Deployments for Maximum Flexibility 

In times like these, flexibility is crucial, and one of the best ways to achieve the level you need is with a cloud deployment of an advanced food manufacturing ERP platform. With your employees able to access the system no matter where they are with just a web browser and WiFi connection, you’ll be able to pivot as the need arises and react to new developments that would otherwise interrupt your daily food production processes. 

Formula and Inventory Management  

The recipe and formula management functions of a food manufacturing ERP can empower your research and development teams with the ability to tweak, iterate and perfect novel offerings that meet emergent demands. Knowing you’ll also be working with new suppliers and securing stock of the materials necessary for these new creations, you’ll also benefit from the comprehensive inventory control features that an advanced solution like Aptean F&B ERP can provide.  

Scalability to Allow for Growth 

Knowing that the deployment of an organization-wide platform can be costly and takes many months—if not years—to accomplish, you need to find a system that can last and accommodate your company’s scope as it expands. It must be able to scale with your growth and allow for the introduction of new supply chain partners, products, staff and processes. 

Food manufacturing ERP are designed with this in mind and can ramp up as your operations do, allowing for the incorporation of new lines, roles and departments. With a fully configurable backend that’s built based on the knowledge that the industry is in constant flux and no two businesses face the exact same circumstances, you’ll know your technology can adjust as necessary and will continue to serve for the foreseeable future. 

Checking All the Boxes 

Identifying what sets a particular ERP product apart from another will be of great importance in your selection process. You know that you’re looking for a system that was built for your industry, but pay special attention to the sector- and segment-specific features that any given package offers, including catch weight management for meat and seafood companies or consignment tracking for fresh produce suppliers. 

Aptean F&B ERP has a full suite of such specialized tools, and we also offer the kind of cloud implementations discussed above for a lightweight approach that’s perfect for today’s world. Then, there’s the additional advantage of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central framework of the platform, which lends it familiarity for many users and provides an intuitive, user-friendly interface. 

For further information on Aptean F&B Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on, or visit our website        


Choosing the right software solutions for your global food business

Implementing an ERP platform for international businesses can be a challenge. Localization? Compliance? Global expansion? Selecting the right platform is not an easy task and could make the difference on where your business stands in the next 10 years. These are the main features to look for. 

One single, global IT solution 

Aptean F&B connects all your systems together; finance, management, business operations, supply chain visibility and so on. This means that all processes, staff, and various locations all work in one system and under the same informational structure. Reporting can be a pretty challenging task that impacts analytics and therefore, your decision-making process. Having a global IT solution creates an up to date and accurate representation on where you company is at, and where it’s going. And this system saves time and money for your business. 

International compliance for your food business 

International compliance creates the main challenge for an international food business. With access to complete food quality and safety and tracking and tracing capabilities, your business needs not to worry about call backs or missing the compliance mark, which could possibly lead to international fees and a blow to the company’s image. 

Standard food specific software 

Your business is going international and growth is steadily happening. To support your businesses’ future vision, when choosing your ERP system, you need to consider modular, systematically expandable approach. Standardized or customizable functionalities are rolled out and integrated in no time in your software platform. 

All data at your fingertips in one system 

Having multiple data inputs from multiple sources can hinder your overview on analytics. With having all data under one software system, you centralize all information under one platform, in a single system. So, you don’t have to worry about how these systems “talk” to each other. Increase the effectiveness of reports without needing external experts to collector and interpret data. 

All locations in one system 

Aptean F&B for Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help you optimize your business processes so that your food company can fully benefit of growth opportunities. Are your locations spread out throughout the globe? We can guide you through all steps of the implementation systems, from business scan to implementation, training and support. This ensures one system, with localized options for all locations. 


For further information on Aptean F&B Software please contact allonline365 on +27 (21) 205 3650, or email us on, or visit our website       

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