UK Food Manufacturers Are Overcoming Challenges with ERP

Posted by Glynn Williams on 22 Nov


Within the food industry, food manufacturers in the UK are facing a unique set of challenges that require innovative solutions. Supply chain disruptions stemming from strikes, wars, animal diseases, and labour shortages have forced industries to adapt and rethink their approaches. In this blog article, we will explore the changes food manufacturers are making to overcome these obstacles and cater to the changing demands of consumers. Additionally, we will delve into the role of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software in streamlining operations during these challenging times.


Supply Chain Disruptions

  • R&D for Recipe Development: To cope with supply chain disruptions and shortages of specific ingredients, food manufacturers are investing in Research and Development (R&D) to formulate new recipes using available resources. This includes creative ways to make the most of what's in stock or available, resulting in exciting and unique products. AI is also taking centre stage in predicting and enhancing these attributes for diverse food products. It has the ability to suggest ingredient ratios to match taste profiles and offers healthier substitutions while preserving flavour.

  • Strategic Bulk Purchasing: Given the uncertainty surrounding supply chains, manufacturers are adopting a strategy of bulk purchasing to stockpile essential ingredients and materials. This proactive approach ensures a continuous production flow even during times of uncertainty.

  • Extended Shelf Life Technologies: To address the need for longer storage times, manufacturers are exploring innovative preservation techniques. This includes advances in packaging technology and food processing methods that extend the shelf life of their products without compromising quality or taste.


Labour Shortages and Changing Consumer Preferences

  •  Automation and Robotics: Faced with labour shortages, many are turning to automation and robotics to streamline production processes. This not only reduces the reliance on human labour but also improves efficiency and consistency in manufacturing.

  • Sustainable Practices: As consumers become increasingly eco-conscious, manufacturers are adapting their practices to produce more sustainable products. This includes sourcing ingredients responsibly, reducing waste, and adopting eco-friendly packaging options.

  • Plant-Based Revolution: A significant shift in consumer preferences is the growing demand for plant-based products. resulting in a wide range of plant-based alternatives.

  • Transparency and Clean Labels: Consumers are now more interested in knowing what goes into their food. Manufacturers are responding by providing transparent information and adopting clean label practices, avoiding unnecessary additives and preservatives.

  • Health and Wellness Focus: With health in mind, manufacturers are reformulating products to meet the demand for healthier options. This includes reducing sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats in their products.

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ERP Software Solutions

In these challenging times, ERP software has emerged as a lifeline for many manufacturers. Here are a few ways in which ERP solutions can help:

  • Improve, traceability & compliance: Helping food manufacturers to track the movement of food products throughout the supply chain, with full batch traceability, preventing food contamination and recalls, and ensuring full compliance with industry regulations and standards.
  • Increase visibility, efficiency and productivity: Automating manual tasks like order processing and inventory management not only saves time but also allows employees to concentrate on more strategic responsibilities. With a comprehensive view of the entire supply chain, manufacturers can easily identify any potential bottlenecks and make well-informed decisions to further streamline operations.
  • Manage labour shortages: By tracking employees' hours and productivity. This information can be used to identify areas where labour can be saved, or reallocated.
  • Production planning provides real-time insights into demand, allowing manufacturers to adjust their production schedules accordingly, whilst keeping a close eye on stock levels and expiry dates, optimising ingredient usage
  • Enhance customer service: By seamlessly integrating all departments and providing customers with up-to-the-minute information on their orders and shipments, manufacturers can efficiently handle any customer inquiries, resulting in a much better customer experience.
  • Business analytics Manufacturers can get an overview of all inventory levels and ingredient costs, trends and shortages. This information can be used to develop new recipes that are both profitable and appealing to consumers.


The challenges facing food manufacturers in the UK are daunting, but they are rising to the occasion with innovation and adaptability. From reimagining recipes to embracing sustainable practices and leveraging ERP software, these companies are not just surviving but thriving in a rapidly changing landscape. As the industry continues to evolve, the ability to adapt and innovate will be crucial for long-term success.

ERP software can be a valuable tool for food manufacturers who are looking to adapt to the challenges they are facing. By implementing ERP software, food manufacturers can improve their efficiency, productivity, and profitability. They can also improve their food safety, compliance, and customer service. if you would like to learn more download our food and drink brochure below

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Topics: Food Manufacturing

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