Increasing consumer demands and changing trends have made planning around product life more difficult and, with increased regulations around quality and traceability, innovation is now critical for survival in the food and beverage industry over the years, says enterprise software solutions provider SYSPRO Africa MD Mark Wilson.
SYSPRO’s latest enterprise resource planning(ERP) software, released in July 2018, allows for capabilities specific to food and beverage customers to be leveraged, Sandton-based SYSPRO Africa product manager Deirdre Fryer tells Engineering News.
Software capabilities, such as product recalls and improved lot traceability management, are incorporated to enable food and beverage manufacturers to focus on what is important and let the system support their needs and requirements, she explains.
The food and beverage industry is the most important player in South Africa’s manufacturing industry, contributing 25% to total manufacturing activity, according to Statistics South Africa’s ‘Manufacturing: winners and losers of 2018’ report published in February this year.
Customer satisfaction should be the focus of any business to further unlock the potential of South African manufacturers, as it drives them to be agile, while aiming to reduce costs, increase revenue, streamline their supply chain and get products to customers faster than ever, adds Fryer.
Each SYSPRO Africa client in the local food and beverage industry, which comprises a 12% market share, has a plan to improve its automation and enhance its digitalisation journey, she says.
“In the food and beverage industry, the automation of mundane and repeatable tasks improves accuracy; drives efficiency; lowers risk, such as business financial risks and productivity risks; and is a key focus on any such journey.”
Fryer believes that the South African manufacturing sector needs to rethink how it can develop its personnel, as the digital transformation is here and changing business at a rapid rate.
“Companies need to invest in ways of bringing their personnel on board with their journey and be open to re-inventing jobs within the workforce to, for example, oversee the output of the production function rather than being responsible for executing the production function.
Technology is key to the future success of businesses. Companies need to invest in training to ensure that their employees are computer literate and tech savvy,” Fryer states.