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Food and Beverage Digital Transformation – 5 Steps to Get You Started

If you’re just starting to think about digital transformation, you’re not alone. According to the RSM Digital Transformation Survey, 81% of executives are taking steps towards a digital transformation; 53% have expressed concernes about their companies ability to achieve their goals for transformation. With food and beverage digital transformation a top priority for many, but where should you start?

First one must have concrete goals for a digital transformation. Identify the areas that are broken and what is needed to fix them and have a good understanding of the future direction of your company. Is it time to compete with e-commerce? Are disparate systems holding you back? Are you looking to implement a mobile strategy? Do you need to improve collaboration and efficiencies? Is your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system holding you back? Whatever the areas of concern, determine what your goals are for digital transformation and develop your strategy for success. Here are 5 steps to get you started with your digital transformation:

  1. Gain Executive Buy-In for Your Digital Transformation
  2. Determine a Project Budget for Digital Transformation
  3. Create a Digital Transformation Team
  4. Establish Digital Transformation Goals
  5. Engage a Professional Consultant for Your Digital Transformation

Step 1: Gain Executive Buy-In for your Digital Transformation

Contrary to what many may think, a company’s digital transformation is not the sole responsibility of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). According to the RSM Digital Transformation survey, 91% of food and beverage company Chief Financial Officres (CFO) share in the responsibilty and leadership in transforming their businesses.

Start your project by educating your executive team on the benefits, goals and expected Return on Investment (ROI) of a digital transformation. If executives understand and agree that a digital  transformation will have a positive impact and strong ROI, then they will help promote the transition.

Step 2: Determine a Project Budget for Digital Transformation

Technology solutions and projects vary greatly in size, scope and overall costs. Knowing your budget will help you identify your solution faster by keeping you focused on solutions within your price range. When determining your budget, consider not only the software costs, but also costs associated with hardware, implementaion, customizations, training, support and maintenance.  If later in the process, your ‘wish list’ is greater than your budget, the option of a phased approach should be considered. Don’t spend time shopping for a Ferrari when you only have the budget for an economy car.

Step 3: Create a Digital Transformation Project Team

Once a budget has been agreed upon, a Digital Transformation Project Team must be selected. Teams should include representatives from all areas of the business that will be directly impacted by the new system. This includes everything from customer service to finance to the employees in the warehouse. Each functional area will have their own perspective of what’s needed to help their area be most productive. Your project team should also have a team leader to manage the project. Your team leader can be an internal representative or an outside consultant.

Step 4: Establish Digital Transformation Goals

Are you looking to streamline processes, gain business intelligence, reduce costs, expand into new product lines or markets, or through mergers and acquisitions? Or play in the e-commerce arena? Whatever your goals, digital transformation can help you take your business to the next level. Technology provides many opportunities for improvement, and if your team is not familiar with the benefits of a transformation, go online to do your homework. An experienced consultant can also help you further define your ERP project goals as they typically have the advantage of having worked with many different types of businesses within and outside of your industry.

Step 5: Engage a Professional Consultant for Your Digital Transformation

You may think you can save some money by doing managing your entire project in-house, but this is rarely the case. Hiring a professional consultant that understands some of your biggest industry challenges and is experienced in addressing them with with technology could offer you cost savings that you probably would not have realized on your own. Not only can an experienced consultant shorten the process, they can save you time and money. You can’t replace the knowledge gained from years of experience. Working with a professional means your system will be configured best to meet your requirements while addressing challenges unique to your company and incorporating proven industry best practices.

If you are looking to digital transformation to take your business to the next level, MIS can help. MIS hires seasoned consultants that have worked in a variety of industries, or for Epicor Software Corporation. Our team listens and works hard to understand the many details of your business so that we can bring you an Exceptional ERP™ experience. To learn more, contact MIS today!


Karen Beaulieu

Karen Beaulieu has worked in the ERP software industry for over 15 years. Having worked in a variety of roles from product development, channel and direct sales to marketing, Karen has a unique understanding and perspective of the ERP software industry. Currently Karen works in a marketing capacity for MIS Consulting & Sales and MIS Solutions Canada, ULC.

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