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(Video) Drinks Industry & ERP Software Trends 2019 (Products & Services Roadmap)

24 June, 2019

Did you know, the global market for Cloud ERP software is set to hit the £40bn mark by the close of 2020? (ERP News) Do you know why? Because the ERP market is changing, and so is the drinks market.

Drinks businesses are trapped in what seems to be a never-ending race to the bottom in terms of pricing. Customers are demanding products with less calories and less alcohol content, meaning that outlets and wholesalers’ portfolios are having to adapt. One in five people now don’t drink any alcohol at all. Shrinking margins are putting more pressure on processes and staff. Companies are turning to technology to help keep margins stable, through automation and the use of business intelligence software.

Let’s take a look at some of the areas in which drinks businesses are adapting to software & industry changes and challenges.

Cloud ERP Software Trends
Last year, we saw the rising adoption of cloud-based ERP solutions. Some drinks businesses no longer need to maintain their own systems and have seamless access to upgrades. Cloud is helping drinks businesses to save time in terms of maintenance, and is allowing companies to pick from the available modules that are most important to them. Does a company with 20 staff necessarily need a HR module? They probably don’t, but some generic providers are charging them for it anyway. Companies are moving towards customisable platforms that are available through Cloud.

Data Analysis 
According to a 2018 ERP investigation by Panorama, 95% of businesses reported process improvements after implementing an ERP system. One of the main success factors was an ability to use accurate data to assist with demand planning and the tracking of sales activity. Drinks businesses are seeing the virtue of using data to drive decision making, turning what was once an anecdotal and paper-based environment, into a scientific decision-making machine that incorporates historical, live and forecasted data into the sales process.  The result? An accurate view of channel, product and rep performance for any given period of time and in any location.

GDPR  
Something that may not seem directly linked to the software and drinks markets, yet was one of the major talking points for business in 2018, was GDPR. Do you remember GDPR? The security of your own and your customers’ data is more important than ever before. Data breaches can result in huge, but avoidable fines. Not only does the data you store on your customers need to be accurate, it needs to be secure.

Software Adaptation 
So, how does software continue to adapt to changes in the market and customer demand? It can only adapt when those building and maintaining it continue to hire the best people, and observe and react to industry challenges. A response to industry challenges and proof of software planning can be found in a products & services roadmap. This should be common-place with all software providers.

Such a roadmap is the result of hundreds of hours on the telephone to customers, hundreds of emails and dozens of site visits that give guidance to developers and product managers when they’re committing to research and development projects for the year ahead.

A roadmap helps to dedicate internal resources, manage projects, and holds ERP providers accountable to every stakeholder, both internal and external. The transparency afforded helps customers to plan ahead too. When you look at a roadmap, you should get an idea of what’s happening now and next, what’s been recently completed, and an indication of future ideas.

Gaina Software has our own Products & Services Roadmap! Every product on the Roadmap is developed in relation to industry trends, customer demand and our own internal expertise.

Let’s take a look at just some of the products that we’ve created, and are creating, to help drinks businesses thrive in current and future markets.

Cloud ERP Software
Companies want to reduce maintenance costs and reduce their IT burden. They want easy access to upgrades and they want to select the modules they feel are most appropriate for their business.  If disaster occurs, they need to know that their data is safe. With Gaina’s Cloud Replication provision, we can easily replicate all of a business’ data in an instant. Our Cloud technology offers a completely customisable experience with drinks industry-specific ERP software.

Data Analysis 
Data analysis is changing how, where, why and when drinks wholesale businesses sell their products. To ensure that users can instantly see product, promotion and channel success, we’ve developed Gaina View. Perfect for setting targets and forecasting. The data is pulled directly from our main ERP system without the need for manual data entry, helping to ensure accuracy in your reports.

Manual data entry is a leading cause of data inaccuracies, and therefore, poor business decisions.  To address one avenue of data inaccuracies, leading to poor analysis, we’re currently working on an EPOD project. Wholesalers and outlets will be able to track deliveries without the need for manual scanning of documentation, hundreds of times per week. Not only will delivery details and product movements be accurate, it could save dozens of hours spent on document scanning every week.

Drinks Industry Trends & GDPR 
As we mentioned earlier, end customers are more savvy in their purchasing. Many are wanting products with less alcohol content and less calories. To help combat and adapt to this trend, we’re rolling out an update to our existing mobile sales app, ORCA. The update comes with an Alternative Products tab, perfect for reps who want to retain accounts by offering healthier (or more profitable) alternatives.  The feature also comes in handy if you have a product that isn’t in stock, but you want to offer an something similar to an outlet.

To fight the race to the bottom in terms of pricing, our Profit Indicator helps ensure that reps only take profitable orders at the desired margin. And our new facial and touch recognition software helps to keep your and your customers’ data secure on your mobile devices.

Have a look at the video and then check out the latest version of our Products & Services Roadmap! Let us know what you think, tell us about the trends that you’re seeing in your own business, and get in touch if you want to be involved in helping to shape the Roadmap for the remainder of 2019 and beyond!

Have you read our recent blog about growing and scaling your drinks business?

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