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The current challenges in the process industry


The process industry in the German-speaking countries is characterized by both high productivity and high product quality in international comparison. In the current crisis, however, combined with a downturn in the economy and other factors caused by the pandemic, new challenges are arising, that bring consequences for the business locations Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Production in the German-speaking countries is far more cost-intensive than in many other countries, especially the emerging markets of Eastern Europe. Combined with the current economic situation, the pressure to operate even more efficiently and effectively is increasing. A decisive opportunity to enhance efficiency and effectiveness can be found in business and IT processes.

The secret of a company's success is highly flexible business processes tailored to individual needs. However, it is nothing new that these processes are often supported by suboptimal IT systems and that the supposedly important flexibility is often lost in the process, leading to inefficient and cost-intensive procedures. A lack of transparency and multiple media breaks in the information flow add the rest to the overall situation, which can be extremely disadvantageous for companies in international competition.

The following reasons speak for tackling the process innovations in the company now:

Creation of competitive advantages (e.g. through faster reaction to changing market situations, better customer service, etc.)

Increase in effectiveness (e.g. through shorter processing times, reduction of the error rate, better communication, etc.)

Quality improvement (of both processes and products)

Cost reduction (e.g. through IT system consolidation)

Continuous improvement and transparency through continuous measurability of processes

In the food and beverage sector in particular, adaptability, i.e. rapid reaction to market changes, has become indispensable.

To meet this challenge, successful process manufacturers today must have business tools that enable them to react quickly to changes in order to be able to address newly emerging needs in the shortest time possible.

The complex requirements of the food and beverage industry, including recipe management, the special demands of seasonal and operative day-to-day planning down to the last detail in day-to-day operations on the one hand, and the management of the requirements of wholesalers and retailers on the other hand, in a constantly changing and increasingly demanding market, require "evergreen" ERP software that is always up-to-date and easily corresponds or integrates with all other IT systems on the market, not least against the background of the constantly changing legal requirements of e.g. FDA, BRC and EFSA for food and beverage production.

Powerful "demand planning" e.g. for forecasts and seasonality profiles and scheduling tools for sequencing and optimizing production and development processes using all relevant company data with "at the touch of a button" functionality have become essential.

Complex control and processing variants while maintaining the high quality standard are the new standard.

Regulatory requirements are increasing rapidly from year to year on a global basis. With ERP's own Eco-Footprint Management, you can use tools that capture costs, for example, to provide information on environmental impact. With seamless access to quality data, and other relevant data already in your business applications, it no longer takes significant effort to accurately document your carbon footprint and comply with existing policies and regulations. For example, compliance with industry standards such as REACH and TSCA for chemical production or FDA, BRC and EFSA for food and beverage production can be easily demonstrated.

Accurate integrated documentation means greater transparency. This makes green branding efforts more reliable for legislators and consumers, and enables you to better identify waste and further reduce costs.

Quality assurance and traceability are mandatory for process manufacturers today. Future-proof ERP systems offer a comprehensive solution for recording and managing product quality and environmental protection. Complete traceability at the touch of a button ensures that in the event of a recall, the risk of additional costs, possible fines and other expenses can be avoided and possible audits are unproblematic.

Chemical companies are faced with the challenge of matching supply and demand by having to pack bulk goods in individual package sizes. Batch balancing in integrated ERP systems now makes it possible to optimize the consumption of multiple products that share the same manufactured quantity as batch quantities, allowing for optimized bulk chemical reuse planning, reduced over- and under-packaging costs, and maximized customer service to the benefit of the customer.

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