Although the vast majority of ERP software solutions claim to meet the requirements of the entire manufacturing sector – ranging from discrete manufacturing, which includes companies producing items that can be disassembled (e.g. appliances and computers), to process manufacturing, with companies processing or packaging goods in bulk quantities (e.g. food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals) – only a limited number of ERP systems actually address the challenges of all manufacturers.

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With the right process manufacturing ERP solution in place, you should be able to handle a variety of processing steps and unique issues relating to recipes and formulas, including frequent reformulations according to individual customer requirements, variances in raw materials, catch weight processing, product tracking and grading, repack operations, shipping routes and rates, demand forecasting, and inventory and profitability even when you sell by unit, though costs and prices are by weight.

Additionally, the food processing ERP solution should provide the tools needed to ensure compliance with the FDA, SQF, HACCP, BRC, and any other standards governing the food industry. But what if you don’t have an ERP system to help you manage all these? In this case, it’s imperative that you start looking for the right software solution.

How to Select Food Processing ERP Software

For a manufacturer, system functionality should be at the core of ERP software selection. While you can find a variety of stand-alone software packages especially developed for process manufacturers, complex ERP solutions making available a vast array of modules tightly integrated into a centralized system are the best options. Since the most complex ERP systems are classified as mixed-mode manufacturing software, they can help manufacturers manage a variety of processes in any production environment, be it discrete or process manufacturing. Another essential aspect relates to the ability of the ERP system to streamline operations, manage complicated processes, address customization specifics, and integrate all business areas, ranging from procurement and production to delivery.

You must be particularly careful when selecting a food processing ERP solution, which should be flexible enough to: meet industry- and company-specific operational and functional requirements;

  • Facilitate production scheduling and control
  • Offer detailed, real-time information about costs, production, inventory, actual versus planned consumption, timelines, capacity utilization, defect ratio, etc.
  • Manage multiple requirements simultaneously
  • Comply with project specifications relating to quality, design, delivery deadlines, etc.
  • The system should also be efficient enough to optimize all processes so that high-quality goods can be produced at the lowest cost possible.

Clients First Business Solution’s Choice: Microsoft Dynamics AX

Microsoft Dynamics AX delivers a comprehensive, powerful solution, which allows food manufacturers to improve their operational efficiency with better controls and automated processes.

Providing real-time insights into operational processes, this ERP solution can help you plan production efficiently, streamline operations, track inventory levels, access logistics, trading, customer, and vendor information, and monitor and manage multiple production units for optimized production flows.  Not only is AX a full mixed mode manufacturing solution, the software also include full Financial and Distribution modules.  Multi-company, multi-language and can cross many line of business needs with one solution and one vendor. 

As a Food Processing and Distribution ERP Solution, Dynamics AX features:


Dynamics AX will help you better service your customers and anticipate their needs. Sales orders are smoothly processed while tracking information is captured for future reference. Customers’ forecasts can be entered, allowing you to plan your purchases in order to meet your customers’ needs.

  • Fully Integrated Customer Relationship Management
  • Route Distribution and Pre-sale Call Management
  • Quotes easily converted to sales orders
  • Flexible pricing options
  • Full pick, pack and ship functionality
  • Catch weights / Lot Tracking / Pallet Tracking
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Distributor and Independent Food Contractor Management


Food Process Manufacturing is a complex event.  Lots, conversions, batch sizes and recipes all convene to create an intricate formula.  Not to mention the factoring in of costs, pallets, plant capacity and special orders that result in an even bigger challenge.  A challenge that Microsoft Dynamics AX was designed to tackle.

  • Manages Ingredients, Co-products and By-products
  • Advanced Planning, Forecasting and Scheduling
  • Formula Management and Security
  • Catch Weight Management
  • Loss and Yield Control Management
  • Container, and Packaging Management
  • Batch Production Orders for Make to Order


Producing food with controls can be costly for a number of reasons, with the ultimate being a full recall. The objective of controls is to evaluate along the way, so that problems are corrected before full execution. The ability to measure what is being produced, paired with inventory evaluation based on shelf life, are only a few examples of how Dynamics AX Process Manufacturing will equip you with the necessary information to maintain control over a very valuable asset.

  • Shelf Life and Best Before Dates, First Expired / First Out support
  • Title 21 CFR Part II Compliance
  • GTIN Product Identification
  • Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) and Case Compliant Tags
  • Multi-Location Inventory Management
  • Quality Control and Documentation
  • Supports Inspection and Recall Management


Establish standards for yields, and then report actual yields. Find inadequacies, take corrective action and move on. That’s the basis of Dynamics AX reporting, equipped to represent costs, production requirements and customer satisfaction. Graphical representations included.

  • Tools for Electronic Signatures, Audit Trails, Calibrations and Time-Outs
  • Nutritional Labeling and Analysis
  • Tank and Product Management
  • Index Product Pricing
  • Analysis of Co-Product and By-Product Attributes
  • Multidimensional Inventory Tracking
  • Comprehensive Where-used Analysis, Including Alternative Formula and Recipe Tracking

With Dynamics AX, you can:

  • Organize information, tasks, and tools in personalized views for increased operational efficiency; production managers gain in-depth insights into production processes, quality management, detailed reports, business analytics, etc.; employees on the shop floor have access to real-time, detailed information according to their work roles; 
  • Use Gantt charts to view work in progress and make adjustments in real time to avoid delays and cost overruns; control every aspect relating to production to reduce bottlenecks;
  • Optimize resource utilization, including employees, machines and tools, identify delivery dates accurately, minimize lead times, and use capacity scheduling for maximum flexibility.


Microsoft Dynamics AX is enterprise software for medium to large organizations.  One Solution, One Vendor.  For more information or to schedule a call to discuss your business requirements, visit our landing page:, email or call 800-331-8382.  With 8 locations and a large manufacturing AX consulting team you will be in good hands with Clients First!