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Why Don’t “All-In-One” ERPs Work for Food Processing and Food Manufacturing?


Hey, all-in-one ERPs are great! If you’re running an auto parts store or distributing toys, there are a bevy of options out there for you. But, food is weird. Food is special. And there’s a reason—even beyond our deep food expertise—that our software exists.

In fact, a lot of our customers are brought to us by our ERP partners like Microsoft and NetSuite. Our ERP partners know their systems can’t handle the unique needs of food manufacturers on the floor the way ParityFactory can. They know that food, beverage, and nutraceutical clients who pair their systems with ParityFactory get the best results.

An all-in-one TV and VCR, with static on the screen and tape over the VCR slot saying "VCR does not work."
Pictured: An “all-in-one” ERP

Here are just a few questions every food, beverage ,or nutraceutical operation should ask when vetting systems.

  • Does your software support Work Orders / Recipes that produce multiple products?
  • How does Repack work in the system?
  • Can I buy in LBS and sell in eaches, or vice versa?
  • How does costing work in a multi-output recipe?
  • How does circular or continuous production work?

4 Reasons “All-In-One” ERPs Fall Short:


1. Co-Products / By-Products (Also Sometimes Called One-To-Many recipes or Reverse BOMs)

No all-in-one ERP supports multiple output products on a single work order. Whether processing a protein into multiple products, or even just grading produce, it cannot be done on the floor in even the best ERPs. This is one of the key reasons NetSuite, Microsoft, Sage, and QuickBooks bring ParityFactory to the table solve it.

2. RePack, Continuous and Circular Production

Food customers are constantly doing repack to meet customer specifications. Moving from a bigger pack size to a smaller one or different private labels. ERPs though, don’t allow a product (ex: mixed nuts) become itself. A BOM can’t be “mixed nuts = mixed nuts”.

This is a huge deal for those with continuous or circular production. But it touches on every food or beverage manufacturer because of repack. ParityFactory solves this out of the box.

3. Catchweight or Random Weight Items

For protein processors, Unit of Measure (UoM) changes are the norm. Buying in eaches and selling in pounds, or buying in pounds and selling in eaches are things are ERP partners can’t handle without ParityFactory.

4. Yields & Reporting

As a Food & Bev WMS, we also have many (many!) tools specifically to manage yields and yields reporting for raw materials. This is unique in food and bev and one-to-many processes, contrary to, say, bicycle manufacturer who never has to think about yields.

See for Yourself! Reach Out for a Demo.

As you can imagine, these are topics we’re passionate about! There are a ton of other things ParityFactory does that uniquely support food and bev operations, but the above are huge show stoppers. At least once a quarter, we end up working with a client who bought an all-in-one ERP not knowing it couldn’t handle even the basics of their operation. And the ERP sales teams aren’t being shady; they just sometimes don’t know how unique food operations are.

This is our industry and it’s a great community! If you’re considering an ERP and want our input, feel free to reach out. It’s a small world in food and beverage and we’re happy to help!

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