Massive changes are sweeping the food and beverage business landscape and are dramatically impacting food and beverage companies. To adapt in this dynamic environment, organizations must be able to quickly respond to changes in market conditions and customer requirements. Though they recognize this need to innovate, food and beverage organizations have a remarkably difficult time finding business application solutions that can meet their needs in an affordable manner.
Very often, food and beverage companies have been forced to rely upon a hairball of dangerously unreliable spreadsheets that support aging accounting systems. Many are constrained by solutions that were built for a different time, where the accounting system of record was all that mattered and where systems had limited computing capability. The relatively low cost of maintaining those systems masks the cost of inefficiencies in routine tasks like the monthly close or, more importantly, the dissemination of reliable information upon which business decisions can be confidently made in a fast-paced environment.
None of that mattered when business was relatively simple or where business was being conducted in stable market conditions. But the emergence of the Internet as an opportunity for building entirely new business models and mobile devices taking over for PCs and laptops as the computing platform of choice has changed the business status quo. Today, food and beverage organizations must consider the potential impact of both existential threats and opportunities as the starting point for rethinking their technology investments.
Fast-growing food and beverage companies are especially challenged because the opportunities afforded by acombination of globalization and the rise of the Internet have not been matched by the development of their in-house systems. Thus, these companies are faced with the difficult questions that come with growth.