Why do ERP selections take so long? ‘Not because there are no suitable solutions, advisers and/or ERP vendors, but because customers often have considerable issues with the subsequent implementation.’ The words are those of Danny Cevaal, a well-known name within the food industry with 18 years of dedicated food and IT experience behind him. Since April 2018, his FoodQloud team has brought Oracle NetSuite to market, the American cloud ERP, CRM and E-commerce solution under the wings of Oracle ERP expert Quistor. ‘We are seeing that within the European SME food industry, a clear need is emerging for easily implementable, scalable cloud solutions that can help ambitious merchants and manufacturers to grow.’ Companies that operate in a lean and clean manner and expect the same from their business software and partner.’
Persistent IT headache
‘Let me be frank: food companies often feel a migraine coming on when discussing business software and all its associated issues. Naturally, you need business software to manage your company in a structured fashion and to facilitate growth, but you’re never done with IT projects and they always bring unexpected miscellaneous costs with them. Interfacing with a portal, RF scanner or CRM package, servicing cont(r)acts with numerous software suppliers, upgrading at considerable cost your ERP application and the server every other year, implementations that exceed budget by far and recruiting or hiring extra IT professionals to manage the entire process, while there is quite a staff shortage in this respect. And all that while at the same time all you really want to do is run the business and fully concentrate on your vendors, your products, your clients and your staff.’
FoodQloud: the ideal medicine for IT headaches
FoodQloud is based on NetSuite, a fully comprehensive online business application that is offered on a subscription model basis. It offers extensive functionality for bookkeeping, procurement, omni-channel sales (including website, webshop and point of sale store sales), quality, production, warehouse and inventory, HRM, CRM and reporting (business intelligence). This package can be expanded with native NetSuite partner apps such as EDI, WMS and even a Salesforce.com connector. These apps can be loaded directly into your business application from the online store. Everything is available within the same business environment.
Cevaal points out a number of compelling benefits compared to traditional solutions: ‘NetSuite is a truly multi-tenant online application, so not a private host solution advertised under a Cloud banner. Worldwide there are 45,000 companies working with exactly the same version and being automatically upgraded. No more messing around with re-implementations. One single initial implementation – and that’s it. OPEX instead of CAPEX, so no significant investment upfront.
Generally speaking, interfacing and customisation are major bottlenecks for companies. Not with NetSuite. Since the application comprises functionalities including portals, CRM, HRM, business intelligence, point of sale and webshops, you hardly have to interface at all. The interfaces that are occasionally necessary can be brought about much faster and are an automatic part of the upgrade process. Just as any eventual customisation, because at NetSuite that’s not seen as a dirty word.
The elements make the implementation of FoodQloud a lot easier than that of a classic application, shortening the implementation project period by a long way. The implementation of FoodSuite is also offered at a fixed price and not on the basis of direction. And due to the fact thast a client’s employees are less burdened by the implementation, day-to-day business can continue almost uninterrupted during implementation.’
For whom is FoodQloud best suited?
FoodQloud is a comprehensive, easy-to-use Cloud solution for SME food companies. It is the obvious choice for ambitious, growing merchants and manufacturers, both on- and offline. The compelling, distinctive element is the integration between the various functionalities: ERP, CRM and Omni-channel sales (webshop and POS).
FoodQloud is ideal for food companies that have a need for personalised convenience and flexibility. The application is accessible for each and every device. Employees on the road and in the warehouse work real time with the same data as at the office. Mobile warehousing is also fully integrated and for that reason there is no question or hardly any question at all of middleware and/or interfacing.
This FoodSuite offers solutions for companies that operate internationally, such as central registration of customers operating in various countries, insight into inventory availability across numerous sites at home and abroad as well as automated inter-company processes. The system can also handle consolidation or working in more than one currency and/or language.
One of the greatest value adds is FoodSuite’s workflow option, says Cevaal: ‘Companies looking to grow want to leave ad-hoc items and stress behind them. They are crying out for structure, overview and peace of mind within the organisation, without having to compensate for this by reducing the speed at which they operate. FoodQloud offers the opportunity of easily making and activating workflows. That – together with clear dashboards – gives you constant insight as to how your business is doing.’
And gone are the headaches.