Food Distribution Software

Get the best food distribution software for your business. Compare product reviews, pricing below. Read our buyer’s guide for more help.

Popular Products

SI Foodware NAV combined with Microsoft Dynamics NAV provides a complete end-to-end business software solution for Food & Beverage distributors and processors. This food specific solution is the result of our experience with…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Platforms
Web
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
The effective solution for your wine & spirits business in one integrated package for a low cost and rapid implementation enhancing powerful and feature-rich Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Alcohol Beverage Industry is one of the…
VAI’s technology roadmap, our shared vision with IBM, provides companies with a business model based on best industry processes that leverages technology to create value and improve performance. The S2K family of products…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Platforms
Linux, Web, Windows
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
SI Foodware Fruits and Vegetables is a fresh produce specific software package based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Consignment management is the heart of this solution. For all processes within the supply chain, from import…
Price Range
$ $ $ $ $
Platforms
Web, Windows
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
SI Foodware for AX is the most complete ERP solution within this sector. Based on Microsoft Dynamics AX, this ERP solution covers all the requirements large food companies need. As one of the most complete ERP solutions in…
Platforms
Web, Windows
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
Edible Software is a comprehensive, Windows-based inventory and accounting package geared to the Wholesale Food Distribution industry. The core package includes all essential accounting areas, with a special focus on…
Platforms
Windows
SmallPICS for Windows is an easy to use Order Entry / Accounts Receivable / Route Accounting system specifically designed for Wholesale Bakeries….
Platforms
Windows
ChefTec is specifically designed for chefs and foodservice owner/operators who need recipe and menu costing, inventory control and purchasing & ordering at an affordable price ChefTec helps you save money with easy to use…
Platforms
Windows
WineWorks Plus provides a complete Accounting Software solution for Wine importers/distributors and includes General Ledger, Purchase Orders, Accounts Payable, Order Entry, Inventory Control, Accounts Receivable, Currency…
Platforms
Windows
Quick Order Entry; Unlimited Pricing Flexibility; Lot Tracking / Lot Liquidation; Grower Accounting / Load Accounting; Brokerage / Drop Shipment; Detailed Sales Analysis / Reporting; General Ledger Data Drill; Internet Order…
WinFDS from Food Decision Software Inc. has been developed to help solve the specific operational challenges facing Food Distributors and Manufacturers. We have taken our experience and the knowledge of our clients to provide…
Platforms
Windows
Whether you deal with fresh or frozen, wild or farm raised, competing successfully in today’s seafood processing and distribution market requires you to minimize costs, maximize margins and run your business more efficiently…
Platforms
Windows
Growing concerns about food safety have lead consumers and other stakeholders to demand transparency in the way food is grown and handled throughout the supply chain, resulting in the emergence of ‘traceability’ as an…
Our suite of solutions encompasses ERP, analytics and food safety management to address key challenges with tools like profit and loss analysis, from lot to customer, and is scalable to grow with businesses. The power of this…
Foodware Lunchbox is standard business software for food companies in the SME segment. An affordable application in the cloud or at your location can be offered. The modular design enables you to choose exactly the…
Platforms
Web, Windows
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
Apero is the developer, implementor and support provider for our Distribution ERP solution, focused on the Distribution/Wholesaler marketplace and it’s specific needs for the future and today. Latitude is a retail and…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$30,000 (one time)
Platforms
Linux
Deployment
Hosted or Local
Run your entire business on a cloud ERP suite. Accounting; Business Intelligence Reporting; CRM; Inventory Management; Supply Chain Management; and E-Commerce (B2B and B2C). Functionalities include Accounting to CRM, to…
Price Range
$ $ $ · ·
Starting Price
$400/month/user
Platforms
Web
Deployment
Hosted (cloud-based)
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Food Distribution Software Buyer’s Guide

Looking for software for your food distribution business? As you’ve seen then, there’s a lot to consider. There’s no shortage of packages claiming to offer efficient, cost-saving software. And, it’s true, a robust and industry-appropriate ERP system really is a cornerstone of running a successful distribution business in today’s competitive landscape. But, selecting the right program can be complex. This article will provide an overview of your food distribution software options and input on how to make the right choice for one of your most important financial management decisions.

This guide will provide information on the following topics:

What is Food Distribution Software?

The food distribution industry is unique. It’s not like distributing any old widget. Yes, you have the same challenges of maintaining the stock your clients want, lowering supply and transportation costs, and running an efficient business. But, food distribution is also a highly regulated industry. Especially for distributors of perishable goods, USDA regulations add a significant layer of complexity to contend with. Ultimately, though, whether you are a beverage, produce, meats, or non-perishables wholesaler, the unique needs of food distribution effectively raise the ante on the data management challenge.

In order to stay competitive in a crowded market, food distributors generally require a comprehensive ERP program to help lessen the costs associated with food distribution’s operational and accounting challenges. Alternatively, some companies will leverage a capable accounting package, augmented with industry-specific modules. Whichever route you select, a well-integrated system supplying accurate real-time info is key. Whether you are making sure you have the stock on-hand which you are promising to a customer or adding a new product line from a supplier, access to accurate up-to-date information is a must.

Food Distribution Software Features

There are a handful of key components included in a software system for food distributors:

Core Feature Description
Core financials (AP, AR, GL) Tracks revenues and expenses. Includes modules such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, and a general ledger.
Inventory control Keeps track of all information about the items that your company builds, buys, stores or sells. Record inventory as current assets on the balance sheet. Track the cost of goods sold on your income statement.
Order entry Coordinates the business processes and document workflow involved in delivering goods and services to customers.
CRM Provides features designed for supporting sales, marketing, and service activities. Includes contact management, conversation history, lead tracking, order histories, quote/invoice creation, and call center integration.
Payroll Manages employee compensation: wage calculation, ACH deposits, check printing, and compensation tax reports.
Supply chain management
Reporting

Additionally, more advanced systems will include functionality for:

Advanced Feature Description
EDI communication The computer-to-computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners
Fleet management Tracking your fleet assets from an accounting standpoint or as complex as using GPS hardware to track location of each vehicle in a fleet.
Warehouse management Generally includes the following functionality: inventory management, facility management, receiving, shipping, and labor management.
E-Commerce Provides you with the means to market your product or service on a global level.

Managing the Supply Chain

Getting your product from the supplier, processed and then to the customer can be complex. To help simplify this complexity, distributors are utilizing supply chain management (SCM) software.

Supply chain management has a number of very important benefits:

  • Eliminate delays that lead to decreased customer satisfaction
  • Identify the vendors providing the most attractive rates
  • Maintain just-in-time inventory and save on warehousing costs
  • Avoid Shortages and back-orders that lead to lost business
  • Optimize warehousing requiring less space or fewer facilities
  • Provide real-time updates to customers on order provisioning status
  • Utilize historical data to feed future projections and forecasting
  • Decrease turnaround time

Most food distributors have a quick turnaround time from the time an order is received to the time it is shipped to the customer. Anticipating demand is especially important when mistakes in demand prediction can nullify the value you can recoup from perishable products. A solid SCM program will help you identify what came in first, how long it has been on the shelf and when it needs to be sold by.

Supply chain software systems feature a number of modules including purchasing, vendor management, demand planning, sales forecasting, receiving, warehouse management and shipping & delivery optimization to help provide a comprehensive management system for the challenge of getting your goods from the supplier to the customer at the lowest cost.

Financial Management in the Food Distribution Enterprise

In the food distribution arena, product changes hands quickly. You may order product on Monday, receive it on Tuesday, and ship to your customer Tuesday afternoon.

An integrated solution between your supply chain modules and your accounting modules will help you easily coordinate these transactions. Efficiently and accurately tracking revenues and expenses, assets and liabilities allows for a clear, real-time financial picture.

Modules incorporated into a distribution-oriented financial management system include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, reporting and budgeting.

Maintain and Strengthen Relationships With Customers and Manage New Account Opportunities

Rarely is strong customer relationship management (CRM) software more important than in the distribution industry. In any kind of distribution environment the majority of your sales are composed by a core customer group. CRM functionality provides you with a tool to position yourself as the company to meet your customers’ needs.

CRM software also can help you acquire new customers. Features which allow you to database and market to prospects based on company size, years in business, key contacts at the company, and product-focus allow you to more effectively target your value proposition to your prospects’ needs.

Turning a new customer into a loyal customer is a much easier process with the right software. Tracking order histories and flowing the information to the sales department can help promote major gains in customer retention.

Managing Inventory for Regulatory Compliance

When buying and selling product, your company reputation is on the line. The stakes are higher when spoilage and recalls loom as potential threats. In fact, very often your inventory traceability requirements will be informed not only by the dictates of running a profitable business, but also by regulatory mandates.

Segmenting your product inventory lots with lot number tracking is a basic, but very important safeguard. The ability to isolate down to batches or lots is a great start for ensuring you can identify effected product, if necessary, but it is just the start. For instance, depending on your product set, you may have a much larger inventory management challenge. Any distributor needs to associate quantity, supplier, product descriptions, and cost with a given inventory item. You may need additional flexibility to add custom inventory fields. Perhaps, you need to not only track the farm at which a food product originated, but also the chemicals used in the grow, when it was harvested, and where it was shipped. Depending on your particular food line, you may have very different custom inventory tracking requirements.

A requirement for traceability is not the only challenge requiring strong inventory control in the food distribution arena. Volume discounts, customer specific pricing levels, and promotional pricing campaigns are very common needs. Carefully inspecting capabilities for supporting multiple price-lists and flexible price calculation is therefore an important part of the inventory control/order entry evaluation. Determining the level of automation required in achieving your inventory counts is another important decision. An RFID system will require the least manual labor, as items are scanned automatically within proximity of a reader. A bar-coding system is less expensive than RFID upfront, but requires an investment ongoing in labor costs to continually scan items into stock. If you are wholesaling a smaller amount of high value items, rather than dealing with large quantities, tracking manually with part numbers may even be an option.

Software Installation

Finding the right program is an important step, but it must also be deployed properly to ensure you receive the value in which you’ve invested. There are several ways food distribution software can be deployed. First, it is important to understand your needs. Do you need just specific modules or are you looking for an all inclusive ERP system? If you just need specific modules, such as inventory tracking, does that module need to integrate directly with your other systems or remain completely stand alone? You may have a sufficient financial management system and just need to add on inventory and CRM functionality.

Also consider your customization needs. If you are looking to integrate with your current systems, there may be a fair amount of custom integration that needs to be done to create the link between your current systems and the new modules.

Finally, is it better to buy the software outright or rent it with a software as a service (SaaS) approach? If you are buying it outright, consider whether you want it installed on your own servers at your location or if you prefer to have it hosted off site and have a third party vendor manage the server systems. These decisions can make a difference in the speed of transactions and accessibility by your users.

Connecting with qualified providers of relevant software is a key step in your software review process. It will help you work more confidently through the many different aspects of making the right financial decision for your business with regards to your software purchase. If you’re ready to uncover your top food distribution software options, we’re ready to help with our free software search service.