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Channel Integration for Food & Beverage Businesses: How to Integrate Your Digital Channels and Data

You no doubt know that a growing business means more complexity; there’s more chances for things to go wrong, but with the right processes and technology, you can minimize risk and deliver the best for your customers. Easier said than done though, right?  

As your food and beverage business grows, whether it’s a dine-in restaurant, cloud kitchen, or food production company, things can and do go wrong; orders can begin to take longer to deliver and there’s inaccuracies, inventory gets wasted, there’s difficulty in managing various menus and kitchens, data between different departments and branches is hard to connect together to make smarter decisions, and a clear-picture of the costs and revenues of different products is getting harder to keep.  

The other most important aspect is Omnichannel consumer engagement and the  vast amount of digital footprint (customer data) that is at the disposal of F&B brands today. These are just some of the challenges F&B companies run into as they scale.  

The key to overcoming the challenges? Ensuring that your tech and processes are integrated!  

That your tools are talking to each other in real time, and enable your people – whether its front of house staff, branch managers, or your finance team – to take the right decisions and steps every time, while a range of repeatable processes are running efficiently like clockwork.  

This piece will not only tell you how to go about integrating your digital channels for your F&B business, but also, it will give you inspiration into how much of a difference it can make for you, your team, and your customers as you continue on your growth journey.  

Why Seamless end-to-end business function Integration Is Important for F&B Businesses 

Whether it’s a highway, water network, or your internet, these are complex systems that have many interlocking parts that enable us to travel, get clean water and access the web when we need to.  

Even a small issue or disconnect within these systems can cause a big disruption for many people using them, and the same principle is true for your growing business.  

A unified integrated system makes it much easier to:  

  • Automate your workflows and processes without compromising quality, enabling you to delight more customers at scale 
  • Give your staff access to live data that they need to work well in real time 
  • Eliminate waste in time, stock and money across your business 
  • Make smarter and more profitable decisions using data from multiple sources 
  • Scale your business efficiently and reliably 
  • Harmonize cross-departmental operations, such as the accurate tracking of financial information across different channels, branches and inventory for example 
  • Provide consistently great customer experiences across different channels and use channels to complement each other  

So what solutions are available for your business and how can you bring them together?  

Fully integrated Agile and Scalable Solutions for Food & Beverage Businesses 

Food and beverage businesses have a range of options for integrating their business processes, tools and tech together. There’s a range of Software as a Service (Saas) apps including accounting software, CRMs, delivery as well as online ordering and aggregator platforms and inventory management software. With many of them having APIs that enable them to connect together.  

However, this can create complexity; while your apps will be sharing data with each other, your teams will be moving between different interfaces, features and datasets to get their work done; it will be harder to do things like create fully integrated reports, ensure multi-regional compliance, and you will need to rely on a range of vendors.  

This is where a unified ERP solution such as LS Retail can be of great benefit; LS Retail takes the core features of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP and adds on a wide range of features tailored just to hospitality, F&B and retail businesses, like POS integration and powerful inventory management features that connect with your accounting software for example.  

Being highly customizable, an ERP system gives you many of the advantages of an ecosystem of cloud apps, without many of the problems and risks associated with them.  

Finally, you can’t underlook hardware or infrastructure either. Whatever hardware you use, whether its IoT devices or a POS system, they need to easily connect with your other technology and work together for the best results.  

Consider An ERP Implementation Partner 

While an ERP is a great solution for many growing businesses in the food and beverage industry, implementing one isn’t a walk in the park! It takes aligning a lot of critical pieces together, with many of them being technical. This is where an ERP implementation partner can really smoothen the journey for your business.  

Curious to see what an ERP implementation journey can look like? Check out our success testimonial with the Apparel Group, with these subsidiary brands now being empowered by their own successful LS Retail solution:

An ideal ERP implementation partner will have a good grasp of your industry, ERP solutions on the market, and technology; bringing these pieces together to ensure that the ERP meets your needs while helping you to achieve your goals.  

How to Integrate your Food and Beverage Business Across Functional teams and Datasets 

Here we’ll focus on helping you to get the clarity you need to bring your channels together through some key questions you need to consider at each step of the journey:  

Firstly, you need to document your channels and the opportunities for integrating them:  

  • What customer-facing hardware or software are you using?  
  • How are they involved in your customer facing and back-end processes?  
  • How could they be connected more together?  
  • Are all of their features being used? What helpful features are lacking?  
  • Will your current channels and how they are working now be fit to support your business as it grows? If it’s a no, anticipate future needs in your planning.  

Second, prioritize your integration efforts:  

  • What are the biggest operational pain points you’re facing at the moment?  
  • How are these pain points connected to your channels and technology?  
  • What solutions are available to help that are within your means? Are there under-used features in your current apps, potential apps, app integrations, or a business management or ERP solution that can help?  
  • Weighing up the pain points against the benefits and constraints, what options are the best to consider?  
  • Are your priorities ordered in the right implementation sequence?  

Thirdly, build a roadmap; a clear plan to monitor timelines, deliverables and outcomes 

  • What are the milestones and key deliverables for each phase of integration? 
  • Who will be responsible for executing each task within the plan? 
  • What are the realistic timelines for achieving each milestone? 
  • What resources will be needed at each stage of the project? 
  • How will you monitor and evaluate progress throughout the integration process?  
  • Has your roadmap been reviewed by ERP and technology experts for feedback?  

Last but not least, implement it! But don’t forget… 

  • How will you conduct pilot tests to ensure the integration functions as intended? 
  • What training will be provided to staff on using the new integrated system? 
  • How will you gather and use feedback from users to improve the system? 
  • What ongoing assessments and refinements will be made to drive continuous improvement of the integrated system and its benefits?  

In any case, doing your homework and working with an IT partner or ERP consultant will be key for turning your challenges into success stories through channel integration.  

Final Thoughts: A Seamless Unified System Is Your Key To Success 

F&B businesses of all types and colors including QSRs, fine dining and cloud kitchen businesses, can all integrate their channels to remove inefficiencies and headaches across their operations while also giving them the tools and data that they need to delight their customers like never before.  

To do this, they can use cloud apps, APIs , inventory management solutions and integrated hardware and software. Underpinning all of this, is the importance of an ERP, which can greatly streamline this complex array of tools under one intuitive and manageable roof.  

By documenting, prioritizing, roadmapping and then implementing integrations across your business, you will be able to work smarter and faster while also scaling your successes using technology, enabling your F&B business to thrive.  

Curious about the possibilities ahead of your business and how great technology can help? It’s time to talk with Think Tribe!  

ThinkTribe: Proven ERP Implementation Specialists in the Middle East for Restaurant, QSR, Fine Dining, and Food & Beverage Businesses 

Welcome to ThinkTribe, the premier choice for ERP implementation in Dubai and throughout the vibrant Middle-Eastern landscape. As seasoned specialists in system integration and ERP solutions, we excel in fostering profitable and scalable growth for businesses spanning various sectors, leveraging state-of-the-art technology solutions. 

Whether you’re eager to harness the power of ERP for your enterprise in Dubai or any other part of the Middle-East, seeking tailored advice to select the ideal solution, or require hands-on support throughout the implementation process, our dedicated team is here to support you at every turn. Reach out to us today, and let’s propel your business towards success together. 


Rivoli Group

“Think Tribe is one of Rivoli’s trusted strategic technology partners, and we highly recommend Think Tribe to any organization that are considering to implement Microsoft D365 ERP and LS Central. Their team members are extremely knowledgeable, and we couldn’t be happier about the stellar support that Think Tribe continues to provide.

Think Tribe is the extended team that every organization needs, and we look forward to a long-term partnership with them.”

Libu Thomas  |  Associate Director – IT