One word packed with an immensity to change the way the entire world sees commerce.
In many ways, the food industry was best prepared to address the changes brought on by the pandemic. However, few could have imagined how the food industry’s supply chain would be impacted by trans-national restrictions.
“At the end of the day, our mission is to connect companies and allow them to be more productive and successful together. And to achieve this feat, we will leave no stones unturned”
With restrictions on certain countries, would needed ingredients be available to food manufacturers? Without the ability to travel to food production locations, how would companies doing business in the United States comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act passed in 2011? Contracts across the industry layout validation requirements for customers to be able to inspect or audit facilities for compliance with local, state, federal, and international laws. Now what do we do?
These are questions that every food company (both domestic and foreign) is asking right now.
One answer: Change the process overnight.
By definition, business process optimization is the practice of increasing organizational efficiency by eliminating process redundancies, streamlining workflows, improving communication, and forecasting changes. But this isn’t an inefficiency issue.
Business Process Optimization became an immediate need for all companies, especially food companies. Though this concept seems quite simple and highly achievable in theory, it’s a highly labor- and capital-intensive task in reality. For a successful business process optimization initiative, organizations need to identify, examine, and pursue opportunities to reduce process cycle times and costs, while still delivering product and service quality. How do I know that the cheese I am buying for my product is coming here safely if I cannot audit the facility in the foreseeablefuture? What information can I rely on during this time to ensure the product is safe?
In the words of Angela Nardone, they can begin with Share-ify.
“We are helping all types of businesses (and all sizes) manage through this pandemic on an affordable budget,” says Angela Nardone, Chief Innovation Officer of Share-ify. By integrating two of the most segregated processes in the food manufacturing space—vendor/ supplier management and customer relationship management—and offering a single location to manage both, Share-ify offers a delightful twist in the food industry,” states Nardone.” Some might even say itsrevolutionary, taking into consideration, the endless perks that we offer.”
Where Tradition Blends With Innovation
To better understand what the company is striving to achieve, one needs to look back into the historical ways of how food manufacturers carried out these processes.
Going back two decades, vendor and supplier management revolved around identifying best suitable vendors, obtaining pricing information, analyzing their quality of work and evaluating performance. It involved managing relationships (in the event there are multiple vendors), and ensuring excellent service deliverability and on-time payment.
However, as regulatory bodies put a stronger focus on food safety and quality, this process became complex and onerous—paving the way for vendor management systems (VMS) which fell outside of accounting and marketing and into its own realm. But that left a gap where vendors now had to manage data in multiple systems depending on the department they were working with.
Share-ify acts as a single node to manage all vendor related activities (across many departments) while ensuring improved efficiency and long-term growth.
On the other hand, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions helped food manufacturers build and nurture their customer relationships, to understand demands accurately—all with the help of actionable insights. As these companies scaled, the sheer amount of data to be gathered and analyzed became overwhelming, making the whole process complex—even with cutting-edge CRM’s. Even worse, with new regulatory requirements, many customers now needed traceback and one and two- step back supplier information.
Unlike multi-million dollar companies who spend millions on hiring a consultant, we know that small businesses cannot afford their hefty fee but require consultation, and that is where we become their great consulting partners
With two different systems: Vendor management and CRM, how do companies remove the manual nature of information sharing between these two systems?
With Share-ify, the two work in synergy. Previously, to merge the two processes, companies had to integrate technology and cross-functional teams, which came with its own set of hurdles. The VMS and CRM’s available today can be broadly segregated into easily deployable “Vanilla software” that comes at a lower price point with basic functionalities but cannot be modified according to changing requirements, and, on the other hand, high-end, customizable software that are complex, everlasting, yet expensive.
While the former doesn’t technically allow integration with other applications, the latter could burn financial resources, which the majority don’t find sustainable. “That’s where we come in. Share-ify is a perfect mix of easy-to-deploy software and a robust customizable tool that can take our client’s business ahead,” asserts Nardone.
Share-ify provides a private online professional network for maintaining all the details and documents related to supplier & vendor management and CRM. Users can easily manage regulatory compliance, quality assurance, quality control, occupational hazard (OSHA), supply chain management, food safety, and regulatory standards all in one place with both customers and suppliers.
An All-Encompassing Solution for the Food Industry
Share-ify saves time and reduces efforts to manage and exchange information between trading partners through its built-in module, Share-ify PLM (Product Life Cycle Management). With a focus on the food & beverage, consumer packaged goods, chemical, paper goods, and disposables industries, the platform helps organizations easily manage their branded or private label product with greater precision and shorter time. Share-ify PLM can automate the product development cycle at various steps and streamlines departments, teams, and vendors to manage product information and manufacturing workflows. Serving as a centralized repository of information and documents, Share-ify PLM allows everyone from the product development and marketing team to share the up-to-date product information in real-time. Share-ify PLM also provides transparency while making the entire process faster—impacting the bottom line of businesses.
Working in continuum with Share-ify PLM is Share-ify CRM—knitting the network of suppliers and customers. While ensuring supplier’s paperwork is updated, or product information is shared with a customer, Share-ify CRM manages a complicated ongoing relationship between suppliers and customers. It allows users to log in to the platform and participate in workflows and get contact information. When product specification is uploaded to Share-ify, it enables automatic notification alerting to the connection just like any other network. As an assertion to this, Angela says, “What LinkedIn is to working professionals, Share-ify CRM is to vendors and manufacturers in the food industry.”
Furthermore, Share-ify also helps companies with the cumbersome process of crisis communication.
“Product recalls and market withdrawal occurs every day around the world. Our goal is to help clients initiate an organized and efficient effort to address the issue at hand,” highlights Nardone.
With a workflow built into its platform, Share-ify allows companies to communicate and collect information from the supply chain with a target of recalling products within two hours using robo-dialing, emails, and text messages. The platform also includes a “Certificate of Destruction,” which documents the actions taken with validating information. This can be used for reimbursement expenses with insurance companies and vendors and even replenishing inventories.
Small Businesses can begin with a subscription for just $480. More premium subscriptions exist that provide additional features and benefits. “It is important to us that no company be turned away because they can’t afford the best software to manage their supply chain and business partnerships. So we have made a very affordable model for companies to adopt.”
What truly differentiates Share-ify from its competitors is that they consider themselves to be the customer’s partners as opposed to being a simple solution provider or a “software company.”
“We want to be seen as an extension of our customer’s team,” explains Nardone. “Their success is our success.
As such, the company provides a dedicated client relationship manager that works as aliaison with clients to meet their business requirements. Acknowledging the fact that the food industry is vulnerable to substantial changes, Share-ify is at the forefront to help clients mitigate business risk by understanding their requirements and delivering a cost-effective, yet efficient solution that can adapt quickly to change.
“Unlike multi-million dollar companies who invest heavily on hiring a consultant, we know that small businesses cannot afford their hefty fee but still require assistance and consultation. That is where we become their great consulting partners.”
To give a glimpse on Share-ify’s commitment to excellence, Nardone highlights an instance wherein Share-ify helped one of its clients who was struggling with documentation of product specifications and the disjointedness between their purchasing, sourcing, and quality assurance team. As the client did not have a single repository for all their documentation and the teams were managing information across systems, the process of product development was delayed and lacked effective communication between suppliers, company, and customers. Share-ify provided the client with a single pane of glass for the documentation, helped them streamline workflows, and create a cultural change across their organization.
With many such success stories under its belt and an unmatched value proposition, Share-ify has established itself across the globe, catering to over 13,000 companies to date.
COVID-19 / Pandemic Prevention Management
At present, much like any other company in the world, Share-ify is investing time and resources in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, they recently introduced the “COVID-19 and Outbreak Prevention Management,” which is a checklist for Daily Sanitation & Outbreak Prevention.
“Share-ify checklists are tied to specific users and include a date and time stamp. Checklists also include the assignment of a supervisor for review of the completed tasks. They are fully customizable and can be created by a function or department or can be event based.”
With a revolutionary product and a focus on building lasting relationships with food manufactures, the company envisions a strong roadmap.
“We aim to connect more companies and allow them to collectively be more productive by leveraging the power of data and analytics. We will strive to innovate and leave no stones unturned until we achieve this feat,” concludes Nardone.