Is your business model adapting to today's market?

May 25, 2015

In an unpredictable economy, agility is essential for creating accurate plans, identifying opportunities, and for taking corrective action.

The Canadian food and beverage industry is defined by regulated standards, thin profit margins, intense competition, and high customer expectations. To remain competitive in this sector, it is critical to build and protect your brand, as well as take advantage of recent developments in innovation and technology.

Gaining competitive advantage

Over the last several months, the decline in oil prices and consequential sharp drop in the dollar has introduced greater uncertainty in the economy. This has increased the pressure on Canadian processors to control costs and maximize profitability. Many organizations are responding to the pressure by turning their attention to how finances and operations are managed. Being able to quickly model one's business to reflect the ongoing fluctuations in the market and how it impacts the bottom line is a constant and absolutely imperative during times of instability.

Business efficiency is a journey, not a destination

Deeper analysis and scenario planning are now required in order to bounce back from unpredictable market disruptions. Advancements in technology can help provide access to information faster and more accurately than manual processes. There is never a perfect time to invest in systems, yet forward-thinking food and beverage processors are looking to technology not only to be prepared in times of change, but to better position themselves for business growth and scalability when markets pick up.

One key differentiator in this race for technological advancement is Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solutions. To assist with continuous improvement efforts, executives need access to accurate and timely information to help make informed decisions and many executives are turning to CPM tools to help augment existing decision support tools, particularly reoccurring spreadsheet-based processes.

/p>According to an August 2014 report from Aberdeen Group, best in class companies see the need for business agility and are looking to technology to increase adaptability based on the following factors


Best in class chart

The strength with CPM technology lies in bringing core departments together to make the right decisions. What's more, all decisions are in turn collected, reported and analyzed as a single unified plan. In order to fully benefit from this process improvement, food and beverage processors need to not only incorporate operational ERP data, but include financial planning and budgeting considerations into the conversation. This is where CPM has the advantage over traditional spreadsheets. CPM becomes a hub for business analysis, facilitating decision makers' strategic planning.

In order to help drive sustainable and profitable growth, business leaders need to make informed decisions and are relying on finance to provide the right information in real-time. Turning insight into action doesn't only come from deploying resources at the right time to market opportunities, it also comes from profitability analysis and scenario planning when it comes down to products and other growth related initiatives. It's with an integrated planning approach driven by finance that technology is helping build a foundation for growth, while ensuring structure and processes are in place so food and beverage processors can react with timely and accurate information, thereby competing more effectively.

Understanding what processes you can automate to help improve decision making, optimize costs and mitigate risks is a crucial step in setting a foundation for continuous improvement. Food and beverage processors of all sizes can look to technology as an enabler for change and harness CPM capabilities to converge strategic planning with tactful execution. To get you started on your journey, start by assessing your organization's health and evaluate its future technology direction with industry leaders.

About Us

BDO recognizes that it is critical to both build and protect your brand, as well as to take advantage of recent developments in innovation and technology. Our professionals understand the varying priorities and concerns for food and beverage organizations in Canada. As a leader in serving the food and consumer products subsector, we help clients grow their revenue in new markets, build their brands, and control costs to maximize profitability.

Bob McMahon
National Industry Leader
Retail & Consumer Business
905 272 7818

Daniel Caringi
Manager, BDO Solutions
416 617 5892

BDO in Canada

BDO is one of the leading accounting and advisory firms in Canada with over 100 offices from coast to coast. With over 100 years of experience serving Canadian businesses, we have the expertise to serve owner-managed, large and mid-market companies, communities and non-profits in a broad range of industries. Our team of partners and professionals offers value-added services to our clients, with a strong focus on business and community relationships.

BDO around the world

The international BDO network is comprised of public accounting firms around the world, called BDO Member Firms. We are the fifth largest accounting and advisory network in the world, with a full range of related services tailored to each respective locale. As part of this worldwide network, our Canadian member firm has access to more than 1,300 offices in over 150 countries.

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