Ceres: Food Bank Software Powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Your food bank is a unique entity: a medium organization that receives and distributes millions of pounds of food per year. You need a solid food bank software ERP system to track product donations, grants, food drives and much more. You try to work with smaller accounting systems or Excel, but these generic products don’t meet the needs of the food bank. You need something with specific processes for food banks. Consider Ceres, a food bank system powered by Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Since the year 2000, we’ve been making and implementing Ceres – a product designed for the unique needs of Food Banks. It is a best of breed Supply Chain Management Solution created by Microsoft and tailored for food banks.

Too Many Data Islands

At one time, your company was much smaller than it is now.

Then it grew. So you built some spreadsheets, invested in a financial package and maybe even an inventory tracking system. Perhaps you hired someone to build a custom database for Food Drive Tracking or Volunteer Hours.

For a while, everything was fine… until one spreadsheet needed to be updated from another spreadsheet, or the person who made the database left the company. A small software package you bought is no longer supported, and people have to enter the same thing in multiple places just to keep things consistent. It’s a hassle. It’s time consuming. It’s not convenient and your time could be spent elsewhere. This is the point where you should see the value of moving to an integrated food bank ERP system like Ceres.

Ceres brings your various islands of data into one system, and links to your Financial Donation/ CRM solution. This makes information visible to those who need it and helps eliminate duplicate data entry. You can also link to the custom tools you need for your operation – like online shopping for your Agencies.

And the best part? Your operation can continue to develop and evolve – and Ceres stays with you as you grow. In short, you get peace of mind.

How to Manage Painful Growth with Food Bank Software

The need in your community is rising. Your distribution is increasing greatly every year. You are initiating new programs that your community will use to fill the hunger gap. But with the radical growth and change, your current system is strained.

You need to find a system that grows as you grow. A system that is scalable. A system that can handle new functionality requirements as your organization changes. Ceres is a flexible, scalable system that fits food banks. Most of the largest food banks in the United States currently use Ceres to manage their Operations. You will be able to add users one by one as you need them, and turn on additional functionality as your organization evolves.

What’s the Risk?

If we consider risk for a moment, Microsoft Dynamics NAV is built and integrated with the rest of the Microsoft Technology Stack such as Windows, Office, SQL, and SharePoint. The risks you face should be planned and associated with your growth, not with other software packages. Microsoft removes that element of risk from your software, allowing you to concentrate on your operation.

Meeting Compliance Requirements

Compliance requirements are very different now than they were 10 years ago. Cradle-to-grave lot tracking, recall management and detailed stakeholder reports are the day-to-day reality at a food bank. Smaller or older systems cannot handle these new requirements.

Compliance has become more rigorous, and you need a system that can handle everything you did previously, plus these new processes. Ceres handles all the basics, such as accounting, inventory, warehouse management, agency distributions, and much more. It also gives you extensive reporting capabilities to provide specific information required by your stakeholders and your internal needs.

Ceres Evolution

Ceres Hot Fixes to resolve critical issue will be released as the issues are identified, reviewed, and resolved. On average, Hot Fixes are issued at least monthly, but may be more frequent depending upon the critical nature of the issues reported. Microsoft cumulative updates will be issued/applied quarterly.

It is our Goal to release a new major version of Ceres such that the product is not more than one major version behind the current Microsoft Dynamics NAV product.