Moving to an Electronic Batch Records (EBR) system is a hugely beneficial step for food manufacturers. Paper-based workflows are replaced with computer-based ones, reducing the risk of human error and rushed compliance processes. But the power of EBR and ERP systems goes far beyond merely digitising workflows and records.
By switching from paper to electronic batch records, particularly to one that is part of an ERP system, it can accelerate time-to-market in several ways. Quality control staff will be able to review-by-exception functionality of an EBR to identify deviations more swiftly compared to scanning every record individually. This can speed up the time needed to review documentation and reduce the amount of time a product must sit pending release onto the market. Batch accuracy and consistency can also be enhanced this way.
With real-time information available, it can also provide an opportunity to speed up production processes, such as gauge data can be automated, making it far quicker than having a worker take readings manually. With real-time collect and review processes, unnecessary tasks are eliminated and efficiency is improved.
Human error and time inefficiencies created when carrying out compliance activities manually mean increased production costs. But batch production using an ERP system with built-in EBR can help minimise these costs. Primarily, it will bring in new levels of efficiency that optimise the whole production process. Without paper documents needing to be stored and analysed for compliance purposes, the associated costs are immediately eliminated.
Additionally, human error is significantly reduced with EBRs, because with the creation of enforceable workflows, users are taken through established processes designed to minimise errors and increase efficiencies in production or recording. And a faster, less error-prone turnover will reduce inventory costs, as products will not have to undergo as much retrospective assessment when real-time records are being taken.
Compliance is a fact of life in food manufacturing. But its burden on your business can be minimised with the right tools.
With an ERP system with an integrated EBR function, you can automate the documentation processes that would otherwise be done manually, minimising the likelihood of miscalculations and erroneous records. With recipe and order information integrated into a connected system, the information that workers receive will always be accurate and efficiently delivered. And pre-validated recipe formulations and ingredients can be used to accelerate production times.
Furthermore, using the same technology for a company's ERP and EBR can give you a hub for a serialisation system. This can help your company comply with regulations that require product traceability and authentication, simultaneously eliminating the hassle of designing, rolling out and using a separate track and trace system.
The basic paperless manufacturing benefits of Electronic Batch Records are just the tip of the iceberg. Your food manufacturing business could be elevated to entirely new levels of consistency, efficiency and productivity with the incorporation of an ERP system with an integrated EBR, like WinMan ERP. As more and more industries are making the transition from paper to digital, embracing new technologies can also help create a competitive advantage for your business.