Consumer demands often place the food and drinks industry under continuous pressure to develop better, high-quality products in a very competitive market. Food regulations that affect storage, production processes and quality checking systems, must be adhered to ensure food safety. In turn, perishable stocks have to be managed to avoid food waste and spoilage. As a result, food processing companies are looking for ways to be more agile and efficient, particularly when handling perishable stock.
There are five areas where you can improve efficiencies into your food processing plant with the use of modern ERP software systems.
1. Planning and forecasting
Material requirements planning (MRP) is a critical process in the food processing industry. By using MRP software, information on recipe ingredients and quantities are used alongside outstanding orders, current stock levels and inventory lead times to carry out accurate resource planning. For each component, an inventory reorder point will be established, along with a reorder quantity that takes minimum order quantities (MOQs) into account. MRP means that the right ingredients will be in stock at the right time. A sound MRP system will also allow for maximum and minimum stock quantities so that there is flexibility in the system for changes or emergency orders.
MRP software can be a standalone system or as part of an ERP solution which also includes inventory and warehouse management functions.
2. Inventory Management
Efficient forecasting and planning will facilitate better inventory management. The two primary approaches to managing food inventory are FIFO (first in, first out) and FEFO (first expired, first-out). Either method can be adopted when using an inventory management software system. Inventory management software allows an end to end view of the supply chain from the day stock arrives throughout the production process. It captures supplier details, purchase price, and location in the warehouse.
3. Production controls
In production, perishable ingredients must be traced and tested through control checks so that at any stage through to consumer consumption, the individual components can be accounted for - which is integral for food safety and regulatory compliance.
4. Waste reduction
The most challenging problem with perishable stock is the potential financial loss through waste. However, an ERP system designed for food processing will reduce waste levels – sometimes to zero – by better planning, forecasting and inventory management.
5. Business intelligence and financial management
By tracking stock real-time through the supply chain, business intelligence reports give an up to date overview of profitability across the business. It allows for adjustments at different stages, gives data for price negotiation and highlights inefficiencies which can then be addressed, as individual projects. Better efficiencies lead to increased capacity and higher profit margins – which is beneficial for your food processing company.
If your business is ready for an ERP system to take you to the next level, choose a business partner with experience of the food processing industry and its unique challenges. Installing a new software system requires the support and expertise of your team, married with the technical knowledge of an ERP partner.
WinMan is a comprehensive food manufacturing ERP solution with built-in MRP and Inventory Management functionality making it suitable for Food Processors. We work closely with our customers to understand their business and processes so that together we can produce outstanding results. Contact our team today to find out more.