The overall complexity of today’s food supply chains and constant rush to get food products to markets has made excess food waste a common occurrence.
The good news, however, is that most of this waste is preventable with the right technology. Here’s where Enterprise Resource Planning software, known as ERP software, comes into play.
Critical areas in food production that are prone to producing food waste
- Mistaken forecasting is one of the primary causes of food waste since it can easily result in the over-production of food products. This factor alone contributes to about 5% of total annual food waste.
- Unnecessary transport and inventory mismanagement are also common food waste culprits. Any logistics activity that usually results in the needless transportation of inventory increases its carbon footprint. There is also the likelihood of this food going stale in transit.
- Not providing the required temperature conditions on manufactured food items can also have a direct impact on the products. Failing to maintain the right temperature can lead to microbial growth, making the product unsafe for consumption.
- Using cheap disposal techniques have also contributed to food waste in combination with damaged goods.
- Expiration and spoilage of ingredients is another cause of food waste. This usually happens when food products pass mandated expiration dates or spoil altogether. Although food processing companies strive to prevent such loss, it’s almost impossible without a proper food production process.
Benefits of using ERP software to help reduce food production waste
Food production management is a critical process that drives toward tackling the global environmental, societal, and economic problems of food wastage. Throughout the food production cycle, losses and waste that occur are preventable.
Food processing companies must strive toward reducing food waste right from the processing plants to distribution centres and supermarkets. Here are five key ways this can be done with ERP.
1. Supply chain management
Adopting ERP software in your food production eliminates issues to do with the overproduction of food products beyond your storage capacity. ERP software provides you with tools that provide accurate forecasting and planning.
ERP also uses past data to predict expected sales accurately and guide your future production strategies. You can now rest assured of aligned production, storage, and demand for food products.
2. Full traceability for better GMP
The proper ERP software can have a significant impact on ensuring that customers receive quality products in compliance with GMP regulations. ERP software provides supply chain traceability and serialisation that manufacturers require. The level of traceability defines control over the entire lifecycle of food products.
3. Managing expiry dates on raw materials
Most ingredients of raw food materials usually have a limited shelf life. Having an ERP software integrated with inventory management enables manufacturers to keep tighter expiration rack on managing and reducing potential food waste significantly.
As a food processor, you should always set levels on inventory that automatically trigger when reorders are made. This will prevent overproduction and processed materials from going bad.
4. Efficient storage administration
ERP software and other warehouse management functionalities are critical to providing indicators that the ERP framework can easily monitor. ERP also makes complex warehouse operations easily manageable. Therefore, reducing the level of potential food waste.
ERP software focuses on real-time stock control, work-in-progress tracking, integrated shipping, and batch and serial number management as a measure of minimising food waste.
Addressing complex food manufacturing operations is the first step toward minimising or preventing waste in food. ERP software puts your business in a better position to combat food wastage and ensure effective tracking.