With the fast-moving nature of the market and the shortening of product lifecycles, it can be a challenge for food manufacturers to keep up with traceability compliance.
Food safety is entirely based on the upkeep of well-documented procedures, and that includes every stage of the manufacturing process. With regulations in place to enforce this, there is a natural fit with ERP software, since these systems carry out critical enterprise procedures. With ERP software in place, food companies can monitor and manage product information, procurement, formulation, production, maintenance, quality assurance, allergens management, distribution and more. Here are some key benefits of ERP systems for food manufacturers.
Managing the chain of custody
The functional scope of ERP systems is quite broad, but there are certain features the food manufacturing industry needs that not all systems can accommodate. ERP offers integrated functionality for quality management and assurance, as well as enterprise asset management. It would help manage the 'chain of custody' in food manufacturing for food safety compliance. Every step of the chain needs to be catered for to ensure all quality procedures are followed, and that any production equipment a product touches is cleaned and maintained to the highest standards.
Fragmentation impacts traceability, so having one system for the management of orders and financials but a different system for production management is bad practice. A solution like this increases the integration overhead while making it harder to compile information for effective traceability. Whereas a multi-function ERP system can manage processes across different departments from a single place to help improve efficiency and optimise operations.
Product lifecycle management for safe formulation
An ERP system in a food manufacturing environment needs to have rich features for managing formulation recipes as well as shop floor control capacities. With the right ERP system, the successful function goes beyond mere batch execution. The structure of an item's production and the quality control steps involved may begin earlier on in the product lifecycle management (PLM) phase. And ERP system with integrated PLM features will help to define recipes, control procedures and labelling information, making all that information available to other functions of the ERP system like product management, quality management and procurement.
Compliance with industry regulations
The ability to present a solid chain of custody regarding what went into each product shipment is at the heart of most food safety regulations. The records of the production of items and what was put into them must be consistent and easy to trace, from the PLM stage through to procurement, production, quality control and distribution. With all this data centralised in a single system, available for retrieval with only a few simple queries, you can achieve maximum traceability for regulators and customers alike.
A good ERP system for the food industry will have features like vendor certification for the tracking of suppliers that have implemented allergen management plans, and item attributes to identify the presence of allergens during recipe planning and formulation. The aim is to increase the visibility of allergens in batch planning and beyond, with workflow features that help ensure employees involved in allergen management always take the right actions.
Getting the balance right
With a fully integrated system that covers the main challenges within the industry, you can manage procedures efficiently and report on data easily, compared to using bolt-on solutions or a range of spreadsheets. The WinMan ERP system is a powerful solution for the food industry - contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can help.