Aligning food safety strategy and ERP implementation is critical for manufacturers who wish to gain a competitive edge in a very volatile and competitive market. World class manufacturers understand that traditional manual processes can no longer provide the real time and accurate information required to drive their businesses. Effective use of an ERP system can help push food safety compliance deep into the 21stcentury and beyond.
Food Safety Regulations
In the food and beverage industry regulations around food safety and labelling are constantly evolving, making compliance a challenging and costly exercise to control. In order to minimize risk in terms of hefty fines and the considerable cost of recall, not to mention the damage to your company’s brand, more companies are turning to ERP to help provide visibility, quality control and traceability.
Implementing a controlled and clearly defined food safety strategy can be greatly bolstered through an efficient ERP system. It is critical that all steps in the manufacturing life cycle are monitored, controlled and measured against predefined standards. From the initial R&D process in developing recipes and procedures for safe and efficient production, right down to the final traceability from the shelf to consumer.
R&D data collection and analysis is often neglected within the ERP system, however using engineering change control as an example can aid in understanding the history and development of the product by recording all changes to the recipe as the product develops.
Change Control is Key
Engineering change control can also be used to accurately control this process in the ERP system through pre-defined product life cycle definition.
Also security procedures and settings within the ERP system can prevent revisions and releases not ready for production from being utilized in the manufacturing and/or distribution process.
Live Traceability Essential
Once a product is ready for production the ERP system really comes into its own in terms of data collection and traceability. Using various tools within an ERP system’s accurate works order control in combination with fully integrated lot traceability, allows for detailed analysis of usage to standard, as well as the up and down stream traceability required by legislation. Food safety legislation has globally become more time critical with some countries requiring a full recall to be effected within hours of the report of an incident. An effective ERP solution using its live on-line traceability has this information at the touch of a button, and within minutes both up and down stream traceability can be performed on initial raw material input as well as customers affected by the recall.
The feedback loop into recipe design based on actual usage and production can be reported accurately through the use of work in progress. Allowing the producer to fine tune the yield and recovery necessary for reporting and cost saving. Knowing where what is being used to reduce and minimize waste can deliver enormous cost saving benefits. ERP use and data extraction can also help indicate trends and highlight inefficiencies within the Food and Beverage supply chain.