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ERP systems and other integrated business systems can help improve quality control throughout the food manufacturing process. Food manufacturers, like companies who manufacture pharmaceuticals and similar products, must comply with stringent rules and regulations to ensure safety and quality of end-products. Having accurate, timely data helps ensure compliance and safety. For companies in the food manufacturing business, IWI Consulting offers a whitepaper entitled Improving Transparency in Food Manufacturing. Ways in Which ERP Benefits the Food Manufacturing Process Quality assurance professionals and quality analysts know that data fuels many of their decisions. They rely upon accurate, timely data, scientific facts, and knowledge of their industry’s laws and regulations to produce high-quality products that are safe for the public. Having accurate data is vital for food manufacturers. Data integrity, consistency, and accuracy are all improved thanks to ERP systems for food manufacturing companies. Such information can help you predict problems and take corrective measures to prevent them. Here are more ways in which ERP benefits the food manufacturing industry. Accurate data: Food manufacturing depends upon accurate data for both quality and consistency. Centralized data and careful selection of those approved to input data improve both accuracy and quality. When specific employees are responsible […]

Transparency in food manufacturing is achievable with the right technology and enterprise software. Food manufacturers need greater traceability and data visibility in order to meet increased demands by regulators and consumers. Every step of production is impacted from the supply chain to manufacturing to marketing. This broad range of impact makes enterprise software a key factor in streamlining tracking and providing information visibility to all who need it. We have taken a comprehensive look at the importance of transparency in the food manufacturing industry and how to achieve it in different areas of your business, in previous blogs. We also offer a free whitepaper on the subject. You can find them here: How to Improve Transparency in Food Manufacturing 5-Step Plan to Achieve Food Manufacturing Supply Chain Visibility Creating a Window into Food Manufacturing Operations Using Enterprise Software to Achieve a Competitive Advantage For more information, download our free whitepaper, Improving Transparency in Food Manufacturing. With Sage X3, an ERP tailored for food manufacturing companies, you can gain transparency in all of your business operations.  It can help you collect, store, manage, and act on your operational data for improved transparency. Transparency tools include recipe and formula management, shelf-life management […]

In the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the need to establish transparency in the food manufacturing business. While implementing the technology needed to achieve transparency may require investment, there is also a significant marketing advantage that can improve your return on investment; enterprise software. Consumers are increasingly putting great importance on the origin of their food as well as the methods used to grow and process it. They are motivated by health, safety, and environmental concerns and expect to receive information about food including contents and production practices. As a result, the food processing industry is under increased public scrutiny resulting in a need to provide transparency, traceability, and food safety. How can food manufacturing transparency provide a competitive advantage? Whether you sell directly to the consumer or to distributors, transparency can grow your revenue and enterprise software is necessary to provide this transparency. Putting a marketing focus on transparency will let customers know that you are dedicated to transparency in your operations and processes, providing you with a major competitive advantage over companies who only do the minimum required. Transparency indicates accountability. Customers want their food manufacturer to take accountability for their product rather than hiding problems when they […]

Do you have windows into your food manufacturing facility? No, we don’t mean actual windows, but virtual windows that see through the manufacturing process. These windows provide operations transparency—visibility and access to information that is needed for collaboration, decision-making, and compliance reporting. Food manufacturers are often on the forefront of manufacturing transparency trends because food products can have a major impact on consumer health and safety. Consumers and regulators are concerned about food safety and are driving the need for transparency across all operations. Even so, according to a 2014 Smart Manufacturing Technologies survey, 40% of manufacturers have no visibility into the real-time status of their company’s manufacturing processes. Transparency is vital in food manufacturing. By establishing a window into your manufacturing operations, you are better able to comply with regulations, provide rapid response to customers or food safety issues, customize products, and improve operational performance.  The good news is that manufacturing technology exists to create that window. Technology can automate your processes, gather data about your products and operations, analyze data, and communicate the data in a meaningful way. What does transparency look like in food manufacturing? When your food manufacturing operations are transparent, these things must be present: […]

Increasing visibility is a critical strategy for all manufacturers, but even more so for those in food manufacturing. In our last blog, How to Improve Transparency in Food Manufacturing, we discussed the importance of transparency to food manufacturers. A vital component of transparency is supply chain visibility. Supply chain visibility means that you are able to collect and respond to information from your suppliers regardless of size or geographic location. This information includes specific data related to product orders, physical shipments, invoices, and the status of events and milestones. When done well, you will have a tight synchronization of supply and demand as well as the ability to orchestrate the flow of product, information, and funds. Visibility provides many benefits in addition to transparency. Supply chain visibility can help reduce costs and improve company performance by increasing your company’s agility and responsiveness. In order to establish supply chain visibility and see these key benefits, you will need to follow these steps. An Action Plan for Supply Chain Visibility in Food Manufacturing Establish communication: In order to gather information from your suppliers and transporters, you will need to share and adopt universal standards for barcoding and data exchange. GS1 standards will […]

Do you know what transparency means in the food manufacturing industry? Do you know why it is so important? Do you know how to improve transparency in your processes? If not, read on to learn why transparency is so critical and how you can achieve it. Transparency is vital in the food manufacturing industry in order to streamline compliance and improve consumer relations. Transparency is needed through all of the stages of food manufacturing including origin, supply, production, processing, and distribution. Successful transparency requires the right technology to streamline tracking and provide information visibility to all who need it. What is transparency in food manufacturing? Transparency in the food manufacturing industry involves openly providing information about how food is produced. Both regulators and consumers are looking for information ranging from ingredient origin to the specific processing methods employed by the food manufacturer. Transparency has been a hot topic for food manufacturers for some time. According to Innova Market Insights, transparency is the number two topic on the top-ten list of food trends right after “improving consumer trust”. While many elements of transparency are already practiced and mandated in forms like nutritional labeling and truth-in-advertising statutes, there are many more practices […]

Over the past few weeks, we have looked at ways to reduce waste in the food manufacturing industry by using technology to improve warehousing and manufacturing practices. Another tool you can use to reduce waste is business intelligence connected with an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system like Sage X3. Overstocking is a Primary Source of Food Waste Increasing manufacturing automation and improving traceability are certainly key components in reducing waste; however, a large portion of food waste results from overstocking which comes when companies are unable to sell their finished products. Of course, the danger of lowering stock levels is to run into stock-outs which will also reduce profitability. Business Intelligence Tools Optimize Inventory Success in the food manufacturing industry is tied to the ability to accurately forecast consumer demand. Because supply and demand can fluctuate dramatically, it can be a challenge to maintain the right stock levels.  Business intelligence tools are critical components to your systems because they can help take the guesswork out of when to buy and how much to stock. Even small improvements in the problems below can make a big impact on your profitability. Excess inventory Stock-outs Inaccurate counts Warehouse inefficiency Your business is complex and […]

The food manufacturing industry is highly competitive. With low margins and fluctuating demand, food manufacturers need to use every means to maximize efficiency. That is why food waste is an important matter; small amounts can accumulate into big costs. Reducing food waste will lead to decreased costs and increased profitability. Reduce Waste Using Process Automation One way to eliminate food waste is to be focused on operational excellence on the manufacturing floor. (See last week’s blog to learn about reducing food waste in the warehouse.) Putting the following practices in place will improve manufacturing success and reduce waste. Automate your production lines using intelligent equipment and improve recipe management. Apply lean manufacturing practices to eliminate wasted steps in the manufacturing process. Continuously innovate to improve processing equipment and material handling. Track ingredients and products throughout the manufacturing process. Collect process data to meet regulatory compliance and make improvements. Knowledge is the First Step to Maximizing Efficiency Awareness of where food waste occurs is critical to knowing where to focus innovation. Having a thorough understanding of where food waste occurs makes it possible to maximize efficiency. That knowledge comes from having the right technology in place to gather and analyze data. […]

One of the biggest challenges a food manufacturer can face is managing inventory. Excess inventory is an issue for any manufacturer, but for the food manufacturing industry, the repercussions are even greater. With inventory that has a shelf life and expiration dates, effective inventory management is mission critical. Last week, we looked at the high cost of waste in the food manufacturing industry and how having technology with tracking capabilities can reduce that cost. (See The High Cost of Waste in the Food Manufacturing Industry.) This week, we will look at how better warehouse management can reduce food expiration and spoilage as well as eliminate cross-contamination—two sources of food waste. Reduce Food Expiration and Spoilage Poor inventory management in the food manufacturing industry directly leads to food expiration and spoilage.  Although technology and improved processes can help reduce food expiration and spoilage by speeding up the production process, the real issue is in distribution and the inability to move products down the supply chain at an appropriate rate. A robust ERP solution can support efforts to manage your inventory by tracking lots and shelf life so that products can be pushed out before they expire. Eliminate Cross-Contamination Contamination of food […]

Food waste isn’t just a global problem; it impacts profitability in the food manufacturing industry. Food waste is an indicator that there are inefficiencies in manufacturing processes, contributing to high overhead and lower profits. Momentum is building to address the global food waste problem. Non-profit organizations, regulators, and consumers are making waste an urgent issue due to their concerns about sustainability and world hunger. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 30% of the food we grow is never eaten. While the majority of waste occurs at the consumption level, over 4 billion pounds of food are wasted in the manufacture and distribution of food. Reducing Food Manufacturing Waste Increases Profitability Generally, food manufacturing companies accept a certain amount of waste as a part of the cost of doing business and include it as overhead. Estimates say that industry-wide disposal costs are more than $100mm. Food companies could increase their profits by as much as 10% simply by reducing food waste. In a market where companies face high volume and thin margins, reducing waste can make a major impact on profitability. Traceability is at the Core of Eliminating Food Waste Within the food manufacturing industry, […]