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Managing Your Warehouse to Reduce Food Waste

Published on: Nov 05, 2015

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 can not only results in waste, but also can be dangerous for your customers and negatively impact your company’s reputation. Having a food safety plan is the first step to prevent cross-contamination in the food manufacturing process. However, improved tracking functionality will help eliminate this risk.

To learn more about how food ERP software can help prevent contamination, see our blog: The Answer to Food Manufacturing Industry’s Worries.

Sage X3—an ERP Focused on Food Manufacturing

Inventory management capabilities integrated with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software are critical components for tracking inventory in real time and reducing food waste. Sage X3 is an ERP that can be used to manage the entire inventory process. Sage X3 has tracking functions that make it easier to manage warehouses and processes so that spoilage and cross-contamination can be eliminated. The allergen tracking function in Sage X3 enables companies to easily segregate ingredients in the warehouse and move them out before they spoil. It provides precise data on the timing, handling and flow of goods including lot tracking information accessible within four minutes.

Specific Sage X3 inventory capabilities include:

  • Multi-level warehousing: location, lot and sub lot
  • Forward and backward lot traceability
  • Shelf life management with expiration date control
  • Movements and transactions
  • RF data acquisition
  • Quality control
  • Costing
  • Replenishment

In addition to robust inventory functionality, Sage X3 includes software to manage all of a food processor’s business from manufacturing to accounting to sales. To learn more about Sage X3 and its unique features built especially for food manufacturing companies, click here.

To learn more about reducing food waste with ERP, download our whitepaper, Sage ERP X3: Reducing Food Waste and Increasing Efficiency with ERP.

Our small and dedicated team specializes in helping small-to-medium size Canadian businesses and non-profits select and adapt Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Resource Management (HRMS) and IT services. With IWI’s 15 years in business and 100 plus years of combined experience, IWI has helped hundreds of food manufacturing, distribution, and financial service companies gain efficiency, grow, and lower their operating costs.

With the unique combination of industry knowledge and diverse technology expertise, IWI provides cost-effective solutions to help clients gain a competitive edge.  As a Sage business partner, servicing the Greater Toronto Area, we support evaluation and implementation of operations and finance systems to optimize technology, ensuring high return on investment with a quick and painless transition to new software.