In accordance with increasingly stringent FDA and USDA regulatory requirements, the food industry is now obligated to adapt new software technologies to help it meet evolving industry compliance standards for product safety. Some companies within the industry have decided to utilize ERP software to gain real-time access to product logistics, adhere to the highest product safety levels and improve insights on ingredient and product lot history.
Following are five essential ERP software components to consider when selecting ERP software for the food and beverage industry:
1. Quality Control Workflows – An ideal ERP solution is one that provides built-in quality control workflows, including automatic alerts, testing and electronic signatures. These workflows are implemented by flagging certain raw ingredients to be tested upon receipt, recording test data values directly in the system and using electronic signatures to add them to available inventory for consumption.
2. Bidirectional Lot Tracking – A fully-integrated manufacturing or food distribution software solution must be able to track the lot numbers and dates of raw ingredients received into inventory and those used for producing finished goods. The software also must be able to track the shipping date of a finished good lot. Businesses that are unable to track this information are at risk of facing compliance and financial issues should a product recall occur.
3. Product Shelf Life Management – Tracking shelf lives and expiration dates of products is a principal requirement for food manufacturing companies. A sophisticated ERP system allows an organization to establish fail-safe minimum shelf life requirements on a product-by-product basis. When a customer places an order, the system should automatically allocate only those items in inventory which fulfill the customer’s minimum shelf-life criteria.
4. RF or Barcode Scanning of Products – An ERP system used with a barcode scanning device is useful for acknowledging receipt of ingredients into inventory and tracking finished goods. Scanning devices access the ERP system to retrieve information concerning an ingredient or finished good lot that is being picked, produced, packed and shipped to customers. This gives organizations the ability to effectively supervise every step of the production and shipping processes.
5. Recall Strategy – An efficient ERP system allows an organization to build its own recall plan, set up notifications to be sent to specific individuals and simultaneously track all costs incurred during a recall. In the event of a recall, ERP software can minimize the overall disruption and financial impact.
By selecting an ERP vendor that fits these requirements, companies in the food and beverage industry will greatly improve product safety and traceability. Still have questions? Learn more at www.efooderp.com.
Guest Blog: Selecting ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry,