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Making your ERP system work for food safety, supplier quality assurance, food fraud prevention and more

By SYSPRO Pty Ltd on 16 January 2020

As a successful food business in South Africa, you are obviously focussed on your customer. You study the data to collect to uncover customer trends and market requirements to influence and underpin future product developments to ensure that your products meet the needs of your customers. Of course, if you are not using ERP software to assist you here, this is a huge daunting task or maybe you just guess.

ERP is also important in the planning aspects of production. Comprehensive ERP solutions can effectively forecast, using multi-level production planning, production costs and scheduling time frames. Again, if you are not using ERP software, this means you are probably juggling from one crisis to the next.

But the purpose of this article is not to berate you on how you manage your customers needs and production planning but rather to assist you in how you could manage food safety aspects in your supply chain so much better – with ERP of course.

“The supply chain;  When executed correctly, it’s something to behold! The pinnacle of efficiency. The backbone of “Just in Time” manufacturing. A well-oiled machine that is the lifeblood of your manufacturing business. For some, it can become quite the obsession -it’s their duty to keep it running without a hitch. For others, stressful! Always chasing the next marginal gain. But it doesn’t have to be that way! The supply chain can be therapeutic and calming – poetry in motion. But to create such poetry, you’ll need ERP”

Managing stock and suppliers

For many businesses its inventory is often its biggest asset. Intelligent ERP systems, such as SYSPRO, can update any changes to inventory levels as, and when, they occur and improve forecasting and ultimately reducing food waste in the supply chain – something that is desperately needed when you look at how much food is thrown away each year. Expiry dates on products can be flagged by your ERP system to ensure effective stock rotation of raw materials and final products. The new legal requirement of R638 for full traceability of stock is a piece of cake using an ERP system as each step from raising of a purchase order to dispatch and delivery, order tracking, monitoring order processing and shipping, and communicating this to the customer is logged

Supplier food safety challenges

It is not uncommon to find companies trying to manage two systems for supplier evaluation and monitoring. The Food safety team leader will have an approved suppliers list. This is usually part of a manual supplier quality assurance process of laborious questionnaires to ensure that all raw materials are assessed for hazards PRIOR to designating a new supplier. The purchasing department and the creditors department, on the other hand, will have the REAL approved suppliers list – the vendors recorded on their accounting software. These are the companies that REALLY supply ingredients and packaging. A food safety audit will usually highlight discrepancies between the lists and most often, it is the food safety team leader who has the wrong list. The implications - unsafe products can be used by your company resulting in potential harm to those hard-earned customers.

Food fraud is on the increase with alarming statistics reported globally. Your ERP system will allow you to introduce positive release of raw materials by the quality department to ensure that you can verify the integrity of ingredients that your VACCP system has highlighted as high risks.

This mean new suppliers can be approved by food safety, supplier monitoring and product testing can be tracked and reported by quality and orders can be expedited by purchasing using ONE set of data for enhanced visibility. This data can be readily available, easily viewed, and searched by ALL relevant managers. And if we have a problem or a query, we can find the root cause of our problems and take effective corrective action so muck quicker. It makes perfect business sense to have an ERP doesn’t it?

This article was reproduced with the permission of SYSPRO