Designing an efficient supply chain is a challenge in any industry. This is an aspect of the business which feels the brunt of rapid market changes and the march of technological development. However for players in the Food and Beverage Industry where raw materials and fresh ingredients are stringently regulated and prone to limited shelf life, the processes of order intake, allocation, picking, packing and shipping take on new complications.
ERP solutions are here to help. In this blog, we explore four tips for adapting some of the powerful features of modern ERPs to Food and Beverage supply and production.
Streamline Your Quality Control
Maintaining effective Quality Control is of the utmost importance in the Food and Beverage industry, where businesses are expected to meet strict regulatory requirements and small failures can lead to expensive recalls and large numbers of goods being written off. Successful players create rigorous testing procedures – with accompanying protocols for recording and storing the results of this testing – to ensure that they are happy with the goods they are shipping and that they demonstrate all necessary compliance.
Modern ERP solutions can integrate these testing procedures and work with compliance managers, keeping track of tests, their specifications, and when they’re required, printing and storing testing documentation, and creating a traceable Quality Control history for all stock which enters the system.
This empowers staff to immediately see on their terminal which lots are at which stages of the Quality Control process, and easily prove or follow up on test results as necessary. Documentation can be automated to send to third parties as soon as it is generated.
MYOB Greentree includes a Quality Control features which allows for the specification of tests and documentation for each stock item, as well as which users should be allowed to pass them.
Know Your Stock Requirements
Do you manufacture some of your goods from raw materials and fresh ingredients?
Knowing the quantity of materials that are going to be needed at a certain location during a certain period is an important and constantly evolving consideration for Food and Beverage businesses involved in manufacturing. Many modern ERP solutions offer a Material Resource Planning (MRP) module, which is designed to help you handle just this.
By analysing sales orders and inventory availability, ERP systems can automatically keep track of what material requirements are and forecast them into the future, providing advice on which materials should be ordered, whether pre-existing orders should be expedited, checked up on, cancelled or modified. This lets you focus on making sure that what is required can be ordered, manufactured and sent out efficiently.
MYOB Advanced gives you the tools to help forecast your stock needs giving you certainty around holding the right stock.
Be Alert for Problems
With the vast volume of perishable stock that the Food and Beverage industry may deal in, it is unfortunately too easy in a simple Excel spreadsheet or in/out database environment for goods to expire before they have reached the customer – perhaps they are sitting around in the warehouse unrecognised; perhaps they are sent out too late. This is on top of the regular problems all businesses face – a purchase order running too late to provide a timely delivery; a stock level dipping below or climbing above tolerable limitations; an order not meeting the minimum GP target for the team.
Providing alert functionality to problems requiring attention is where ERP systems can really shine, as they typically are given a very broad set of cross-unit information comprising all aspects of the business, which can be used to define all sorts of situations that various stakeholders want to know about.
Modern ERPs like MYOB Greentree and MYOB Advanced allow you to define these situations requiring attention, and then pick up on them automatically every time, notifying the appropriate people via SMS, email, or notifications on their ERP system. Knowing that they will be reliably informed by the ERP solution to the problems that they’re interested in should give supply chain managers peace of mind that they’re not missing expiring, late, misplaced or unavailable stock flying ‘under-the-radar’, and allows them to respond to these scenarios in a timely, effective manner.
Making Regulatory Compliance Easier
Many Food and Beverage businesses are required to comply with various regulations pertaining to inspections and certification around their stock – often, this involves a fair degree of documentation. Today’s ERPs should allow you to attach ‘extra’ information – like whether an incoming shipment has been inspected, or whether a manufactured order has been labelled, or whether an outgoing order has been checked – to the appropriate record, and attach any external documentation to the same.
Supply chain workers can then see convenient collections of various records (goods, purchase orders, sales orders) in their different regulatory stages, and go about ensuring that the appropriate compliance measures are enacted. They are also empowered to obtain documentation to prove this compliance quickly and easily (for instance, drilling down into the inventory item on a sales order to obtain a document confirming the stock’s inspection), and can automate processes to send this documentation out to necessary stakeholders, if required.
Of course, custom regulation-related information attached to records can also be used in the ‘problem identification’ discussed above.
MYOB Greentree allows the creation of user-defined fields against a range of records and allows attaching of files to almost any record, anywhere in the system, which can be stored in the database itself.
Would you like to set up an efficient supply chain in your business? Contact us today; we are here to help you.