While there is a need to ensure the safety of consumers in every industry, things get very critical when it comes to food products. The Food and Beverages (F&B) manufacturers have to ensure the products they are distributing in the market undergo a stringent quality check. All processes need to comply with the set regulations by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Even the slightest negligence poses a severe threat to the consumers’ health, leading a business to significant losses.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for ensuring all F&B companies comply with FSMA requirements. In case the authority detects a loophole or flaw in the system, it demands a recall. This situation is no less than a nightmare for F&B manufacturers. Things get super complicated and messy when these companies do not have a proper traceability system and proper recall capabilities.
Traceability is a method that allows a company to go back and forth to track the origin of an ingredient at any point in the supply chain. With a full-fledged tracking system, a company can easily investigate and identify the root cause of the problem. It also helps reduce the damage that comes with recalls.
To make ‘recalls’ stress-free and minimize the risks to the consumers, the right approach is to design a system that enhances their recall capabilities through traceability.
The Need to Automate
A traceability system helps make things easy and convenient for companies, but a manual system only adds to the trouble. Searching through spreadsheets and skimming through piles of paper-based records to get that one piece of ‘critical’ information is not only time-consuming but also tedious, mundane, and tiring. This alone requires a huge team as searching through manually maintained documents is not a one-man job.
It can take days, weeks, and sometimes a month to extract the required piece of information. By the time a company recovers information, the damage done is too significant. The damage leads to considerable deterioration of the company’s reputation. In the worst-case scenario, it leads a company towards its downfall.
Considering all these factors, it is vital for businesses to consider automation to improve traceability and recall capabilities. Tackling compliance breaches and eliminating risks from the traceability procedures becomes simple and convenient when the entire system is automated. State-of-the-art tools such as a cloud-based ERP embedded with the latest technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), is the perfect way to automate the process to minimize the overall damage associated with recalls.
Food-Specific ERP for Traceability and Recall Solution
There are a plethora of different tech tools out there that companies are using to automate the processes. While these tools help contribute to a business’s streamlined processes, none is a comprehensive solution.
When it comes to a comprehensive solution for F&B companies to ensure compliance with FSMA and efficiently manage recalls, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software comes into play. It is a tool that helps companies automate the processes of gathering and organizing business data. From procurement to production and from finances to distribution, ERP software enhances the company’s efficiency by automating all business functions. Integration of ERPs is helping businesses boost productivity and enhance profitability in every niche.
For companies operating in the F&B sector, where non-compliance with FSMA regulations leads to major losses, a food-specific ERP is the best choice. These ERPs help trace the origin of ingredients and finished goods while providing the company with an ability to efficiently track the processes as well as the personnel associated with these processes.
The capabilities of an F&B-specific ERP are very beneficial for companies that are working to investigate a recall. Inadequate sanitation to use of the wrong ingredient, such an ERP can help trace it all. This minimizes the scale of recall. A company has to recall products manufactured or distributed in specific batches. It reduces the overall costs associated with the recalls and even helps companies keep up with their reputation.
Such a degree of convenience in recalls reduces the time of the entire process. The companies can track the origin, batch numbers, and even the employees who worked on it within a few minutes or hours. While reducing the time and costs, it also prevents the health and safety of the consumers from being harmed.
While, on one hand, an F&B-specific ERP improves traceability and recall capabilities of companies, it helps eliminate the possibility of recall completely. With its features and functionalities, including screening of suppliers, sending supplier recertification alerts, recording quality control test results, sending alerts for odd and out-of-tolerance quality test results, controlling shelf-life while maintaining storage requirements, such ERPs serve as comprehensive solutions.
The Bottom Line
There is no denying there, integration of ERPs across industries has helped evolve the way businesses function. Similarly, for the F&B companies, complying with FSMA regulations has become easy and convenient. Even though recalls can put a company at high risk of major losses but with an F&B ERP, a company can minimize the damage while saving costs and resources. Integrating this system that automates all tedious and time-consuming tasks for a business can really change the game for F&B companies.
Improving data accuracy, minimizing and avoiding translation errors, and automating data collection are a few of the many benefits that come with integrating food-specific ERP software in an F&B company. Not only is the integration of ERP critical for improving traceability and recall capabilities, but it also gives companies a competitive edge in the market. The corporate world is very competitive in this modern age. Leveraging tech tools such as ERPs to come out as a strong entity is one of the smartest approaches. It is time that F&B companies move past the manual handling and organizing of data to minimize their exposure to losses while keeping the safety and security of the consumers a priority.