Food ERP and Traceability: Key Ingredients for Enterprise Success
Where does our food come from? For Canadian producers and manufacturers, answering this question is now critical as Food Inspection Agency rules evolve and consumer expectations increase around supply chain visibility and security.
To satisfy regulatory standards, solutions such as DairyTrace have emerged to centralize and streamline dairy traceability data. To maximize long-term ROI, meanwhile, companies must combine food traceability and food ERP to convert visibility objectives into value-driven operations.
One Step Forward, One Step Back
As noted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into effect on January 15, 2019 but continues to evolve alongside new food supply, manufacturing and shipping processes. The impact of SFCR is broad, with regulations applying to any business that imports food or exports food along with any companies that distribute, manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, store, package or label food to be sent across territory or provincial boundaries.
In addition to providing identity information — including the common name of the food product and the name and address of the manufacturer — companies must also provide traceability one step back and one step forward with details about when food products were obtained and who provided them, along with information about when and where the food was sent when it left your facility.
Ultimately, the goal of the SFCR is to improve Canadians’ food safety with an unbroken chain of custody and compliance — but this isn’t always an easy task.
Critical Compliance Challenges
When it comes to managing traceability in the Canadian food industry, enterprises face three broad challenges:
As consumers seek out businesses that provide value-added products and services, the scope of food sourcing has expanded. This means that in addition to large-scale food producers, many companies now have agreements with smaller firms and startups to source and deliver the widest range of food possible. When it comes to traceability, however, increased scope can lead to significant challenges with consistent and comprehensive data collection.
The scale of data collection has also expanded as Canadian regulations now require enterprises to provide both forward-and-back information for all food products. As a result, legacy food manufacturing software may not be up to the task of traceability at scale.
Not only is speed critical to ensure regulators have access to traceability data on-demand, but it’s also essential for organizations to implement food recall procedures if specific products are identified as deficient. Ensuring rapid recall requires not only specific information about all affected products but also the ability to track how many of these products were sent, where they went and when they arrived.
Facilitating Food Visibility
While food manufacturing software is now commonplace to help companies track operational performance and manage inventory, these solutions aren’t enough in isolation. To facilitate traceability in food manufacturing across multi-province processing and transport operations, it’s critical to deploy enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions that don’t simply exist alongside food management software but help facilitate ongoing success.
Key benefits of integrated food and beverage ERP include:
Comprehensive supply chain management
With a combination of global and local suppliers now commonplace for many food and beverage enterprises, comprehensive supply chain management linked to enterprise ERP is critical to ensure interoperability and usability of data.
Warehouse and inventory integration
It’s not enough to know where your food came from and where it’s going — companies also need to know where their products are right now to limit waste and find the right balance between stock levels and supplier demands. By making warehouse management part of the food traceability framework with advanced ERP solutions, enterprises can ensure they’re always out in front of potential supply problems.
From recall management to quality tracking and allergen identification, food traceability is about more than just knowing where products originated and where they’re going — enterprises need the ability to manage quality in-house from the moment ingredients arrive to the second they leave manufacturing facilities. As a result, it’s critical to deploy ERP solutions that include comprehensive production performance tools that include everything from quality audits to proactive machine maintenance reminders.
Streamlined customer service
With consumers now invested in the food manufacturing process — and able to jumpstart potential recall processes thanks to digital communication platforms — Canadian food producers need ERP solutions that enable them to quickly assess and respond to consumer concerns with concrete and complete traceability data.
The Full Meal Deal
As the Canadian food and beverage industry evolves to incorporate new product sources and more complex supply chains, governmental regulations look to limit the risk to consumers with more stringent requirements around food origins, traceability and visibility. For food suppliers, manufacturers and transporters these rapid shifts highlight the need for advanced food and beverage ERP solutions capable handling data scope, managing regulatory scale and responding to potential problems at speed.
About Us: IWI Consulting Group is a Sage Intacct partner with 20 years’ experience helping Canadian food and beverage, manufacturing, financial and professional firms implement and deploy top-performing Sage ERP solutions both on-premises and in the cloud by deploying Sage X3 Cloud, Sage Intacct and Sage 300 systems.
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