Use of ERP System in Food Safety and Traceability
How food enterprises, from farmers to manufacturers and distributors, can adjust to the new Food Safety Modernization Act’s tough compliance criteria is one of the most significant recent advancements in food safety (FSMA). This rule has the potential to greatly improve food safety, but it will also cause a slew of commercial and process issues for food companies.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) shifts the focus of the food supply chain from contamination response to contamination prevention. The focus is on prevention, transparency, and obligation for each phase of the chain, all of which require enterprises to establish, adhere to, and monitor all of their systems for preventing food contamination.
Businesses can benefit from ERP software in a variety of ways. Forecasting and planning, inventory, logistics, distribution, and waste management can all benefit from an integrated ERP solution, which also provides vital traceability, data gathering and administration, as well as quality control and food safety regulations.
Any firm starting on an ERP selection and deployment project must carefully balance its immediate and long-term business goals with the proper ERP solution, as well as rigorously plan and prepare for the implementation process, to reap these benefits.
FULFILLING FSMA’S REQUIREMENTS
In the future, businesses will have to adhere to more strict rules, procedures, surveillance systems, and documentation. This might be difficult for organizations with multiple phases in their food production operations and outdated legacy technologies or manual methods.
Legacy systems are inefficient and prone to errors due to their inability to swiftly identify and produce the essential data for audits, their limited capability to encrypt data, and their lack of standardization features that permit integration with other systems.
As a result, many food companies will be concentrating their efforts in the coming years on implementing mobile technology and new ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems for food safety services, which will make enforcement more accessible, improve data quality, and significantly improve food traceability in order to comply with new and stricter regulations.
Many food firms rely on 10- to 20-year-old ERP and in-house systems. Even with periodic software updates, these systems have not been maintained up to date, making them more difficult to maintain, boosting the cost of ownership, and making upgrades more complicated and expensive. They also present a lot of problems when it comes to integration.
INTEGRATION OF FOOD SAFETY ERP IS ESSENTIAL
Integration is critical when it comes to having the necessary processes in place to support food safety in a company’s operations. The ability of a food safety ERP system to communicate with a company’s quality system, for example, is crucial in meeting the new food safety regulations. Companies that are unable to integrate both systems must perform a matching exercise, which involves acquiring and evaluating data from both systems using spreadsheets.
These manual processes would be too expensive and time-consuming to satisfy regulators’ deadlines due to FSMA’s heightened documentation requirements. Legacy systems often struggle to integrate more current technologies, such as mobile, which can improve supply chain transparency, allow for field-to-fork traceability, and give consumers with food safety information.
New food safety software offers a high level of scalability and precision, as well as food-specific functionality. Because of their improved functionality and tone trace capabilities, they can now have exceptional traceability. By combining ERP with mobile applications, companies can code, log, and trace their product items at the field level, production facility, or packing factory.
Food organizations can also communicate correct food information to customers at the point of sale by integrating ERP with current mobile traceability apps, such as product sources, expiration dates, package information, allergen details, food recall information, and marketing promos.
HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT ERP SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
It’s no secret that successfully and effectively implementing ERP solutions takes time. Your project manager must establish and communicate a set of desired goals and outcomes from the start. To enhance project performance, a project budget must be determined early on.
There must be a calculated amount equal to the efficiency gains you desire. This will provide you with the highest realized value of all benefits and the best return on your investment in the shortest length of time. Keep the following considerations in mind before embarking on an ERP implementation journey:
- Assign someone to be in charge of the project’s execution.
- Define the specs, goals, and objectives for your ERP deployment in great detail.
- Make sure everyone in the company understands what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
- Set attainable goals for the outcome.
These factors will help ensure that your ERP project delivers measurable business advantages and, most crucially, the desired outcome. Brand recalls are costly, both in terms of product costs and the potential damage to your company’s credibility and brand image. Having a solid ERP system in place that can handle food safety, traceability, and recall protocols can help you save money and minimise further harm in the event of a recall.
We’re approaching a point in time when food companies must evaluate their current structures and processes to ensure that they not only directly meet the FSMA’s dynamic and increased documentation requirements, but also help boost quality and process efficiency, as well as promote potential developments in food safety service.
They’re putting in place new food safety ERP systems that work in tandem with a company’s quality system and other best-of-breed software. They can give a cost-effective, one-step response to regulators’ records demands and a long-term food safety solution while enabling advanced applications like mobile.