BY STUART HALL
SALES DIRECTOR, EPICOR SOFTWARE UK & IRELAND
The recent international Mars recall in 55 countries has hit headlines everywhere. A consumer finding a small piece of red plastic in his Snickers bar in Germany is forecasted to have cost the company $2.5m in lost sales internationally. After investigation, this small piece of plastic was identified as coming from a plastic cover used in a Dutch Mars manufacturing plant and resulted in at least six different confectionery brands needing to be recalled.
Whilst this is the most recent recall of note, Mars is not the only food manufacturer needing to handle logistical nightmares such as this in recent times. In 2006, Cadbury was forced to recall more than a million bars of chocolate after traces of salmonella were found in its products, resulting in 42 people becoming ill and three more being admitted to hospital. In fact, in 2015 the number of food product recalls initiated by the Food Standards Agency rose by 78%, highlighting just how important it is for food manufacturers to ensure they have the right processes in place to minimise these risks.
The right business software solution can play a vital role in streamlining food manufacturing and improving processes. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can be a great resource for manufacturers. There are sophisticated, modern ERP solutions that are specifically designed for the food and beverage sector that could be the answer to many food companies’ prayers.
Food and beverage manufacturers have distinct needs and face risks that are unique to their business. Good dedicated ERP and process manufacturing solutions can offer recipe-based materials management, helping manufacturers stay on top of order and delivery processing. It also helps to improve quality by streamlining planning and production tasks, especially when data capture goes from the earliest point in the production process through to consumption by the customer. This data is invaluable to any company in a recall crisis trying to trace back where the hiccups have occurred in its production process.
A package that manages recipe materials, forecasts and reports production, consumption and fulfilment, handles packaging and streamlines planning and production can be a huge asset to any food manufacturer- ultimately improving shelf life resulting in higher sales and less wastage. The nature of food manufacturing can never be risk free, but a software solution incorporating traceability at every step of the process can provide reassurance that every possible measure is being taken.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020