Now more than ever food and beverage manufactures are up against greater challenges. Antiquated pen-and-paper tracking is still surprisingly prevalent in even large and mid-size companies but those systems can open the door to issues when it comes to quality and food safety requirements. Alternatively, the right food safety software can help balance business profitability and FDA regulatory compliance guidelines. These are five key points to consider when looking at food and beverage manufacturing software.
1. Traceability Software for Food Manufacturing
The most essential assurance that your final product is safe and salable is being able to accurately track qualified ingredients and products through every stage of their manufacturing process. Things like tracking individual lots, bins, and ingredients ensures that your manufacturing and quality teams can be proactive in identifying and addressing issues at any point in the production cycle. That said, sometimes problems arise. Good traceability software for food manufacturing will tremendously speed up the process in the event of a recall or inspection. Integrated with your FDA regulatory compliance and food safety software you will have a record of where your components came from and what products they went into.
2. Quality Management
Quality is arguably the biggest part of the manufacturing process. After all, this is the product you’re selling. You can increase profitability and minimize the risk of recalls with an integrated quality management or ERP system as part of your business flow. With an integrated quality system you can hold an upper hand against the competition, rather than being reactive. Food safety and FDA regulatory compliance software isn’t just about following the rules. A good system will help your product to your own standards — consequently increasing profitability!
3. Inventory Maintenance and Planning
Especially when dealing with perishable goods, managing your inventory is key to maximizing production capacity. Your food and beverage manufacturing software should be able to help you manage “use by” dates and orchestrate your materials management planning and procurement. Detailed work-in-process coordination and ingredient requirements anticipation are essential to maximizing your production cycles, labor demands, and ultimate profitability.
4. Food Safety Plans and CAPA’s
Whatever product you’re manufacturing is going to have some a unique production process. Your food safety software should help you manage the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), process controls, and analysis of the goods you are producing. In the event of an audit or recall, you may have to create Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) plans. Managing quality and safety manually can leave you with the grueling process of trudging through binder after binder for relevant information. Conversely, an integrated food safety software system with FDA regulatory compliance in mind makes your quality management team precise and efficient in the generation of CAPA’s and food safety plans.
5. Batch Recipes and Ingredient Details
A food and beverage manufacturing software package should be able to track all relevant information about the ingredients in your final product. Your system needs to track things like technical properties, lab results, costing information, allergens, product claims, and history. Furthermore, documentation at every step insures your product is exactly what you claim it is on the label.
6. The Right Solution at the Right Time
The decision to move forward with a software solution is not a decision to be taken lightly. Finding the one that suits your business size and the industry niche is critical. You’re trying to make your manufacturing process smoother and grow your business. A full-scale, costly, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) may not be right for you. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent and capable software solutions. Moreover, there are some that integrate directly with Quickbooks. Check out some of them here and take your business to the next level.