Improve quality control: food & beverage industry

improve quality control

Time to address the lack of QC in your business

QC problems are inevitable in any manufacturing or processing environment. It is, unfortunately, one problem that cannot be overlooked. The scary thing is a lot of small to medium-sized businesses don’t understand the importance of an effective quality inspection and control process. After multiple pain point sessions with our customers, we have noticed a trend around quality control processes or the lack thereof in their businesses. It’s time to improve quality control fails and implement a successful strategy.

What is QC and why is it important?

Lets first identify what we are dealing with to understand QC better. Now, quality control is really only one component of “product quality”. Below are four areas that should be looked at holistically to ensure your overall product quality is up to standard:

  1. Quality Planning is a document of processes that specify quality standards that translate into repeated efforts to discover and reduce quality risks
  2. Quality Control is a process through which a business seeks to ensure product quality is maintained or improved during production
  3. Quality assurance is attention to detail during the process of delivery or production of products
  4. Quality improvement is listening to customers’ satisfaction levels and developing methods around issues to improve production

I would suggest using this as a kind of checklist to improve quality control. If these fundamentals are entwined with your business processes, you are more likely to succeed in eliminating QC issues. To keep it simple, QC is essential if you want to make a revenue. Customers won’t purchase your products if they aren’t up to scratch, which will result in your business closing its doors. I am sure QC is sounding like a crucial part of your business now, right?

Pain points and assumptions around improving quality control

  • “An inspection process is time-consuming and I don’t see the value.” Imagine a world where every product produced was in perfect condition – too good to be true. There a number of factors that could affect your production line; raw materials, equipment, labour issues and more. This is why we can’t stress enough the importance of quality control.
  • “I am a small business and I don’t have the resources for another system.” Chances are they are using separate operating solutions for various parts of their business. Why? Thinking about adding and implementing another separate system for quality control is not first on the list for business owners. Let’s just carry on doing it manually. Using Excel to record your quality processes is just not good enough anymore. Providers like Microsoft have listened to the needs of small to medium-sized businesses and adapted their solutions to ensure affordability across the board.
  • “I have a batch of products that weren’t up to scratch and had to be discarded.” Dealing with defective products can be the result of not having a consistent inspection system to halt a specific production phase until certain criteria are met.  You might land up asking yourself, “I’ve lost time, money, and resources here…now what?”

How to get rid of quality control problems?

The first step is to identify the problems your business is facing. Acknowledge them and take action to implement a plan to help.  There are many factors that could be affecting your quality control: use of production technology or lack thereof; skills and tools of staff; availability and standard of raw materials; storage or transport facilities.

Adopt a business solution that can help you engrain successful quality methods into your business processes. Here are some reasons to help you find comfort in investing in an ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution:

  • Reduce your production costs considerably by eliminating poor quality products and wastage along the production line. Keep tabs on inferior raw materials and methods being used to prevent loss of revenue.
  • Increase sales by producing good quality products. Keep up with current demand and attract more customers. Get accurate sales forecasts and take the next step to expand your business.
  • Improved production techniques result in better manufacturing processes, improved methods, and designs of products. This ensures your products will always be up to your desired standards.
  • Adopting more automated processes will allow you to use your resources more effectively, identify issues along the production line, eliminate human error, and lower your costs.

Dynamics 365 Business Central and Foodware 365 are a match made in heaven when it comes to an ERP solution that allows you the added functionality of the food and beverage business requirements you need. Affordable, easy to use solutions that grow with your business. Allonline365 has extensive experience in the food and beverage industry and can help your small business implement and integrate the parts of your business that matter most to you. If you are interested in finding more about how to improve quality control problems give us a call on +27 (21) 205 3650 or email us on  info@allonline365.com.

Written by: Romy Künneke, Marketing Coordinator, allonline365

Resources: SpendEdge, Investopedia, Cleverism

Why the food industry needs to use ERP

food industry

Blog Written By | ERPFocus

Selecting a food industry ERP – what to bear in mind

Food industry manufacturers need ERP. What factors are important that might not apply to another business also in the ERP market?

Traceability

Regardless of the food industry sector, all need outstanding traceability in both directions, from the supplier to the customer and back from the customer to the supplier. This requirement comes from government and industry regulation and from concern related to consumers who have become ill from eating a wide variety of food. No one wants to be the cause of illness or death and if unfortunate occurs, you’ll need to be able to document the whole path and quickly determine where the problem began and fix it.

Dating

Not the relationship kind, but use by and expiration dates. Most products in the food industry must be consumed within a short period of time. Food ERP systems must be able to track dates from production, shipment, or even from the harvest. Food must be processed and shipped within a time limit. Then it must be delivered to a grocer so that business has time to stock it and sell it within the product’s life.

Food industry segment

The food industry has many different segments. A meat cutting operation has only a little similarity with a fruit cannery. A processor that mixes peanut butter uses different methods than another business that packages fresh vegetables for salads. Find an ERP system that can demonstrate proven value to other businesses in your segment. Develop your own list of requirements that meet the specific needs your business has. Think on what requirements another business in the food industry might have. You’ll recognize when a potential vendor doesn’t understand your segment.

Coproducts and byproducts

These are common in many food industries and less common in many other industries. So, a good food industry ERP system should recognize both and include both as inventory related to the basic food business that can be used. A byproduct of food might be used as animal feed rather than treating it as waste. Distillers grain is a coproduct of corn and a source of additional revenue. Using an ERP developed with your industry in mind can open up by and coproducts for your business you have not yet been able to tap into. Someone might buy the stuff you have been paying for and hauling as waste.

Foodware 365 is a food & beverage-specific ERP system that is fully integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. This fully loaded system is the perfect match for your food industry business, ensuring all your needs and challenges are taken care of and will grow with you over time. Contact allonline365 on  info@allonline365.com or  +27 (21) 205 3650 to speak to one of our Foodware 365 consultants.

www.allonline365.com

Tapping into the Potential of IoT in the Food Cold Chain

IoT

A digital transformation is currently underway in the food supply chain. By leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected technologies, business leaders are beginning to achieve much tighter integration among stakeholders along every step of the food’s journey to consumers.

Historically, these efforts have been largely disconnected, with limited information exchanged at each point of transfer from one link in the supply chain to the next. Various types of recordkeeping have always been required, but methods were primarily manual and cumbersome. Now, with IoT-enabled connectivity capable of gathering real-time data virtually from farm to fork, a framework is available to help not only automate these tasks but also to pass along real value for both businesses and consumers. Not simply technology for technology’s sake, IoT can address some of the most challenging problems plaguing the food cold chain: food waste and food safety.

To begin to understand this potential, it helps to take a step back and consider what’s involved in bringing food to our tables. The process typically starts with production at a farm, proceeds to a processing plant, enters the transportation and logistics stream, arrives at a storage or distribution facility, and finally gets delivered to retailers. When you stop and think about the many opportunities for errors along the way – such as time in transport, temperatures, and humidity – it’s easy to see how quickly and easily food quality can be impacted.

We’re frequently reminded how problems in the food supply chain or preparation process can potentially lead to food safety issues for consumers; these events are detrimental to both public health and the reputations of the companies providing the damaged food. But too often, the problem of food waste is overlooked and merely considered a natural consequence of the food supply chain. A fully connected and integrated cold chain has the potential to change that.

Mitigating the cost of food waste

According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 1.6 billion tons of food – the financial equivalent of $1.2 trillion – are wasted each year. The sum of this loss essentially reduces total global food production by one-third. It’s a staggering amount that demonstrates the true extent of the problem, which, if left unchecked, could reach costs of $1.5 trillion by 2030.

The study looked at the potential for loss at every stage of the food supply chain, including production, handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution and retail, and consumption. With the exception of consumption, IoT connectivity holds the potential to help combat the food waste crisis at every stage of the food supply chain.

Let’s look at one area that’s particularly problematic: fresh produce. The BCG study reports that among the many perishable food categories affected, fruits and vegetables represent the highest percentage of food waste, with 46 percent of total output lost each year. By employing IoT sensors to provide real-time tracking, monitoring, and analytics of food conditions, producers cab greatly extend perishable shelf life and improve the quality of fresh produce.

And it all starts from the moment of harvest.

The time of day in which produce is harvested can have tremendous impacts on how it should be processed, packaged and transported. For example, when strawberries are picked in the hotter afternoon temperatures, they’re more likely to respirate. IoT sensors can determine the fruit’s internal temperatures,  and this data feeds the analytics that helps a producer make critical decisions, such as selecting a packaging option with adequate ventilation and determining the recommended temperature and humidity conditions for the shipping container.

During transport, additional sensors can track the route location of shipping containers in real-time, continually monitoring produce conditions and making informed decisions about the delivery of perishable goods. For example, a shipment that was picked in the morning will likely not respirate as much and will stay fresher longer. Monitoring this information helps allow the producer to deliver these shipments to more distant locations without compromising food freshness. If these shipments are first routed to a distribution facility, the providers will be prepared to bring these items into inventory in ideal conditions to preserve their longevity.

Bottom line boost

This is just one example of where IoT can connect historically disconnected supply chain providers to make real differences in food quality, freshness, and longevity. And according to the aforementioned BCG study, these technologies have already been identified as one of the means to combat food waste.

www.allononline365.com

Resource Credit | Progressive Grocer 

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