Traceability is one of the greatest challenges faced by food and beverage manufacturers. Having products becoming contaminated by an unknown source is a nightmare.

According to an article published by Sage, there was an incident in Europe during 2013 in which foods advertised as beef were found to contain undeclared or improperly declared horse meat—as much as 100% in some cases. The incident became apparent when horse DNA was discovered in frozen beef burgers which were sold in various British and Irish supermarkets.

As a consequence of this event, the importance of traceability, or the ability to trace products as they pass through the often long and complex supply chain, really surfaced. Luckily, modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) provides the food and beverage industry with full transparency—crucial for documenting and reporting on compliance.

Traceability allows distribution and manufacturing facilities to verify the history and location of a product through documented, recorded verification and significantly improves operations.

Again, according to an article published by Sage, leaders with traceability are four times more likely than followers to monitor for regulatory compliance, which gives them an ability as process manufacturers to recall products.

With the vital information traceability provides, food and beverage manufacturers can also:

  • Promote efficiency and improve decision making.
  • Manage materials and logistics smarter.
  • Arrange better supplier terms.
  • Achieve optimal demand planning.
  • Ensure fresh product, while keeping costs low

Source: “Use real-time product traceability to eliminate waste and delight customers,” Aberdeen Group, August 2017; % of respondents n = 85

How can Technology Improve Traceability?

With various new and emerging technologies, the food and beverage industries have the ability to record product transactions and essential product data. The insights that come out of this data are at the core of traceability.

Here are three ways to achieve traceability as a business objective:

  1. The Internet of Things. Through the Internet of Things (IoT), devices can be connected anywhere, at any time. Using labeling technology such as radio[1]frequency identification (RFID) and quick response (QR) codes allow data to be collected that tracks your product’s full journey through the supply chain. Anything can be recorded—from the temperature during transport to the source of ingredients.
  2. Big data analytics. Using big data analytics, your food and beverage businesses can see where a problem has occurred and stop it from continuing through the supply chain. With unplanned events and potential crises such as contaminated products in the supply chain, you can respond quickly, having identified, tracked, and traced everything.
  3. The cloud. Your food and beverage businesses can now take advantage of cloud solutions, with software managing aspects such as system infrastructure, operating system, database and applications. This allows you to spend less time and energy on repetitive admin-heavy tasks and focus more on important operations.

To achieve full visibility of traceability in the supply chain, IoT, big data analytics and the cloud must be integrated into your ERP systems. They should be designed with the food and beverage manufacturer in mind—broad enough to log transactions across the supply chain, yet deep enough to offer you industry-specific functionality. These include logging of source materials, results analysis, a way to conduct preventative actions and adherence to strict regulations.

Your Next Steps

Sage 100 offers you a comprehensive, real-time solution that delivers accurate, up-to-date data that identifies and alleviates the consequences of product recalls and other supply chain issues. With Sage 100, your food and beverage business will have a faster, simpler, and flexible way to keep the costs and reputational damage of recalls to a minimum.

When you team up with ACC Software Solutions, you’ll receive a team of experts with over 25 years of industry experience to help determine the right solution for you and your business. Contact our staff today for your FREE consultation!

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