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Enterprise 21 ERP: An Ideal Food ERP Software Solution for Producers of Gourmet Sauces, Stocks, and Concentrates

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Alex Smith

A recent article in Bon Appétit magazine highlighted five companies’ alternatives to “homemade” chicken broth. Interestingly, two of the five food processors featured in the article run TGI’s Enterprise 21 ERP software, including More Than Gourmet, a producer of gourmet French stocks and French sauces, and Savory Creations International, maker of Savory Choice Liquid Chicken Broth Concentrate. Aside from the fact that Enterprise 21 is a fully integrated ERP system, there are a number of features in Enterprise 21 that make it an ideal food processing software solution, particularly for makers of stocks, sauces, pastes, and concentrates.

Lot Tracking and Traceability. Integrated food traceability software functionality is a must for any food processor. Enterprise 21 tracks the lot numbers of ingredients and materials received into inventory, the suppliers who provided the ingredient lots, when these lots were consumed in manufacturing, the lot numbers of finished goods produced, and all customers who were shipped a given lot of a given product.

Multiple Units of Measure. Enterprise 21 allows organizations to establish global or product specific unit of measure conversion factors. Food processors and distributors can purchase, manufacture, stock, and sell ingredients and/or products in any unit of measure.

Formula and Recipe Management. Enterprise 21 gives food processors the ability to meet their desired formula and recipe requirements. Enterprise 21 supports multi-level formulations while also providing for ingredient substitutes for a given formula. In addition, each formula can have one or multiple manufacturing routings that consist of a series of steps and instructions to be followed during batch production.

Scalable Batches. Food processors can leverage Enterprise 21’s integrated manufacturing software capabilities when producing varying batch quantities. Enterprise 21 can automatically scale required ingredients in a formula or recipe for large or small production batch sizes.

Quality Control. Enterprise 21 supports the establishment of quality control procedures for food processors and distributors to ensure the highest levels of product safety. Ingredients can be set to be placed on quality hold each time they are received into inventory. Similarly, finished goods can be set to be put on quality hold each time they are produced before they are released into available inventory for customer orders.

In addition, quality control personnel can enter test values for ingredients and finished goods directly into Enterprise 21, release ingredients and/or finished goods from quality hold, or reject ingredients and/or finished goods that do not meet desired product specifications.

Shelf-life and expiration date tracking. Food processors and distributors can leverage Enterprise 21 ERP software for both first-in, first out (FIFO) and first expiry, first out (FEFO) inventory management. Under a FEFO inventory management methodology, Enterprise 21 can automatically allocate specific ingredients and/or finished goods in inventory for production or customer shipments that are nearest to their expiration date to prevent ingredients and finished goods from expiring while in inventory.

Furthermore, should an organization’s customers have guaranteed minimum shelf -life requirements, Enterprise 21 can automatically allocate those items in inventory that will meet each customer’s unique shelf-life requirements on a product-by-product basis.

Production Scheduling and Reporting. In the Enterprise 21 ERP system, production schedules can be created manually or generated automatically. Production schedules can also be re-sequenced with a drag and drop user interface with the system automatically checking for machine and labor availability.

Following production, production quantities can be recorded and measured against their standard (or anticipated) production quantities. Enterprise 21 then monitors actual vs. standard production output to provide the organization with sophisticated material planning capabilities.

Recent HVP Recall: How Food ERP Software Can Help with the HVP Recall and other Food Recalls

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 by Alex Smith

Food products containing HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein), an ingredient used in the manufacture of a number of processed foods, such as soups, hot dogs, and frozen dinners, have recently been recalled by the FDA due to salmonella contamination in one company’s products containing HVP. The HVP recall is yet another recent event that demonstrates how food processing software solutions with integrated food traceability software functionality can help both food processors and ingredient suppliers in the event of a product recall.

For food manufacturers who produce finished goods containing HVP, a food processing software solution with forward and backward lot tracking and traceability features can track the lot numbers of HVP received into inventory, the suppliers who provided the HVP, when the HVP was received into inventory, the HVP lot numbers consumed in manufacturing, all of the finished goods (and the associated finished good lot numbers) that were produced with a particular lot of the HVP ingredient, and all of the food processor’s customers who were shipped a finished good that contained a particular lot of HVP. In the event of a product recall, such as the current HVP recall, a food processor would simply use the organization’s ERP software system to identify all of its finished goods that were produced with a contaminated ingredient lot and all of its customers who received finished goods that were produced with a contaminated lot. For example, if a food processor received HVP with lots 123 and 456 from Supplier A and lots 789 and 012 from Supplier B, and Supplier A were to initiate a recall for HVP lot 123, the food processor would, more than likely, have to recall only its finished goods that were produced with HVP lot 123 from Supplier A rather than all of its finished goods that were produced with HVP. This can result in significant cost savings for the food processor should a recall need to be initiated.

Similarly, HVP ingredient suppliers can benefit from food ERP systems with integrated lot traceability features. Should an HVP ingredient supplier discover that one of its HVP lots was contaminated, the supplier would be able to identify all of its customers that received the contaminated HVP lot and notify them that a recall for that particular lot has been initiated. Again, assuming the ingredient supplier has the necessary lot traceability and quality control mechanisms in place, the supplier would only have to recall the contaminated lot of HVP, rather than all HVP lots that were shipped to customers over a period of time.

TGI Traceability Resources

For a demonstration of Enterprise 21’s forward and backward lot traceability features, please click here.

To download TGI’s Five Critical Software Requirements for Improved Product Safety and Traceability white paper from the TGI Resources Library, please click here.

Food Processing Software: Improving Salmonella Analysis Tracking and Reporting

Monday, December 21st, 2009 by Alex Smith

In 2009, the food and beverage industry saw peanuts, pistachios, and prepackaged refrigerated cookie dough recalled and pulled off the shelves at retail stores and warehouses across the country for one reason: salmonella contamination. Many food and beverage businesses were then forced to shut down their operations for good, as their food processing software solution did not give them the ability to record and track raw ingredient lot numbers from suppliers, when those lot numbers were consumed in manufacturing, finished good lot numbers, and the finished good lot numbers that were ultimately shipped to end customers. As a result, businesses were forced to recall EVERYTHING that could have potentially been produced with a contaminated ingredient, a bad situation if you make packaged nuts and trail mixes.

To gain improved salmonella analysis tracking and reporting, food processors and distributors can leverage Enterprise 21’s food ERP software and integrated lot traceability functionality in a number of ways. First, raw ingredients purchased from suppliers can be flagged to be placed on quality hold each time the ingredient arrives into inventory. When the ingredient arrives into inventory, the receiving department would record, either manually or with RF and barcode devices, the ingredient that was received, the quantity that was received, and the lot number(s) for the ingredient received. The ingredient would then be placed in a holding area awaiting quality inspection. It is important to note that the ingredient received would not yet be released into available inventory to be consumed in manufacturing. Following the receipt of the ingredient, a person in the quality control/assurance department would be automatically notified that the ingredient was awaiting his or her inspection. As quality control personnel inspected the product, they could enter inspection values directly into Enterprise 21. Assuming the product is determined to be acceptable, it would then be approved and released into available inventory. If the product does not meet inspection criteria, the product can be rejected, and the quality department can specify a reason code for why the product was rejected.

Secondly, manufactured items can automatically be placed on quality hold each time a given item is produced. Again, as items are produced, they can be placed in a holding area awaiting quality inspection and testing for salmonella. Enterprise 21 would automatically notify the quality control department that a given item has been produced and is awaiting inspection. Quality control personnel can then test the manufactured product, enter inspection data into Enterprise 21, and then approve or disapprove the product to be released into available inventory for customer purchases. Inspection data can also be used to generate a Certificate of Analysis (COA), and this COA can be set to accompany the finished good each time the product is shipped to a customer.

Aside from improving the organization’s quality control inspection process and attaining improved visibility to quality inspection data, food and beverage companies’ customers will be much more comfortable doing business with an organization that can clearly demonstrate that any product shipped to them has been rigorously tested for salmonella contamination prior to shipment. This improvement in customer service ensures that the food manufacturer or distributor is adequately prepared for a product recall should one arise and increases the likelihood of repeat customer purchases given the sophisticated quality control and reporting mechanisms the organization has in place.