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Archive for the ‘Process Manufacturing Software’ Category

Lot Traceability is Still the Dominant Theme for the Cheese Industry

Thursday, April 20th, 2017 by Alex Smith

Last week, members of the TGI team were at the 2017 Wisconsin Cheese Industry Conference in Madison, WI. 2017 marked our fourth consecutive showing at the bi-annual event. While the technology space in general has made incredible strides over the past ten years, and while the technologies cheese and dairy manufacturers and distributors have at their disposal is greater than ever, the fundamental need for complete forward and backward lot traceability has remained unchanged. Read More…

The need to have a lot traceability software system in place with well-defined internal and systematic recall procedures has been around for years, yet the number of small and mid-size manufacturing and distribution companies that still resort to paper, Excel spreadsheets, and other manual methods is staggering. Cheese manufacturers invest incredible sums of money in process engineering, scales, packaging lines, slicers, and other production equipment with the idea that they can improve throughput and output while reducing per unit costs. Unfortunately, even with these improvements, many cheese manufacturers and distributors have been slow to adopt an ERP system with built-in forward and backward lot traceability to serve as the backbone for where such production and lot information will reside.

The cheese industry places a huge emphasis on quality control and traceability and makes every effort to ensure that product that reaches the consumer safe, consistent, and delicious; however, the ways in which cheese and dairy companies go about capturing their production and lot data often depend on too much human intervention and lack process controls to ensure accurate data, and their problems are only getting worse. With the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), cheese and dairy companies are subject to even greater scrutiny and must have systems in place that tie supplier approvals, country of origin tracking, purchases, and lot traceability together, a nearly impossible task without an adequate information system in place.

With Enterprise 21’s fully-integrated supplier relationship management (SRM) and forward and backward lot traceability, cheese manufacturers and distributors can leverage software technology to achieve the same objectives as they do when they leverage equipment technology – increase productivity and reduce per unit costs – all while consolidating all core business information in a single ERP solution.

Introducing New Milk Procurement and Payroll Functionality

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 by admin

One of the single biggest challenges cheese and dairy producers face is the set up and maintenance of how they pay their milk suppliers. As part of our ongoing commitment to the cheese and dairy industry, we are releasing new milk procurement software functionality that is fully-integrated with the Enterprise 21 ERP system. Read More…

The new milk pay module enables cheese and dairy manufacturers to create standard route pickups for each milk supplier, develop their own milk payment grading system on a supplier-by-supplier basis, establish user-defined testing procedures for each milk supplier, define an infinite number of hold back codes and associated costs, and electronically transfer funds to the entities of the hold back codes. In addition, cheese and dairy producers can define their own milk payment methodologies based on test values for fat, protein, and antibiotic content for each lot of milk.

Perhaps most importantly, the Enterprise 21 ERP system will track each lot of milk picked up from each supplier, the quality control test values for each lot of milk, the date of pick up, when each specific milk lot was used in production of finished goods, finished good lot numbers, and all finished good lot shipments to customers, providing an end-to-end lot traceability software solution.

The new milk payroll functionality will be free to all existing TGI customers and will be sold to all future TGI customers at no additional cost when they purchase Enterprise 21 software licenses.

To learn more about Enterprise 21 for the cheese and dairy industry, please click here.

Visit TGI at ICTE 2012

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by admin

TGI will be exhibiting at the 2012 International Cheese Technology Expo April 10-12 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. TGI representatives will be on-hand at Booth #237 at ICTE 2012 to offer demonstrations of Enterprise 21 ERP, our fully-integrated food ERP software solution for cheese and dairy manufacturers and distributors. ICTE 2012 promises to offer a fantastic showcase of leading technology solutions for the cheese and dairy industry. Read More…

What makes Enterprise 21 ERP an ideal ERP solution for the cheese and dairy industry? Enterprise 21 ERP delivers:

•    Forward and backward food traceability software functionality;
•    Shelf-life and expiration date tracking;
•    Catch weight processing;
•    Fully-integrated EDI;
•    An advanced, RF and barcode-enabled warehouse management system;
•    Sophisticated forecasting and material requirements planning functionality;
•    Formula and recipe management;
•    A complete milk procurement software system to manage payments to dairy suppliers;
•    Complex customer pricing rules and methodologies;
•    Scalable batches;
•    Production scheduling;
•    Production recording;
•    Procurement;
•    Order management;
•    CRM;
•    eCommerce;
•    and business intelligence and executive dashboard functionality in a single ERP system.

For additional information on Enterprise 21 ERP for the cheese and dairy industry, please click here.

TGI to Exhibit at IDDBA 2011

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 by admin

TGI will be exhibiting at the International Dairy Deli Bake Association’s 2011 show and expo in Anaheim, California June 5-7, 2011. We are looking forward to showcasing Enterprise 21 ERP at the IDDBA 2011 show for IDDBA and its members. Read More…

If  you plan on exhibiting at or attending IDDBA 2011, we invite you to visit Booth #1859 for a full-featured demonstration of Enterprise 21 ERP for you and your company. To pre-arrange a demonstration while at IDDBA 2011, please click here to register for a demo.

Enterprise 21 ERP has been recognized as an industry-leading ERP software solution for food processors and distributors and has received Food Logistics magazine’s annual FL100 award for three consecutive years. Offering a fully-integrated ERP application suite, Enterprise 21 provides food processors and distributors with:

•    Forward and backward lot traceability software functionality;
•    Production scheduling and recording;
•    A fully-integrated, RF and barcode enabled warehouse management system;
•    Quality control processing;
•    Complete inventory management;
•    Advanced forecasting and material requirements planning (MRP);
•    Catch weight processing;
•    Formula and recipe management;
•    Product shelf life and expiration date tracking;
•    CRM;
•    Order Management;
•    Purchasing Management;
•    Financial Management;
•    Business Intelligence;
•    Recall Management;
•    eCommerce, and much more.

Learn more about TGI’s food manufacturing software and food distribution software solutions.

Additional Resources and Links
•    ERP Demonstrations
•    Improve Product Safety and Traceability – TGI White Paper
•    Enterprise 21 Product Overview Brochure
•    ERP Implementation Services

Process Manufacturing Software: Key Benefits Elude Companies without Strong Inventory Control

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 by admin

I met with a company recently who is evaluating new process manufacturing software.  They currently have separate systems for manufacturing and distribution.  They also have numerous processes they’re performing off-line in spreadsheets and on paper.  As a result, they don’t have one cohesive set of real-time information available for use across the enterprise. Read More…

Their #1 core business issue is that they have an inventory control problem.  This should not be surprising based on the discussion about separate systems and off-line processes;  however, in further peeling back the details behind this issue, while company management “wants” to resolve this issue, it wasn’t clear to me they were willing to do what was necessary to “make” the issue go away.

A cornerstone of strong ERP systems like Enterprise 21 is strong inventory management – a series of processes and associated data that enable process manufacturing enterprises to be able to plan and execute effective and efficient raw material and ingredient sourcing and production operations.  This means being able to buy and produce exactly what is necessary to support customer demand without incurring excess inventory, whether the business manages its production operations via make to stock, make to order, or a combination of methodologies.

Without strong inventory control and accuracy, setting and adhering to the processes and procedures necessary to know how much inventory is being held and where that inventory physically resides in the enterprise, a process manufacturing company cannot achieve strong inventory management and customer service.  Or said conversely, without strong inventory control, companies will have too much inventory overall, not enough of the right inventory to satisfy customer demand, and customer satisfaction will be reduced.

Process manufacturing systems that include fully-integrated RF/barcode-enabled warehouse management provide all the necessary software functionality to enable companies to have strong inventory control and inventory management.  However, software functionality alone is not sufficient.  Having documented, repeatable processes and procedures, training personnel to perform these operations, and requiring personnel to comply with the processes and procedures is more critical than the software functionality itself.

Having the greatest system in the world without people performing their appointed roles in the manner required will make that system useless.  In the arena of inventory control, this starts with personnel performing a system transaction for every physical task they perform regarding inventory – receipts, putaways, moves, picks, packs, and shipments.  A system task must be performed to update inventory data every time a physical task involving inventory is performed.

Even if a business were willing to put the necessary systems, processes, and procedures in place, it will be disappointed that a “new system” does not provide improved inventory control if it is unwilling to establish and manage to a culture of compliance with those processes and procedures.

Visit TGI at the IDDBA 2010 Show and Expo – June 6-8, 2010 in Houston, Texas

Monday, May 3rd, 2010 by Alex Smith

We are very excited to be exhibiting at the International Dairy Deli Bake Association’s annual show and expo for the fourth consecutive year. IDDBA 2010 will be held June 6-8 in Houston, Texas. TGI representatives will be on hand at Booth #3555 to offer product demonstrations of TGI’s Enterprise 21 ERP software for show exhibitors and attendees. If you plan to exhibit at or attend IDDBA 2010 and would like to schedule a product demonstration while at the show that focuses on your business’s unique software requirements, you may complete a brief form on our IDDBA 2010 show event page or contact us directly. Read More…

Enterprise 21 ERP Software Functional Highlights for the Food and Beverage Industry:

  • Lot Tracking and Traceability
  • Shelf-life and Expiration Date Tracking
  • Inventory Management
  • Warehouse Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Scalable Batches
  • Formula and Recipe Management
  • Multiple Units of Measure and Unit of Measure Conversions
  • Catch Weight Processing
  • Compliance and Product Recall Management
  • Order Management
  • Purchasing
  • Shipping and Receiving
  • EDI
  • CRM
  • Financial Management and Accounting

Additional Resources and Links:

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. Read More…

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.

Two Key Questions Process Manufacturers Should Ask Themselves when Implementing New Process Manufacturing Software

Monday, March 29th, 2010 by admin

Many process manufacturers with whom we enter into discussions have a similar make up prior to implementing new process manufacturing software like TGI’s Enterprise 21 system.  Currently, their production reporting exists only on paper.  They also want to do system-enabled production scheduling but don’t have production standards documented, such as the duration of the setup and run times respectively for each product within each production process step. Read More…

So, they wonder where to start for their implementation of new process manufacturing software.  Two key elements to be considered to be able to answer these questions are what metrics the process manufacturer wants to be able to track and what they want to accomplish relative to system-enabled production scheduling.

Regarding the question about metrics, it is very common for companies to want to be able to measure and analyze a variety of things.  What is my throughput rate?  How much product is scrapped during production?  What is the yield of various ingredients going into each product?  Do we consistently have to add additional ingredients to the production of some products so they ultimately meet a customer’s specifications when completed?

The only way to be able to analyze and track these metrics is to measure and record data during the production process.  It is often comical to have discussions with potential new clients who want to be able to analyze and track key data – such as lot traceability – who in the same breath argue that they can’t possibly take the time in their operations to record such data.  It’s as if they believe a new process manufacturing system will somehow discern this information without anyone or anything recording the data.  Again, to be able to analyze and track data from a production process requires that data to be measured and recorded – either by human intervention via a keyboard, touch screen, or scanning process or directly from a production manufacturing machine via a data interface.

As for production scheduling, every process manufacturer’s business has certain idiosyncrasies or business rules by which it lives.  First, a given product must go through a series of steps or processes to be produced.  Similarly, each work center in a given production facility has a maximum production capacity or throughput rate.  Next, the amount of time to setup (the preparation time required for a given process step), run time (the actual time to perform the production of a given quantity of a product), and queue time (the amount of time a product must be delayed for cooling or other purposes before it is permitted to move to the next step in the process) needs to be known and documented for each product at each step in the process.

At a deeper level, one must know what products can be run together in a sequence (called scheduling groups) in a given work center so adverse results aren’t produced by running two products through the same work center in succession, and what scheduling groups should be run in what sequences through various work centers to minimize setup time, thus yielding a higher total throughput.  And finally, what classes of products cannot be run simultaneously on two adjacent production work centers as there will be a reaction between the two products causing resulting quality issues.

While there are a number of other details beyond the ones documented above, these items are intended to help depict the process necessary to create a series of business rules required to enable the creation of a system-generated production schedule that can be used by a process manufacturer for the scheduling of their production facilities.

By asking themselves what metrics do I want to be able to track and analyze, and to what extent do I want to be able to perform system-enabled production scheduling, process manufacturers will help define the scope and ultimate success of their implementations of strong process manufacturing systems like Enterprise 21.

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. Read More…

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 Manufacturing Software: What Software Features Can Improve Product Traceability?

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010 by Alex Smith

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) recently submitted a report to the FDA that discusses various ways in which food manufacturing software solutions and other technology tools can aid food processors in achieving more comprehensive ingredient and finished good lot traceability. For food manufacturers engaging in an ERP selection project, there are two primary functional requirements an ERP solution must meet to provide the food processor with the ability to track ingredient and finished good lots accurately and efficiently. Read More…

First, an ERP manufacturing software solution must provide both forward and backward lot traceability functionality. The system must be able to track the lot numbers of all ingredients received into inventory, when these ingredients were received, when these ingredients (and their associated lot numbers) were used in manufacturing, the lot numbers of the finished goods that were produced with these ingredient lots, and which of the food processor’s customers were shipped a particular lot number for a finished good. Such functionality gives the organization complete visibility to a particular lot of ingredient from a supplier from receipt into inventory and consumption in manufacturing to finished good shipment to a customer on a specific customer order. In the event of a product recall, system users must be able to generate lot history reports from directly within the ERP system to provide to the FDA and any other regulatory agencies to aid in the recall process.

Click here to watch the Enterprise 21 lot traceability demo.

Secondly, the food manufacturing software solution must deliver a fully-integrated wireless warehouse management system with RF and barcode scanning capabilities. By selecting a manufacturing software solution that provides the organization with the functionality to deploy RF and barcode scanning devices for use in inventory, manufacturing, and shipping operations, food processors can see improvements in ingredient and finished good lot data accuracy. Using such technology, lot codes can be generated automatically and barcodes applied for receipt of ingredients into inventory, finished goods produced and placed into inventory, and finished goods shipped to customers. An employee in the shipping and receiving or manufacturing department would simply scan the barcode and enter the quantity received, produced, or shipped – the system would automatically identify the lot number(s) for the items and store the data, reducing the likelihood of inaccurate ingredient or finished good lot information. As a side benefit, food processors can achieve improvements in overall warehouse productivity as a result of more streamlined picking operations and faster data entry with the use of RF and barcode scanning devices.

By selecting a manufacturing software system with fully-integrated forward and backward lot traceability and wireless warehouse management technology, food processors can strengthen their overall level of ingredient and finished good lot traceability while simultaneously improving ingredient and finished good lot data accuracy.