The food and beverage industry is one of the most regulated in the world and food production software and inventory management tools contribute to a safe and compliant final product. In Australia, the ACCC recalled 4.5 million items in 2017-18 covering 613 different products, the second largest group of recalled products were food and groceries. Most recalls are voluntarily administered by the company on request from government organisations responsible for food safety.
In order to respond to recall requests the producer needs to know what inventory is affected and where it is located, inventory management software often holds the answer to these questions. If a recall is ineffectively managed there can be a damage to companies reputations, financial losses and fines.
Improving food safety
Food safety can be proactively managed during the manufacturing process to ensure a safe final product for consumers. The use of inventory management tools during the production means that producers can ensure the raw materials are within their shelf lives, and overstocking of raw or finished goods does not occur.
If overstocking occurs, it can place pressure on the supply chain, including timetabling and storage, which may result in unsafe handling of food products, resulting in food safety issues. Inventory management software allows producers to ensure their production matches up with capacity in warehousing and supply chain reducing the risk of food safety incidents.
Food manufacturing software allows producers to remain compliant with local legislation, including food safety regulations. Traceability of ingredients used in food and beverage manufacturing allows organisations to know exactly where each ingredient comes from. This gives manufacturers a competitive edge as they can review stock levels of raw materials live while also being able to see exactly what ingredients are being used in each product and the origin of those ingredients. If there is an issue with one raw ingredient or a batch relating to food safety, inventory traceability can allow the manufacturer to isolate the products that may have been affected.
When things go wrong
In the food and beverage industry, a food safety issue such as an unlabeled ingredient or contaminated product could spell disaster for the producer. Inventory management software allows producers can keep track batches and manage recalls. This information could include what ingredients were used in what product ranges, where the ingredients were sourced from and where the finished products were distributed to. Often situations such as this require a quick response from the manufacturer so being able to access their inventory software from the cloud can expedite response times, minimising damage to a company’s reputation and their finances.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.