Which functions are needed to help you meet regulatory requirements and uphold quality and safety throughout your operations?
The past year has seen some particularly egregious recalls, including repeated outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and hepatitis A. High-profile recalls such as the one involving romaine lettuce have impacted consumers’ trust, and regulators are doubling down to ensure such oversights do not occur again in the future. Likewise, food and beverage manufacturers are revisiting their sourcing and materials handling procedures to close any quality-related gaps in their practices.
If you are the first US-based point of destination in the supply chain for an imported food, then you have some extra compliance responsibilities on your plate to ensure you are dealing with a trusted source. And given the outbreaks mentioned above, it’s possible these responsibilities may increase in future for those importing foreign materials.
Fortunately, an ERP system with an integrated quality control solution (QCS) helps you track vendor communications and quality control (QC) status beginning with supplier facility audit and approval. When a new food is received, functions like material handling, safety alerts, tag printing and unique tracking number assignment help streamline the process to the point of QC, where the food will be approved for production or non-conformity will be identified. Throughout each interaction, the system gathers insights to support vendor management and provides helpful features like links for accounting and an automatic calculation of product quality and delivery performance.
During production, tracking can be a bear. Approvals, test results, defects, etc, must all be recorded. However, this data are critical to identifying the source of a contaminant or quality problem.
Having a quality-focused ERP system can help you achieve in minutes what can take days with paper-based documentation. This is especially true in situations when items must be tracked and inspected one by one, according to serial or tag number. A QCS like Infor CloudSuite Quality allows you to enter all details, including disposition, non-conformance tracking, cost of quality, test results, defects and failures while in a job. Should a material be identified as defective during production, the QCS can help you track each item and its related quality costs. If the material needs to be shipped out for processing, comprehensive details are included in system-generated paperwork that can be attached to the item as it leaves and returns to your facility. Altogether, these system functions allow nonconformity to be resolved quickly and effectively.
The stakes are higher than ever for food and beverage manufacturers. Both consumers and regulators are looking for reassurance that manufacturers take the issues of quality and safety seriously. Manufacturers can no longer afford to simply react to safety issues. A quality-focused ERP solution provides a framework for developing a proactive approach to compliance. With the tools to build trusted partnerships with your suppliers and ensure quality measures are followed throughout the entire supply chain, an ERP system allows you to invest in recall prevention – while streamlining processes and increasing productivity for your organization.
What other features should you be looking for in an ERP system?
Download our e-book, “ERP & FDA Compliance: 6 Essential Software Features for Regulated Industries” to find out.