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Key ERP features for natural and organic food manufacturers


Shoppers are becoming more and more savvy about eating healthier. Consumers are now paying more attention to what they are buying in grocery stores, putting on their plates and in their bodies. This means that food products with organic or natural labeling are now more appealing than ever.

This is fantastic news for those food and beverage manufacturers that are already producing organic or natural food and beverage products. It means growth, and maybe even fast-paced growth.

When a food manufacturing company is still small, it is easy to use a combination of different management systems to maintain business information across the board. This can range from using Excel spreadsheets, traditional pen and paper and area-specific software to keep track of matters such as production orders, batch control, quality management, and so forth. However, as the company grows, only an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics® can support the integrated abilities needed by successful food and beverage processors.

Here are a few ERP features that natural and organic food manufacturers should consider:

Farm-to-fork traceability

Farm-to-fork traceability is essential for natural and organic food manufacturers as it ensures brand equity and provides confidence for end consumers about their food purchases. With farm-to-fork traceability, shoppers can access product information ranging from nutrition and allergen information, organic certifications, recall, freshness and country of origin information.

Advanced production scheduling

Production scheduling for food manufacturers is complex enough, but with additional factors to keep track of such as allergens and certified organic products, it may require a lot of time and planning to make sure that production is scheduled in a cost and time minimizing way. Not only is it important to have allergen-influenced sequencing in your production scheduler, but equally important is cutting down on the changeover times between switching from conventional to organic production.

Blending and batching optimization

Blend optimization tools are essential for food and beverage manufacturers, but even more so for natural and organic food producers. It not only provides a blend solution with the utmost product quality while staying within quality specifications, but it also considers other factors such as item expiration and composition fluctuations in ingredient items.

Quality control manager

While Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is only mandatory for juice and meat, many other food and beverage manufacturers implement HACCP voluntarily. Natural and organic food producers that implement this measure need a HACCP solution where tests can be flagged as non-compliant quickly and accurately, in order to reduce potential risk of product contamination.

Advanced lot traceability

Recalls can happen no matter how hard food processors try to prevent it, and having a lot traceability tool in place prior to ever experiencing a recall is the solution. This tool needs to provide visibility to complete lot information in a timely manner so that companies can quickly respond to recall concerns.

The increased attention to natural and organic foods can lead to significant growth, but natural and organic food producers must be prepared with an ERP system that can handle all the needs to keep food safe while keeping consumers loyal.

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