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ERP systems provide visibility into food safety

John Moore | Oct. 2, 2013
As food production gets increasingly complicated, food manufacturers often struggle to track products from raw materials to packaged goods -- and, in the event of a recall, from packaged goods to raw materials. Even those with automated quality systems often find it hard to integrate supply chain data. That's why some food makers are turning to specialized ERP systems.

Food Safety Standards Enable Growth

Food and beverage makers tap IT systems to tackle safety issues, speedily deal with problems and, potentially, head them off in the first place. Third-party audits and voluntary food safety certification programs such as the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQF) also drive adoption.

Crawford says SQF and the British Retail Consortium's Global Standard for Food Safety don't explicitly call for IT systems. But the standards do ask food manufacturers to be able to provide, produce and retrieve data in a timely and organized manner.

Such requirements have prompted some food and beverage companies to ramp up their automation. At Love & Quiches, Aronin says the company's new ERP system enabled it to begin the process of becoming SQF certified. The company expects to be certified by December 2014. Certification, he adds, will let the company expand in domestic and international markets and sell to big-box retailers and national supermarket chains.

The company's food safety-oriented ERP deployment has also helped the company comfortably pass third-party audits initiated by customers, Aronin notes. "It's enabling us to reach out to customers we wouldn't have been able to reach out to before."


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