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Traceability Should be Easy

[Following on from The Impact of Paper Records on a Consumer]

Food traceability is not a simple problem and can potentially have disastrous outcomes for everyone in the supply chain, from producer to consumer. Yet we still allow paper to dominate as the source of information. The crux of the problem is that paper does not control anything. It is just a written record, there's no validation, and no control.

Traceability is also not simply just restricted to a single product from a single manufacturer. It can corrupt the whole supply chain. To understand how complex traceability can be throughout the entire supply chain, we can use the example of one of the most reported recalls, so far, in the UK (2005). In 2005, a dye-Sudan Red-was found to have been used in the manufacture of Worcestershire sauce. This dye had been linked to serious health problems. You might think that it should have been easy to simply remove the product from shelves? However, this particular product was also an ingredient used in many other products. In fact, 474 products were eventually recalled. It took weeks for the whole story to unravel and in the meantime products containing the disputed ingredient were still being consumed.

The European General Food Law proposes the 'one up one down' method of traceability, meaning all producers need to be able to ensure that their suppliers have the necessary controls in place to provide them with the necessary trace information above them and below them in the supply chain. If this was available electronically, then recalls and food alerts could be made almost instantly. You can only imagine the exponential amount of data that had to be sifted though, to find the offending products. 

The enterprise resource planning (ERP) market today can deliver a solution for these needs. The cost of not being able to trace product in the case of a quality problem far outweighs the cost of failure.  

Epicor Tropos is a process manufacturing software that provides unrivalled recipe based production, materials traceability, and regulatory compliance for UK process manufacturers, so you can compete with the best.

This process manufacturing software provides an organisation with the power to improve decision making, strengthen internal and external connections, deliver on shorter production and supply schedules, and gain business efficiency and cost savings.

Tropos delivers integrated management, automating activities and access to information across sales, inventory, scheduling, manufacturing, quality control, materials traceability, regulatory compliance, customer relations, and finance.

In an ideal situation a food manufacturer should be able to handle this imaginary scenario as efficiently as this, within a minute:

Supplier "Hello its Joe here from ACME supplies we have had a recent problem with an ingredient we have supplied you. Unfortunately, it contains a carcinogenic ingredient. The batch number was DR567455"

Producer "Okay, thanks. We will quarantine our products now and notify our customers."

Producer to Customer "We have had a problem with one of the ingredients supplied to us. We can confirm that the only batches of our product affected are L0000934 and L0000789, which we supplied to you on 21/Apr/17"

Can you? Or will you need to press the panic button? 

Don't panic-Epicor has extensive knowledge and experience of process manufacturing industries. Download Epicor Tropos ERP - ERP for Process Manufacturing

"Not only did we need an ERP system that would help us in getting the business up and running, but one that was suitable for the food and beverage process manufacturing industry. We needed the ability to track our products right from the raw ingredients to the finished goods, and that's why we selected the Epicor Tropos solution-it was perfect for meeting our very specific business needs." 
Nigel Hebron, finance director at Calbee UK.

"The manufacturing focus is key to supporting the growth of our business and how we compete with our counterparts. What set Tropos apart was the fact that it is a software platform that is clearly born out of a production and manufacturing focus, whereas some of its competitors' products seem to have grown out of a finance package."
Ross Turner, key account manager at PureMalt Products Ltd.

Posted by By Duncan Moir, senior principal product manager, Epicor

Food traceability means having the ability to track the flow of foods throughout production, processing and distribution. Learn why it matters.



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