The process manufacturers, including the food and beverage manufacturers, have to deal with issues including raw material scarcity, managing the perishable inventory, maintaining food quality & safety, optimal production, and thinner margins. What this means for them is that they need to put greater focus on inventory control, product quality, regulatory compliance, and overall operational efficiency. Additionally, they also need to have strong traceability functionality in place to quickly track ingredients from point of origin to the point of consumption in order to mitigate risks and swiftly respond to the recalls. That is why lean manufacturing gains significance in the food and beverage industry.
However, most food manufacturers lack the proper infrastructure which houses lean manufacturing principles and other requisite tools that help them deal with the aforementioned issues. Even for any skyscraper to stand, it needs a robust foundation to anchor its structure to the ground. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) software has over the years proved to be the foundation on which the structure of lean manufacturing principles can be erected. In fact, an ERP software co-exists nicely with lean manufacturing principles, which emphasize on continuous improvement of the processes – something that the ERP software to strive for.
The organizations that have an ERP system tend to achieve better control over operations and are likely to remain competitive. One of the things a Food ERP software does is that it helps organizations manage their inventory effectively by cutting down on waste and surplus, which is also in line with the lean manufacturing principles. This helps the manufacturers with planning inventory usage, replenishment, surplus, and even turnover tracking. This way, an ERP naturally supports lean initiatives. Moreover, with custom-added lean manufacturing functionalities such as the WIP reports to control the release of work to the floor, real-time inventory reports to reduce inventory, statistics of actual set-up times versus planned to reduce the set-up times, costs, etc., an ERP becomes a potent tool for the food manufacturers in their quest of going lean.