At last month's PROCESS EXPO, Food Manufacturing had the opportunity to check in with Marcus Novy, Regional Account Manager, IFS North America, to discuss trends and topics surrounding enterprise software for the food and beverage industry.
Q: What are some tools that companies in the food and beverage industry can use to adhere to an ever-growing list of regulations in a highly complicated and regulated environment?
Most food and beverage companies are looking for sophisticated tools that can precisely manage recipes and incorporate this into dynamic production environments. Integrated document management, quality and quality assurance is critical to meet high production standards. In addition, modern solutions need to track Lot/Batch Traceability along with full audit support throughout the enterprise. ERP and EAM products can support the requirements of compliance and regulatory processes, such as ISO, SQF, FDA and electronic signature.
Q: Why is one solution better than a multiple solution/best of breed approach?
Integrated ERP, EAM and CRM enable companies to focus IT staff on revenue-generating activities and meeting the operational needs of the organization rather than patching together multiple solutions.
Q: What types of ERP solutions work best for complex manufacturers?
ERP solutions with specific tools designed to streamline organizations and avoid customization can help food and beverage companies achieve greater efficiencies and are more apt to increase their time to market and go-live without modifying the software. Look for solutions with tight and accurate scheduling capabilities that incorporate multiple constraints, including maintenance downtime. In addition, more and more North American food and beverage customers are looking for solutions which support multiple languages and multiple currencies as they seek global growth opportunities. Solutions that offer limited footprints in Brazil, China, or other complex areas of the world may be better suited for smaller food and beverage companies.
Q: What should companies think about when it comes to assessing mobility options?
Food and beverage companies should look specifically for vendors with the ability to support all of the big mobile platforms: Android, IOS and Windows.
Q: How does IFS help its customers collaborate and provide product feedback?
IFS offers regional user group meetings and world conferences, as well as industry-specific user groups, including our Food and Beverage Advisory Council (FABAC). In addition, IFS offers online customer forums to help drive and prioritize our product direction while increasing user collaboration.
Q: What are some of the common reasons IFS earns business in the marketplace?
Tenure of staff, advanced production and planning tools, and the ability to sequence production in an optimized fashion with such tools as Constraint-Based Scheduling, Demand Planning and Integrated Maintenance. IFS is a compelling option for companies that want a deep functional leader for manufacturing and an agile partner that has a long track record of happy customers. IFS scales nicely in the mid-to-large-size manufacturing space serving smaller locations and very large locations with the same solution to support mixed-mode manufacturing. IFS is a global vendor that is very focused, stable and has a dynamic solution that utilizes mobility. Also, our solution looks and feels like the products end users deploy daily, enables a faster time to market, and results in stronger customer satisfaction.