Food Manufacturing Brainstorm Bonus: Software

Greg Romanello of IFS outlines three important factors for food manufacturers to consider when deciding whether to make a software expenditure.

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Greg Romanello, Senior Business Consultant, IFSGreg Romanello, Senior Business Consultant, IFS

The Food Manufacturing Brainstorm features industry experts sharing their perspectives on issues critical to the overall food industry marketplace.

In the January/February 2016 issue, we asked: What are important factors for food manufacturers to consider when deciding whether to make a software expenditure?

In this Brainstorm Bonus, Greg Romanello of IFS provides his answer:

  1. Will the software support decision-making, whether operational, tactical or strategic? From the top floor to the shop floor, you need information to make the best decisions, whether it’s real-time feedback by the minute or multi-period trend information. You may need to monitor product quality, production progress on a critical order, the performance of a critical work-center, or the packaging and delivery of a critical customer shipment. You might need to monitor development hours and costs for new product introduction. The software you choose should be able to provide instant real-time visibility into the information that every stakeholder needs to make the decisions important to their division and to the company as a whole.
  2. Will the software help you manage, monitor and optimize business execution? Lean as a concept isn’t only for the manufacturing and assembly areas; it should be considered for all aspects of your operation. The adage “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” always holds true. Perhaps you have a supply chain problem with outsourcing or even direct supply from vendors; could it be that part of the problem is your handling of the replenishment requests? The issue may be that incomplete or incorrect information is being given to the supplier in regard to processing, packaging, or shipping. The right software can ensure that your business processes are clearly defined and readily accessible to the personnel performing the process.
  3. Will the software be able to automate transaction processing? Businesses are processing more data than ever before — more kinds, more volume and more analytics. Are you handling your business transactions in an effective fashion? Or just an efficient fashion? If you’re tracking lot numbers, batch numbers or recipe information, you shouldn’t be riffling through spreadsheets to find a lot or batch genealogy, or which recipe formulation was used. The right software should be able to put that information at your fingertips.
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