In 2015, food recalls rose by 78% according to the Food Standards Agency. Only this month, there have been recalls of chemically contaminated fish, baby food that possibly contained wire mesh, and soft drinks likely to produce yeast fermentation. Each of these – along with a further 76 UK recalls this year – have been necessary to protect the public. The recalls will certainly have caused their manufacturers and suppliers much concern and would have involved significant work internally. However, businesses with batch and product traceability are able to swiftly act on product recalls. Traceability features allows them to contact their sales agents as well as to trace backwards to find the source of the problems.
But what happens if you’re a food manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer and you don’t have the ability to trace your products back to their source? How would you cope if one of your produce lines had an issue and needed to be recalled? Would you be able to quickly find out to when and to whom you had sold your products? From whom you had received your supplies or ingredients?
ERP Batch Traceability Functionality
If you had batch, lot and consignment traceability, it would allow you to react swiftly and to carry out a total recall of products. You would be able to identify suppliers and customers according to real-time and highly accessible, traceability data. Consumer’s safety from dangerous goods is increased as you are able to act quickly. You would reduce the risk of them perceiving your company or brand in a negative way.
Traceability functionality provided by an ERP system allows manufacturers and distributors to store data across the supply chain. For instance when products were made, where and how they were stored and transported, which equipment was used, which employees were involved. This can be used to trace which lots might be affected and track back through the supply chain to identify the source of a problem.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards is a safety and quality certification programme that guarantees that manufacturers fulfil certain legal obligations and provide certain levels of protection for consumers. BRC standards compliance and certification is insisted on by many UK suppliers. BRC standards allow customers to have confidence in businesses’ supply chain management and in their food safety programmes. Its food safety audit includes requirements on traceability, and while the code is a voluntary one, those in food and drink that publicly and openly adhere to its standards prove themselves as respected and virtuous leaders in their industry.
Ultimately, improving traceability helps build confidence in the food and drink industry and creates safer products for consumers. Both of the ERP systems provided by Balloon One – NetSuite and SAP Business One – provide exceptional functionality for batch traceability. We work with many customers across different points of the food and drink supply chain. So, we recognise just how important batch traceability is in protecting public health.
If you’d like more information, or a free demonstration of either system, please get in touch. Call us on 020 8819 9071 or contact us using the website form.