Quality can’t just sit around on the Shelf

By Enabliser John

For food manufacturers quality assurance throughout production is a crucial element in delivering a product that consistently delights consumers, but what about the time your product spends between manufacture and consumption?  Every moment your finished goods take to get to your customers is an opportunity for damage or degradation.

It starts in the warehouse, where accidental knocks and bumps from forklifts or pick trolleys represent a significant risk to products through packaging and a worrisome puncture risk that can introduce contaminants.  That of course is setting aside the cash that is tied up in that stock, in the physical fixtures and buildings that hold that stock, in the staff that handle it and in the running costs of the freezers and chillers to protect it, which could be better used to grow your business.  A small reduction in stock levels can have an amplifying and positive impact on your bottom line.

However, the risk to quality and then to your brand doesn’t end there.

Every day your goods spend on your customer’s shelves is another opportunity for things almost entirely outside of your control to damage your product’s quality and hit your reputation.  Did someone in the store put your ice cream in their trolley for a while and then change their mind and return it?  Did that toddler put your heat and eat snack in the trolley when their parent wasn’t looking only to have it hastily put back when they noticed? Nothing you can do about either event but any contamination is definitely going to be pinned on your product and reputation.

Inventory optimisation is an often overlooked part of a really successful food manufacturing or distribution business.  Why so?

The short answer is complexity.  There are so many moving parts in the supply chain – customer demand, manufacturing process times, raw material lead times, transit time and shelf time are just the tip of the iceberg.  It all seem too much, too complex and presumably too expensive for mid-sized (and even large-scale) companies to address.

The truth is that modern ERP and analytics tools can take the brain-burn out of this process.  IT Solution Providers like Enabling combine the power of technology tools such a Sage ERP X3 and Qlik Analytics Platform with decades of industry experience to give insight into exactly what demand looks like today and accurately model what it will look like tomorrow.  With answers to those questions, these same tools can balance all of your dependant constraints to provide accurate and timely guidance on what to purchase and what to make to ensure that your inventory is kept at a level that guarantees safe fulfilment of your service levels but with no surplus stock sitting on your shelves or those of your customers.  That means less stock, a better bottom line and drastically lower risk to your quality and the reputation of your brand.

To understand more about the about how an integrated Manufacturing Solution can assist your business, click here

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