Food manufacturing software for small businesses

May 2, 2013 at 5:27 PMIan Benoliel

Food manufacturing software for small businesses does not have to be expensive or complicated with the All Orders Inventory and Order Management system.

1.    Create Bill of Materials for your Recipes

In process industries, such as food manufacturing, the BOM is known as the formula, recipe, or ingredients lists. It is simply a list of the ingredients and the quantities of each needed to manufacture the final product. It may be used for communication between manufacturing partners or confined to a single manufacturing plant. Using BOMs ensures recipes are adhered to during production. In addition to the ingredients and yields, the BOM has production instructions and routing steps, including one that can be called quality control. You wouldn’t believe how many small companies keep their formulas and production notes on paper in a file cabinet (or in the owner’s head). Paper or even basic Excel spreadsheet systems don’t allow companies to easily update and instantly communicate changes throughout the entire organization.

In business the only constant is change.    So you should regularly review you bill of materials to ensure you have the correct ingredients and proportions.

2.    Use Work Orders for Production and Quality Control

Paper work orders do not allow production data to be shared throughout a central database. Quality processes cannot be effectively documented and saved to create standard operating procedures critical to consistent food production. The ability to save and attach the batch and lot number being manufactured ensures quality processes. .

The electronic work order is used to create finished product. Each step in the work order is completed before the work order can be finalized. Too often lower-cost technology solutions lack the needed custom fields required per work order that allow the quality control checklist to be integrated with all other functions, and retained in the same database as order and inventory information.

Without the work order, the impact on quality will be significant, because the internal quality metrics cannot be documented. The work order is the internal document that manages production of a specific BOM for a specified quantity. The work order can track yields of raw materials and reworks.

3.    Track Lot or Batch #s

Lot numbers enable the manufacturer to trace a product back through the production process to the source of the raw materials used in the finished product. In our example of tomato sauce, the lot number on the cases allow the manufacturer to determine which tomatoes where used and from which supplier. So in the case where a certain batch of tomatoes may have been contaminated, the manufacturer can recall only the lot numbers affected instead of a total recall.

For food and beverage manufacturers, electronic traceability will become an industry requirement. On July 31, 2009, the House passed the Food Safety Enhancement Act, which has been touted as the most far reaching reform to food safety legislation in 50 years. The legislation outlines the requirements for all companies who produce, manufacture, process, pack, transport, or hold food to maintain full pedigree of product information and electronic traceability records. On Oct. 5, 2009, 55 food-service manufacturers, distributors, and operators launched the Foodservice GS1 Standards Initiative outlining the adoption of a common timeline for implementation of GS1 global standards for company identification, item identification, and product description.

4.    Put Labels on Finished Goods

This seems obvious but many manufacturers don't bother to put the appropriate label on finished goods. A label should at a minimum have the SKU, description, quantity and date. Other useful information would be the lot/batch number, work order # and best before date or expiration date. It would be extremely beneficial to you and your customers if your labels have bar codes. This would allow both you and your customers to use scanner to ship and receive product.

5.    QuickBooks Integration

With one of the first ever Quickbooks integrations being built by NumberCruncher in 2001, saying that the solution was designed for Quickbooks would be an understatement. With a powerful bi-directional synchronization, updates to entities, such as items and customers, that occur in one system will always roll into the other. No need to enter anything twice! Whenever Quickbooks needs to get notified of items going into inventory, such as receiving, or out of inventory, such as shipping, All Orders will make sure Quickbooks knows about it. Bookkeepers handling AR/AP in Quickbooks cannot even tell the difference between documents generated by actual users or All Orders! It is also as flexible as it is powerful. Choose what you want to sync and when you want it to happen. Trigger syncs manually, automate them to happen at specific intervals, or update data in real time. Users that only need All Orders for inventory and order management can even have Quickbooks uninstalled allowing a reduction in Quickbooks licenses (translation: more money in your pocket!) and fewer security concerns with your sensitive financial data being accessed by the wrong people.


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