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Sustainable supply chains | Effective management for food ingredient manufacturers

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Sustainable supply chains | Effective management for food ingredient manufacturers

According to a recent announcement from Innovate UK, the government’s Technology Strategy Board, the way in which food and drinks manufacturing companies handle “big data” is expected to be one of the main industry trends of 2016.

As we have discussed in a previous manufacturing technology trends blog, big data, IoT and cloud computing are all shaping the supply chain.

Operational and green efficiency are the same for food ingredient manufacturers

Innovative strategies such as these go hand in hand with a food ingredient manufacturer’s sustainability approach, which can be a deciding factor in tender situations.  For instance, an organisation’s use of water, utilities and chemicals throughout the production process and their wider supply chain are all interchangeable in terms of operational efficiency and sustainable success factors.

KPIs of these inputs and outputs can identify revenue and cost implications and therefore where manufacturers can make improvements in margins.  Manufacturers cannot track these KPIs unless they can collect, manage and analyse the big data that matters; whether it’s the product, the process or the plant equipment itself.

A scenario such as a need to improve yield and reducing product loss from the production process has a green link to ensuring that the use of raw materials are tightened, the approach can be more demand-led and that real time alerts are received in time from the production line.  By using innovative technology such as predictive analytics which links with ERP and process equipment to automatically alert or avoid failed products or ingredients/materials, manufacturers can also avoid expensive and damaging product recalls whilst remaining compliant and lean.

In a food and beverage industry outlook from KPMG, 47% of the executives indicated operational improvements and making significant cost reductions as primary initiatives and 53% said that compliance to risk and regulatory measures was a major obstacle to growth.

Manufacturing’s role in the supply chain to meet green targets

According to a 2015 survey from – only 36% of the industry are hitting the 2015 target set by the Food and Drink Federation of sending zero waste to landfill. In contrast, 60% stated that reducing packaging weight or recycling are key priorities for them this year.  A majority of respondents (70%) agreed that raw material prices will cause increasing headaches for their companies in the coming year.

For manufacturers, if they can embrace technology such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP to help with lean manufacturing practices which also have a positive impact on their own carbon footprint; they will support the wider supply chain to achieve green targets.

Speak to Prodware today about how our industry specific technology built on Microsoft Dynamics business management software helps process manufacturers remain compliant, efficient and agile.

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