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Reduce errors in food packing and processing
Reduce packing and processing errors for reduced food. Food inventory - Orders - Quality - Packing - Sales - Shipping - Recall - Audit - Food safety

Reduce errors in food packing and processing

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Maximize profit and minimize waste for food packers, shippers, exporter/importer... Accurate production reduces errors .

Production managers, line managers, and managers plan in advance to ensure every order is filled accurately and on time.

Rapidly view all the raw materials that will be required to pack selected orders (eg: today's orders, or this weeks, or a month). Easily assign these orders to batches and production lines, and automatically alert the line manager and the inventory manager.

Customer orders can be assigned to batches, and batches assigned to production lines/teams, guaranteeing correct product packed at the correct time, to the correct specifications . Use the rapid inventory interfaces to assign orders to production lines so pallets are automatically associated with orders, and can also contain order details such as customer reference, order number, and dispatch & delivery dates.
fruit produciton planning
Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing
fresh produce production management
Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing

Analyze customer orders and stock on hand to better plan harvesting, and packing processes. These processes are also helped by the Sales Dashboard and the Dispatch Monitor which guide both production and dispatch teams through the packing and dispatch process.

Use packing dashboards to determine which fresh produce needs to be packed to fill outstanding customer orders, and ensure you only pack the exact required quantity of each product.

farmsoft helps production managers, line managers, and packhouse managers plan in advance to ensure every order is filled accurately and on time, with minimum errors & waste.

Production line mangers for fresh produce

Instant alerts when a batch is scheduled for the fresh produce batch manager
Alerts specify a packing location or production line for the fresh produce, and any associated orders and product specifications
Inventory managers are sent alerts that tells them how much raw materials is provided and which production line they must deliver the inventory to.

Fresh produce alerts keeps all employees informed at all times.

Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing
Reduce errors in fresh produce packing and processing

Eliminating Production Errors to Save Time and Money

It’s 3pm, you're in front of your computer, and stress levels are high. Mobile phone in one ear, frantically keying orders into a spreadsheet as you field calls from your customers desperately trying to get their orders in before the 4pm cutoff. It's the busiest time of the day - so many orders are coming in! You’re not even sure if you really heard your customer ask for 5 blueberry Danishes, or if it was 9, but the number doesn't matter anyway - you later discover your spreadsheet autocompleted it to 'Danish - Apple'.

And just when you thought the manual work was over, your head baker tallied up all the products ordered and calculated the ingredients by hand, and somehow ended up making 10% more sourdough loaves than required. In your warehouse, meanwhile, your team has a standard picking and packing error rate of 10%, and when you’re about to compute how much those mistakes will cost you, a customer suddenly calls up complaining of late orders. Turns out, your driver overlooked their delivery.

Can you relate to this scenario?

Well, you're not alone.

This is a typical scenario in food and beverage businesses here in Australia. In fact, when we surveyed our network of 6,257 local retailers, we discovered that wrong orders and eliminating ordering errors were among the biggest challenges they face when dealing with suppliers. These errors don’t just impact time and resources, they also affect the overall credibility of your brand, and your customer service. It's important not to discount the impact your customer service has - when we asked what was most important in a supplier, 62% chose customer service related issues (compared to 15% who chose price).

Sometimes, these mistakes happen when your staff are stressed out and not paying attention to their jobs. But most of the time, they’re because of the “pen-and-paper method” you’re currently using. Paper-based systems are the biggest cause of wrong orders. It's inevitable when dealing with manual data entry, orders of the phone, manually tallying up production reports that there will be errors. On top of that, picking, packing and deliveries are an absolute minefield without a good system to manage them efficiently.

The solution to these troubles? Upgrade to a reliable order management system.

When you use a dedicated platform like Ordermentum, you’ll be amazed at the number of processes you can automate and the amount of manual data entry you can eliminate. Keep in mind: when you reduce your manual data entry, you dramtically reduce your ordering errors.

Ordermentum makes your entire order taking workflow seamless. It eliminates the steps where someone has to manually write or count an order. No more keying in large chunks of customer orders in your spreadsheet, no more calculating ingredients manually, and you virtually eliminate the industry average 10% data entry error rate.

With Ordermentum, here’s what your process would look like:

YOUR CUSTOMER PLACES AN ORDER THROUGH THE ORDERMENTUM APP

Ordermentum goes beyond your typical order management system. It provides a mobile ordering app that lets your customers get their orders in quickly and without the hassle. With the app, all they have to do is log in on their phone, choose the products they want to order, select a delivery day (they can also pre-schedule their orders in advance), submit. A simplified process like this means you no longer have to manually key orders into spreadsheet, since the digital system means their order is automatically, and accurately, synced straight into your system.

YOUR CUSTOMER GETS A CONFIRMATION RIGHT AWAY

The best is not over yet. After placing their orders through the Ordermentum app, your customers will receive a instant confirmation of what they have ordered and when it will be delivered, along with their invoice. This eliminates any disputes over what was ordered, and if there is an error, the customer can pick it up straight away.

AN INSTANT PRODUCTION REPORT IS GENERATED

Aside from having to take calls from all your customers, or type up emails and text messages, this is one of the biggest areas where you'll save time and resources. As soon as cutoff hits and you've received your customer orders (which are much more likely to be on time, as your customers will get a text message before cutoff with a link to order in just a few taps), you’ll get a production report that shows the total amount of orders, and individual products. This means no more accidental miscounts of products and ingredients, and no more product wastage.

On top of this, the orders are also synced automatically to your accounting systems, ensuring all the invoices are correct and eliminating the need for you to write up invoices and match orders all by yourself again.

Pick slips will also be generated. Meaning you'll never have to manually create pick slips again, and the error rate in your warehouse will be drastically reduced.

DRIVER RUNS ARE AUTOMATICALLY CREATED

Looking at our recent Retailer Insights Survey, ‘faster delivery’ is one of the top things customers would like. It’s crucial that you make sure your deliveries are on time - which starts with an efficient delivery process. With Ordermentum, delayed deliveries can be dramatically reduced with driver/delivery run reports automatically created, reducing errors and late orders.

Ordermentum provides a seamless workflow. From taking customer orders accurately (and making sure they come in on time) and sending instant confirmations to generating correct invoices and driver runs - all of these processes are automated, leaving you with no stages where someone needs to do something manually. The best part? Not only will you save money by reducing your error rate, but with all this time saved you'll be able to focus on what really matters - growing your business, or taking that holiday you've always wanted.

If you’d like to know more about the app and how the system can be tailored to you, you can request a demo and chat to our team.

Ordering errors is one of the biggest problems food and beverage industry professionals are facing right now. When not addressed, they can create major inefficiencies that could hurt your brand and cause you to be wasting time, or worse - hemorrhaging money. The best way to avoid this is to eliminate manual data entry by leveraging the right technology. Remember, reduced manual data entry leads to reduced ordering errors.

For more how-to articles like this, visit the “How-to Guides” section on our blog.

Reduce errors in food packing and processing
Reduce errors in food packing and processing

The Top 3 Reasons for Label & Packaging Errors in Food Manufacturing

June 7, 2017  |  Robert Handfield, Ph.D.

This week’s guest blog is from Marvin Magusara, who contributed insights into an area often maligned…. packaging!  The role of packaging is an important contributor to total cost of ownership, as it also impacts cube on trucks, inventory storage, product safety, regulatory compliance, and customer satisfaction. Packaging errors are often the root cause of massive recalls, excess and obsolete inventory costs, and can often be prevented through a clear error-proofing process.  Global Vision is one of the industry leaders for packaging and labelling quality control for the food, pharmaceuticals and consumer products industry. The company has worked with over 72% of the biggest companies in the pharmaceutical industry worldwide, and its customers list can be found on their website.  Here are the top 3 reasons why packaging errors occur in the food and drug industries.

Since the industrialization in the nineteenth century society has become more reliant on food packaging and labeling, as a key element of information for food products. As the food industry grew throughout the years, so have the strict requirements and regulations for food packaging and labeling.

Each individual country has their own requirements and regulations regarding packaging materials and labeling. Even though different, each country follows similar procedures, such as providing accurate information on labeling and preserving physical, chemical and sanitary integrity of food product – in regards to food packaging,

Therefore, packaging materials need to be processed and approved through the correct Agency before going on the market. Such Agencies include European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), U.S Federal and Drug Administration (FDA), and China Food and Safety Law. And labels need to be inspected constantly, to minimise the chances of error, which could lead to major losses.

Labeling and packaging errors can result in premature spoiling, cross contamination, consumer illness and fatalities, if the error primarily lies within the allergen information. Manufactures can establish a positive brand reputation, supply chain relationships and risk-free distribution, retailing and consumption of products within the food industry by means of preventing packaging and labeling errors.

These packaging and Labeling errors mainly occur due to packaging art and multiple labels, last minute information and promotional activities and human error.

Packaging Art and Multiple Labels

Packaging needs to protect the product from contamination, spoiling, facilitate the use of the product, and it needs to sell the product – and this is where packaging art comes in.

Every industry, including the food industry, use packaging art to create a brand identity, which consumers will feel comfortable buying.

Perfect example would be packaging for Pringles. We all know when opening a bag of delicious crunchy chips, there is more air in the packet than chips. However, pringles cylindrical packaging design leaves little room for air since it’s filled to the brim with delicious flavoured chips, and not only does it protect the chips from breaking, unlike in a normal bag of chips, it also provides the consumer with the satisfying feeling that they are receiving their money’s worth. And the vibrant colours, like dark green for sour cream and onion, and dark blue fore salt and vinegar, immediately attracts the consumers attention.

Designing a unique packaging art is tricky, however, if done correctly, can lead to great success in the sales department. However, some products have similar artwork or packaging design – the difference might be a letter or an added feature to the design – and that is where error can occur. In the midst of packaging inspection, the inspector might not notice the difference between two packaging design or artwork,due to the similarities, and proceed to packaging process .

In a situation like that when end inspection occurs and the error is noticed, total recall will occur and that batch will not be useable. Thus, a waste of packaging material and no profit would have been made from that batch. The same with labeling.

Labels contain all information about the product, and in the food industry labels must contain information such as: name of product, name and address of manufacturer, list and quantity of ingredient/s used, and sell-by / best before/ expiry date .

And in processed food, such as honey-glazed ham and soft cheese, labels must contain: potential allergens (such as nuts, gluten, lactose), list of additives (such as: food colouring, sweeteners, preservatives, thickening agents, and so forth). Directions on how to use the product, suitable warnings, suitable storage areas/ temperatures, net weight of the product, and amount of calories per serving.

In addition countries might differ on labeling, for example, in India a AGMARK is on the label, which is a certification mark for fresh produce, which means the produce has been approved by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection, an agency of the Government of India.

However, all countries must adhere to the same standard Labeling regulation, and provide accurate information about the product on labeling.

Packaging art and Labeling go hand-in-hand, with the sophisticated packaging designing and all the information that must be on the labels, the chances of errors have increased throughout the years.

60% of recalls were due to labeling errors and packaging art.

Simple errors such as spelling mistakes, two similar labels placed on the wrong product, incorrect label on the incorrect side of the product, translation from one language to another is incorrect (such as from English to Portuguese). And all of these can cause high levels of interruptions in the packaging process and total recall on that product, which in turn means that the batch cannot be sold.

Many food packaging companies rely on suppliers, such as TLC Packaging (UK), JK Labels (India) and Jet label (Canada), to provide reel of labels and films. However, there is also a chance of error on their side. A splice reel of labels or films are common and if not inspected properly can cause packaging error and total recall.

Companies that supply and design packaging and labeling have proofreading software , in which they inspect the graphics and text on the packaging before printing. In a situation of high stress, it is easy to spell a word incorrectly or place an incorrect expiry date on the label, so by having multiple inspections through the software, and the error can be corrected, before printing. Thus, minimizing error and minimizing recalls.

Due to the fact that packaging and labeling is so important in the food industry, it is crucial that proper protocols and inspections are set in place to avoid error and minimize recalls, and that requirements and regulations are followed.

Last minute information and Promotional Activities

In the food industry changes are frequent. This means we need to adapt and respond to these changes quickly, and most often at the last minute.

Meaning quick decision making, last minute information and high production demand leaves room for error.

These errors occur in the forms of text error (last minute information that is highly important hasn’t been added to the labeling and packaging), barcode error (incorrect barcode on the packaging for a specific product or barcoding is non-existent), and wrong product being mispackaged, just like Nestle’s KitKat Original Milk Chocolate Bites that were mispacked with KitKat Peanut Butter Bites. And that KitKat batch was recalled due to the product having nuts, which is an allergen, and was not stated on the label or packaging. When these errors have been detected then total recall MUST occur.

Last minute information could vary, such as a difference in amount of ingredients used in the food processing of a product, any new additives, change in name or address of manufacturer, and even promotional content can be added. Basically any information on the packaging and labeling can be changed, however, it needs to be correct.

Every country has it’s own laws about promoting of food products, such as United States have ‘The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act)’ with sections 5 and 12, and ‘The Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act ( FD&C Act which is under the FDA) with sections 201 and 403, that state any false or misleading labeling, promotional content on packaging or advertised is prohibited.

In China, the PRC (People’s Republic of China) Food Safety Law 2009 have specific regulations when it comes to promoting, since they have a unique importance to human life, advertisements, endorsements and promotions CANNOT be false or exaggerated. Food advertising cannot exploit the title or image of a professional to sell product.

Even though, every country has it’s own laws and regulations about advertising, they all come to the same conclusion – False advertising is not allowed. That is why promotional activity is a top reason for packaging error.

In most cases, the production team is briefed about the promotion at the last minute or when the packaging arrives, before production starts. In turn, this causes pressure on the production team, which leads to lack of clarity around when the promotion was meant to start and finish. This leaves a lot of room for error. In some categories promotional activities are constant, which has an impact on making sure that the right product is in the right promotional packaging. Incorrectly packaging products into packaging which still contains promotions even after the promotion has ended can lead to retailer fines, and claims for loss of income due to wrong prices being scanned at the tills. Situations like this can be very damaging for the manufacturer’s brand reputation.

Human Error

Even Though, humanity strives for perfection, humanity is still very imperfect. On average 25% to 50% of total recalls were due to human error. This means that the company has followed procedures to investigating the cause of the recall, and have come to the conclusion that eliminates production issues and confirm that the individual has the means to correct the error, but was simply unfocused.

Due to retailers pushing for all category range to have a unified look has created a variety of difficulties for the production team to ensure that the correct labels are applied to the products, and that the products are in the correct packaging.

Label artwork and packaging for all products are now commonly similar, with only a small difference, which makes it hard to distinguish one design from another. Hence, in a high speed, quick change over the food factory environment, it is very easy to select the incorrect label for a product from a big box of labels.

Total production recall can also be caused due to date code error, which was incorrectly calculated, or was changed during setup or changeover, and was not identified. This falls under Human error.

Conclusion

Individuals up and down the supply chain make errors every day. It’s up to the manufacture to feel confident that their systems can detect, prevent and correct these errors. Even though, manufacturers have manual and automated systems in place to check labeling and packaging, it isn’t 100% fool-proof. It’s up to the manufacture to make sure that their product is up to standard, to make profit and build reliable brands for consumers.

Reduce errors in food packing and processing
Reduce errors in food packing and processing

How to Reduce Picking and Packing Errors

Errors can occur at any time in process manufacturing, but during order fulfillment, errors tend to happen on a more frequent basis. Most of the errors can seem insignificant, but when added up can result in financial loss. The numerous steps and employees involved in selecting and shipping goods can increase the potential for mistakes, resulting in decreased efficiency and damage to a company’s reputation due to its impact on customer satisfaction. In order for your manufacturing operation to minimize picking and packing errors, it’s important to take a look at what these errors are and focus on areas to improve.

What is Picking / Packing and What Type of Errors Occur?

The process of picking involves employees pulling items from their warehouse location and packaging them to be shipped to customers. There are a variety of errors that can occur during this process including picking the wrong item, incorrect quantities, wrong units of measure or mixing items from different orders.

How to Reduce Errors

Organize Your Warehouse – Since the process of picking requires coordination and speed, it’s important to know where all needed items are so that the greatest number of orders can be filled in the shortest amount of time. Paths should be streamlined, with well thought out workflows for easy access to the goods. Warehouse shelves should be organized to ensure items can be picked easily, without any safety issues. A thorough evaluation and audit of warehouse space can ensure effective organization and in turn efficient and accurate picking.

Utilize Technology – Integrating your ERP software solution with a warehouse management system (WMS) means your company will be able to track inventory items using barcodes, wifi and handheld scanners.  Staff will be able to effectively streamline their every day picking activities to accurately deduct products from inventory counts in real-time. No longer will employees rely on manual, paper methods - thus decreasing the opportunity for keying erroneous information. This automated tracking allows for optimal accountability for staff to show which orders were completed, by whom, the transaction timing, and other relevant order information.

Track Error Rates – With the information gathered from an ERP solution, reports can pinpoint specific time periods, departments, individuals or warehouse areas that have higher than expected error rates. Utilizing a reporting and analytics solution helps your company to identify issues areas and, in turn, the root cause of the problems to then reduce future errors. With the ability to set notifications of high deviations, your management staff will be kept aware of problems as they arise.

Train Staff – Providing staff with an understanding of the benefits of reducing picking and packing errors, as well as the procedures for doing so are integrally important to the success of mitigation efforts of mistake reduction. Some companies have introduced rewards systems for employees who find and correct errors in these processes. From a management point of view, this might be a worthwhile program to inspire better performance amongst your staff.  

Correcting picking and packing errors requires a focus on several areas including warehouse organization, utilization of technology, tracking error rates and training staff to help reduce mistakes and improve customer satisfaction. Contact ProcessPro today for a demonstration of our ERP with an integrated WMS application built for process manufacturing that can assist with these initiatives.

TAGS: Processs Manufacturing Industry,Inventory Management

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Producepak food manufacturing app

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Producepak provides a simple solution for food manufacturers, processors, food packers, fresh produce packers, pack-houses, fruit & vegetable packers, and food packers. Producepak concentrates on food safety, food inventory control, food expiry management, first in first out stock rotation, food order management, food production management in batches, food shipping & sales, food export / import. Use the Producepak Quality Control module to improve food safety, or turn on a simple food safety checklist to ensure consistent quality food packing and production.

Producepak food manufacturing app is a simple to use solution for buying, and selling food inventory, fresh produce, seafood, meats, and flowers. The traceability built into Producepak provides instant recalls, accurate food traceability, and easy to produce audits, and mock audits. Producepak provides tools to pack food, fresh produce, flowers, and hops. You can use Producepak for food manufacturing, configure the bill of materials for each food product line you manufacture, and manage the food manufacturing process by projecting required raw ingredients requirements and scheduling batches and purchase orders for raw food manufacturing processes. Accurate fresh produce inventory management reduces waste through better FIFO stock rotation, stock-takes, and inventory alerts.

Increase the efficiency of food inventory using options like scanning incoming bar-codes to reduce data entry & errors. Guarantee food quality with quality control testing systems. Customer feedback management, supplier quality, customer qulity standards.

Producepak food manufacturing app can project required inventory (and shortages), schedule orders to be packed in batches , automatic alerts to production line managers, inventory teams telling them which inventory needs to be moved to which production line; guarantees the correct product and quantity is packed on time. Shipping teams are guided through the dispatch process from picking using a phone or tablet (optional bar-code scanning), automatic picking, thru bill of lading, invoice, and automatic shipping notifications for customers, transport, and sales teams. Automatic generation of food labels, bill of lading, invoice, picking documents and more; reduces administrative burden. Easy audit & recall systems reduces compliance costs.