Food specific challenges tackled with SI Foodware
SALES ORDER DRIVEN
Each year, Prochamp processes about 30 million kilograms of mushrooms, most of which are grown at the four sister companies; mushroom farms in the neighbourhood. Prochamp's production is mainly sales order driven. Most of these semi-finished products go directly to the packaging line. If there are no orders for the products concerned, then the inventory is replenished. The canned products, which have a shelf-life of no less than four years, are by no means all consumed locally. On the contrary: Europe is Prochamp's home market, but a great deal is sent to clients all over the world. To retail clients, and those in catering and the industry.
DOUBLE ENTRY, DIFFERENT FIGURES
The production process at Prochamp is not really complex. But the strict standards in the food industry, for example for tracking & tracing require a powerful information system. A system that gives you a grip on the inventory and control over the numbers. "For many years we worked with Exact Software, supplemented with a range of Excel spreadsheets, but support was withdrawn for the software version we had. So that was a good reason to look for an ERP system. Data was entered more than once, sometimes even in the same department by different people. We only had limited insight into the structure and status of the inventory. And at the end of the week if we asked ourselves ‘how many mushrooms have we processed?', we got different answers. We did meet the traceability requirements imposed by BRC and ISS, but don't ask how many files and Excel sheets we had to search through to find the origin of a product batch."
FOOD SEPCIFIC NAV ADD-ON
It was clear to Van Heijst that the new ERP system should be an integrated solution. A solution enabling full traceability and in which, as Van Heijst puts it so precisely, "we enter data just once so we can use it time and time again". During the orientation phase Prochamp came across SI Foodware. The software met the criteria ‘affordable' and ‘accessible', and the familiar Microsoft interface would make it easy for the users to learn.
INTERFACE WITH WEIGHING TERMINAL
For Prochamp, the whole production and logistics process starts at the weighing terminal. The mushrooms are weighed immediately after harvesting. This information, thanks to an interface, is now available in real time via an internet connection. A significant efficiency improvement: previously, weight details for two to three hundred pallets were entered manually every day. Van Heijst: "From the moment the mushrooms are weighed, we can trace them through the whole process with SI Foodware. The pallet barcodes are scanned at the various stages of the process, from blanching to dispatch. This means we always know which mushrooms from which flush and which grower are processed in a batch. And that is important with a view to recall, should it be necessary."
FULL INVENTORY PICTURE
Because all this information is now available, Prochamp also has a clear image of the current stocks. An important aspect here is the best before date. In the past, the only way to check this was to walk round the warehouse and check the dates on the tins. "Now we can make a selection based on day code. And that is another feature in SI Foodware. We can see exactly what our stock is of the cans manufactured on a particular day. That makes it very easy to generate a can code list, without having to look up all the information any retype it. This is exactly what we meant when we said we want to enter the data just once but use it time and time again!", Van Heijst nods enthusiastically. Variances in the figures are also a thing of the past. The management information generated by SI Foodware is always unambiguous.
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