Investing in Proactive Safety Measures: why “good enough” just isn’t

May 1, 2014

For plant supervisors and managers in today’s food and beverage industry, safety is often a top-of-mind concern.

For plant supervisors and managers in today’s food and beverage industry, safety is often a top-of-mind concern. Despite challenges that might arise from safety issues such as recalls or improper labeling, many companies are reluctant to implement a proactive safety management strategy. The latest technology for process manufacturing can help food and beverage organizations to identify and mitigate potential risks by capturing critical information on production and equipment. By providing the necessary tools to take precautions on a daily basis, process manufacturers can take a preemptive approach to safety to prevent issues before they arise.

It is critical that plant decision-makers encourage their companies to invest in technology that enables a proactive approach to safety management for the following reasons.

1. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to increase regulations for food production. If manufacturers are unable to demonstrate compliance with these regulations or have processes in place that pose a potential safety threat, serious consequences could be enacted by the government. Investment in up-to-date technology will provide the ability to accurately monitor the production process, as well as the supply chain, to ensure that everything from ingredients to labeling is FDA compliant.

2. Recalls pose a constant threat. Process manufacturing technology allows companies to track products down to the individual lot and batch. This helps to quickly and efficiently pinpoint products for recall and remove them from the market. It can also facilitate monetary savings by eliminating the need for businesses to pull large amounts of product from the shelves, as technology delivers more specific insight into where shipments are delivered and sold.

3. Today’s consumers have higher demands. More of the population is now subject to severe dietary restrictions such as peanut allergies that make it necessary to ensure 100 percent labeling accuracy. Also, regulations for claims such as “gluten free” now vary from country to country, depending on government-regulated minimums. Process manufacturing technology provides a clear understanding of how food byproducts are handled and which ingredients might come in contact within the factory with integrated formula management functionality. In turn, this helps companies to present accurate descriptions of food and beverage products to consumers.

The benefits of implementing a flexible, industry-specific technology solution do not stop with enhanced safety. Access to consolidated, real-time data enables visibility into operations that can help food and beverage companies identify areas to increase efficiency and make better-informed decisions about production. Today’s process manufacturing applications also promote greater communication and transparency across departments, allowing users to remain up-to-date on customer and supplier information, shipments and alerts that might impact multiple parts of the plant. With a more holistic view of operations and the tools to identify and reduce safety hazards, food and beverage manufacturers are better equipped to exercise best practices and eliminate liabilities. Do not delay to invest in supplemental safety measures. Believing that current technology practices are “good enough” to ensure safety can result in both costly and long-term consequences.

This post was written by Mike Edgett, Director, Industry and Solution Strategy, Process Manufacturing, Infor

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