Ask our experts – food ERP FAQs

Here are just a few questions that our specialists are frequently asked by food processing companies looking for the right food ERP solution. We’ve provided summary answers but, if you’d like to know more, just get in touch with us.


  • We need very detailed food production traceability information. What about forward and backward traceability?

    For this level of automated food production traceability information you need to work with a specialist food processing software provider who understands the intricacies of the industry and associated legislation.

    These specific skills and knowledge from your software partner are even more important following the recent announcement by the Food Standards Agency to move towards a new risk-based approach to inspecting food and drinks business.

    The “Regulating Our Future” reform programme proposes that manufacturers share both private third-party audit findings and specialist food safety inspection skills with the FSA.

    If you’re faced with product recalls or food issues such as E. coli and campylobacter, you need to be ready to take swift action.

    A specialist QA and traceability system will provide you with the data analysis you require to manage these situations.

     

    Read our blog to find out more about how to always be audit ready.

    QA and audit ready software from the food software specialists Systems Integration

  • Is there a more efficient way to manage food processing audit requests?

    If it’s a struggle to keep up with food processing audit demands and finding paper evidence without compromising daily production activity, automation is the answer.

    Imagine. If all your food production processes were connected through shop-floor data capture, driven by real-time information, a food processing audit request would take minutes rather than hours.

    • Automate your traceability with a system that’s fed by real-time data from across all your processes and departments.
    • Generate reports in seconds and be assured that the data is up to date and accurate.

    The key to being able to provide the best traceability reports is having shop floor real-time data capture in place.

    For more insight, check out this short video from Faccenda Foods on how automated traceability has:
    • joined up their processes
    • provided audit integrity
    • removed more than 1.8 tonnes of paper per annum.

  • We create a daily production plan each morning, in great detail, but invariably there will be factors, such as problems with raw material and machine breakdowns, during the day that knock the plan out. We then have to spend time re-planning and fire-fighting to get production back on schedule. How can we improve the process?

    This is another area where food productivity software has a real edge over ERP solutions. The best specialist food productivity systems will provide a live view of your plan, as well as the production progress. It will allow you to make last minute changes, identify live issues and calculate the knock-on effects to production time and lines, raw materials, crew, packaging requirements and vehicle departure times.

  • What level of support should I expect for a new ERP system or food productivity module?

    SLAs will vary from vendor to vendor and need to be checked carefully. Whether the value of your contract is large or small you should still receive the same level of support from your ERP or food productivity software supplier.

    You have the right to expect outstanding ongoing support to suit your requirements, even if that’s 24/7. And remember, a good ERP vendors or food productivity software supplier will want to develop a long-term partnership with your company, no matter what its size might be.

  • Our ERP system is in place and works well, but it needs enhancing. However, we don’t want to risk the stability of our current system when enhancements are introduced? What’s the best way to progress?

    If you’re integrating new modules or developments, make sure that any software modifications are fully acceptance tested before implementation starts, so you know that they are going to work

  • We are nervous of switching to a completely new system in case it affects our day to day business. Can ERP implementation be phased in?

    Many vendors will plan for a lengthy implementation process, sometimes in excess of a year, working towards an ultimate switchover date. Even with user acceptance testing, a major implementation has inherent risks due to the system complexity and multiple department touchpoints. If you want to minimise risk, ask your vendor to provide a phased plan.

    At SI we offer the option to phase installation at times to suit your business.

  • How can I minimise food ERP implementation risks?

    When it comes to food ERP implementation projects, we believe that your solutions provider should be available on onsite to support the whole process to involve and support end users.

    But before embarking on a project Systems Integration’s advice would be to task your food ERP provider with mapping out a detailed solution, configured to every aspect of your business.

    At Systems Integration, mapping out the whole food software solution in advance is standard practice, through our modular/phased implementation. We call it FRD, or in full, the Functional Requirements Document.

    • Systems Integration’s approach is, from the outset, that our expert implementation team will in close partnership with you.
    • Our aim is to get to know your business and identify exactly what your business needs are when it comes to food ERP.
    • User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is integral to our processes, prior to implementation.
    • In addition, whenever we implement a new system, our expert team is always on hand throughout the whole process.
    “I’m passionate about providing solutions that transform our customers’ business operations. I pride myself on speaking our customers’ language and understanding their business needs foremost, before getting into the technical jargon, and I encourage all of my team to follow this same mantra”.
    James Edwards, Implementations Director at Systems Integration.

  • Our existing ERP system can’t handle shop floor processes? Do we need to invest in a new system?

    We already have an ERP system but it doesn’t handle my factory floor processes well. Does this mean I will have to invest in a new system?

    Not necessarily, but first you need to identify your shop floor and back office processes, specific challenges and the gaps within your ERP system. These gaps could be addressed by your existing ERP supplier.

    Alternatively, speak to a specialist food productivity software provider with the skills to understand your shop floor challenges.

    For instance, at Systems Integration, our specialist modules can be integrated to an existing ERP system to address a specific challenge or process area. Well developed, specialist software is a proven route and likely to be a significantly more cost effective solution than bespoke fixes.

    • ERP system can’t handle shop floor processes?
    • Worried about having to invest in a new food ERP solution?
    Speak to Systems Integration and find out how our modular shop floor food software integrates to  address the gaps.

  • ERP v food ERP; is there really much of a difference?

    We’re often asked how ERP v food ERP systems stack up in comparison.

    Of course, there are a plethora of ERP systems out there, that are customised by solutions providers according to the sectors that they are servicing.

    Undoubtedly, these systems are well-established, functionally rich back-office systems but often it’s only after an expensive decision has been made that the shortcomings become clearer.

    A back-office system will invariably fall short of being able to manage your shop floor requirements.

    It’s unlikely to be able to cope with specific shop floor data capture and real-time information requirements, or in the moment changes to planning and production lines. This will inevitably lead you down the route of paying for software modifications and, even then, may still not solve all the issues you set out to fix.

    Specialist food processing ERP and modular food software is just that, it’s designed purely for the sector, by industry experts.
    We chose SI because of their unique specialisation in our industry. Their commitment to service and genuine interest in the success of our company sets them apart from the competition. Vantage Foods, USA
    Faced with the ERP v food ERP dilemma? Find out more about our world-class food ERP before you make your next system decision.

How can we help?

If you’d like to ask a question of your own, please fill in the contact form and we’ll get right back to you with an answer.