A Data-Driven Approach: Recall Management and Improved Plant Floor Operations:
Food processing plants, including meat plants, regularly have the opportunity to collect data throughout their entire operation. However, this data is often missed or neglected. Sometimes this data is not effectively used. In the era of big data with the range of solutions available for better data collection and analysis, a data-driven approach to operating food plants is becoming a norm in the industry. This mini-blog series explores the importance of the data-centric approach from multiple perspectives. This first blog covers the use of critical and actionable data for recall management and plant operations. The rest of this blog series will dig into production control, the WIP process, and a data-centric approach to operational and financial efficiencies.
There are a few factors to consider if your plant is looking to collect critical and actionable data in a scalable way that is tailored to a plant’s specific needs.
Be proactive and predictive
Moving to a proactive approach for managing recalls and to a predictive approach to operating a food plant has significant benefits for food manufacturers. Data is one key element required to help implement predictive methods to plant management. Critical and actionable data enables better decision-making, minimizes risk, and empowers stakeholders across the plant floor and supply chain.
Adopt a preventative recall management strategy
Lack of recall management can be very expensive on multiple fronts for meat processors. A recall can hurt a processor’s brand and bring expensive lawsuits. Adopting a preventative recall management practice with a data-driven approach is a smarter way for staying on top of the recall process. A data-driven approach allows for collecting critical and actionable data at key production points. With this data, meat processors can enable full traceability throughout the plant. Thus, the entire production process from receiving to shipping can be meticulously tracked. This plant-wide data-driven traceability approach is can be the backbone of a preventative recall management strategy, and it can be very useful for implementing proactive recall management practices.
Implement plant floor technology and best practices
A data-driven approach requires the implementation of various technologies and best practices at the plant floor level. Meat processors have implemented the best ERP systems and accounting packages in their front and back offices. However, when it comes to the plant floor, many meat processors are still using outdated technologies and practices. Sometimes, production processes are recorded on paper or in an Excel template. To gain an advantage with the data-driven approach, food plants need to have data-collecting devices, collection software, analytical software and industrial computers. Also, they require best practices for bringing the technologies and people together to collect the critical and actionable data. These devices typically include scales, scanners, printers, computers, mobile devices, and more. The manufacturing execution software (MES), warehouse management software (WMS) and plant floor ERP software are key pieces of the required software suite. Furthermore, teams need to be trained in the best practices of placing the right data collection device at the right collection point, using the devices to collect data and making sense of the data for improving the operational efficiencies within the food plant using the critical and actionable data.
Take an incremental approach to process change
Once the decision is made by the executive team to implement a data-driven approach to managing recalls and improving plant-wide operations then it calls for cooperation between various user groups. Most importantly the plant management, process engineering and IT teams are left with the difficult task of technology selection, process flow design, solution implementation and staff training, as well as ensuring a seamless operation. This is not just a technology implementation exercise. This is a change management program, which involves employee buy-in as well a cultural shift towards using critical and actionable data to improve efficiencies and recall practices.
Bringing about change is often a very difficult process. An iterative and incremental approach that ensures the food manufacturers leverage the expertise of the right solutions partner can help to break down silos and resistance to change. This helps to augment the existing system without the need for significant cost and will help to navigate the change effectively. The right solutions partner combined with a truly consultative approach can help make the journey a success.
Embrace solution integration
Solution integration is the best method for implementing a plant floor data-collection system, which consists of hardware and software. This approach limits risk and brings proven practices to identify the ideal data collection points in the plant. Solution integration also helps determine the right technologies for data collection and powerful tools for making sense of the collected data. Integrated solution platforms provide plant operators with data-collection at each required point throughout the plant floor. Thus, solution integration delivers a widely used integrated solution platform that will improve operations and empower recall management.
How we can help!
Carlisle Technology has been operating at the forefront of the data-centric culture for decades. Carlisle Technology provides fully-integrated technology solutions that streamline data collection across the entire production cycle from receiving through processing, packaging, warehousing to shipment and invoicing. Carlisle’s first solution allowed meat processors to apply GS1-128 barcodes to production cartons.
For helping food manufacturers modernizing their recall management practices and improve operational efficiencies, Carlisle Technology offers an integrated suite of software and hardware solutions and comprehensive services to empower the manufacturer to collect critical and actionable data from the plant floor. Carlisle Technology enables customers to embrace a data-driven approach by providing them with a complete set of data-collection processes and tools, including scanners, scales, printers and enabling software to collect the relevant operational data. Carlisle software suite combined with data collection devices gives users a 360-degree view of their entire operation. Partner with Carlisle Technology to make this journey a complete success in the era of big data, which allows plant operators to capitalize on critical and actionable data for continuous improvement and efficient operations.
Written by: Kamal Krishnapillai, Business Development – Carlisle Technology
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