Running a successful business in the turbulent fresh products market, means facing up to the challenges of time (speed and shelf life), logistics (transport and traceability) and quality. Retailers and customers are becoming increasingly critical and setting stricter requirements in which they find increasing support from regulations and the authorities.
Built on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the native functionality offers robust Financial, Sales & Marketing, Purchasing, Warehouse, and Production Management. Further Food Industry specific development has been built within, and on-top of these modules to cater to industry specific needs.
The SIS Global Solutions for the Foodware Industry has been build with best practices in the food and beverage industry in mind. These functionalities have been tested and integrated into these standard industry specific software solutions:
- Fruit and Vegetables
- Bread and Bakery
- Dairy and Cheese
The SIS Global Solutions for the Foodware Industry provides a number of integrated functionality that together provides a rich solution to manage the industries day-to-day requirements.
The Consignment Management module enables you to register and monitor all logistics and financial transactions on the level of supplier, consignment contract, consignment, lot, item attribute or customer. Furthermore, Consignment Management deals with the situation where no regular purchasing transactions are recorded, but where purchasing is based on commission, joint account or minimum guarantee.
In these settlement methods the cost of goods sold is calculated based on the costs incurred and the income from the transaction. And this calculated value is settled using a purchase invoice and/or credit memo. This is known as self-billing. The integration with the consignment master record ensures the complete flow of information to the supplier and the consignment monthly closing procedure.
Container Management allows you to assign a unique number to containers and refer to this number in all logistics transactions. Often labels with barcodes are placed in the racks in the warehouse, so that as the goods are put away, the container can be linked to the correct location. As the goods are picked, only the container number has to be scanned, because the system already knows the bin code.
The Container Management solution is sometimes also referred to as pallet administration, because 90% of the implementations also use pallets. However, the system can also be used for other types of containers such as trays and roll containers. Your organisation probably also uses SSCC labels which are now common practice in the food and beverage industry. The SSCC number is only allocated for the haulier and customer of an outgoing container. The SSCC number assigned to an incoming or outgoing container can be linked to a container number; this is the unique number that is used in all internal processes.
The inspection status functionality enables you to monitor quality in the entire goods flow through your organisation. For example, when you post a purchase receipt or production output, you will always want to conduct a quality check. Once you have set this up, this inspection status will automatically be assigned to every new lot. As a consequence, goods might be blocked for various outgoing transactions until further quality checks have been carried out, for example for sales orders or for use in production.
You have considerable flexibility in defining which status is assigned to goods in an incoming transaction. You can define this inspection status for a number of attributes. For example per item, item category, all items, or for a specific item attribute. Furthermore, you can define an inspection status for an item from a specific supplier.
The messages within the EDI solution are generated according to the GS1 standard, defined by the food and beverage industry. The EDI solution supports the following messages:
- Receive sales orders: ORDERS
- Return a receipt confirmation: APERAK
- Send a shipment message: DESADV (including SSCC data)
- Send sales invoice and credit note: INVOIC
Because sales orders are entered automatically, orders can be processed faster and the chance of making errors is reduced. When a shipment message is sent, the customer knows in advance what will be received, which results in faster and more efficient processing of goods. Invoicing is also automatic, so corrections will be reduced to a minimum amount.
When a catch weight item is used in the logistics process, for example in a purchase, production or sales order, you can use the Scales Connection to indicate per order line if it should be displayed on the weighing list. As soon as the desired weight is reached, the warehouse employee confirms and the actual weight is entered into the system automatically and updated in real-time. This means that fewer transactions have to be entered manually and so fewer mistakes will be made.
The rich interface provides you with an overview of all planned and released production orders. You also have the option to plan across multiple Machine Centres, Work Centres, and Work Centre Groups within your company. The solution supports a display per day as well as per week. When you select a production order in the Advanced Scheduler, you see all the necessary information about this order straight away.
It is possible that your production plan for finished products depends on specific semi-finished products or raw materials. Delays in production may arise if the production of the required semi-finished products is not complete when the production order for the finished product is due to commence. Where appropriate, the Advanced Scheduler shows the relationship and dependencies between the various production orders so that complications can be easily spotted. The same applies for production orders that are planned too close to each other, where problems may arise due to the time required to set up the machines.
The Operations Control solution has been specifically developed for use in the warehouse or production department. The large buttons and simple user interface make the screens extremely suitable for touch screens, thereby making it easier for staff to carry out certain activities quickly. This not only means greater efficiency; other departments also benefit from the integrated solution.
Operations Control enables you to manage the available inventory in real time. After selecting an item, the ‘Inventory screen’ will give you direct insight into the inventory on hand. Filters can then be enabled to refine the selection, such as per location, bin code or inspection status. After selecting the required filters, the solution calculates whether the item is in stock. Unique calculation rules can be created for every combination of location, zone, bin code, expiration date, lot number, and container number.
As well as providing insight into the inventory on hand, Operations Control provides an overview of the production orders, including the material requirements. After opening the overview screen, you can view production orders for different days via the integrated calendar. For every production order, you will have direct access to the operations plan and associated worksheets (such as production worksheets, process worksheets and quality worksheets). In addition, Operations Control enables you to register the output, consumption, and capacity of production orders. This means that this data can be entered directly into the system and does not have to be recorded on paper first. As such, the process is faster, leaving little room for error, and reducing the flow of paper within your organisation.
In practice, you will have to deal with supplier rebates as well as customer rebates; this has been integrated into the solution. In addition, it is important that you can set rebates per customer, or per customer group, as well as per item or for specific item groups. Furthermore, you can indicate whether a rebate is a percentage rebate or an absolute rebate. The various types of rebates you have agreed on with your customers can be defined as rebate codes. The specific agreements with customers and suppliers can be registered for every rebate.
Create rebate groups
Before a rebate can be assigned to a customer or supplier, a rebate group has to be created. For example a rebate group with various products where a rebate of 5% can be achieved. You can indicate whether a rebate reservation should be made per item. Once the rebate groups have been set up, you can link a customer or supplier to the specific rebate group.
Automatic rebate reservation
For every invoice or credit note entered, the system will automatically create a rebate reservation. At any time, via the customer or supplier master record you can then inspect the status of the accumulated rebate compared to the agreed rebate target, which may be registered as an amount or a percentage.
Credit notes can be created automatically for the rebate payments in both the purchase and sales side of your system. The batch process ‘Rebate Payment’ has been created for this purpose. When this process is run credit notes will be created but not posted. This enables you to check the rebates and modify them if necessary. If all credit notes are correct, they are automatically posted into the general ledger entries and rebate entries. When the rebates are calculated, any volume agreements which may be linked to the rebate codes are automatically taken into account.
It may transpire that the actual rebate booking is more or less than the rebate reservation. In this case, the rebate account in the general ledger will contain an amount for the unpaid part of this rebate code. This amount can be corrected using the batch process ‘Rebate Correction’. These financial transactions are automatically posted in your system.
The Radio Frequency module is used for scanning pallet labels, enabling the item number, lot number and expiry date to be displayed. When inventory is put away in the warehouse, pallet labels are generated which will be scanned when the items are picked, reclassified or during cycle counting. This is processed directly in the solution. For cycle counting transactions the new inventory count is entered directly in the scanner or pocket PC, and this is processed immediately in real time.
The Catch Weight solution allows you to make weight the leading unit for calculating the cost price, purchase price and sales price when you work with items sold by weight.
By setting a simple system parameter you decide whether your organisation will make use of the dual unit of measure system. You can then determine per item whether or not it is a catch weight item. If an item becomes a catch weight item, the number of units is converted into kilograms. In addition, a catch weight item may have a fixed or variable weight.
Once you define an item as a fixed weight item, you will not be able to change it to a variable weight item as this is one of the conditions for working with standard costing. You can also opt to define the purchase prices and sales prices only per kilogram. This implies that when you change the kilogram quantity in a sales transaction then the sales price per piece will be automatically recalculated. Cost prices can be calculated in either the standard unit of measure or in kilograms.
Within the general settings of the Catch Weight solution, you may set a ‘maximum variance percentage standard weight’. This setting means that there is a certain tolerance for the weight of an item related to the standard weight for that item.
If you implement both the Catch Weight and Scales Connection solutions in your warehouse, you can elect to have the weight automatically entered from the weighing scales.
The solution module SSCC Labels is an easy way to work with SSCC labels and it can be used with inventory pick as well as warehouse pick transactions. SSCC Labels can indicate at customer level which SSCC label should be used for a specific customer. You can also indicate how many SSCC labels should be printed and the composition of the label. For this last function you have three options:
With the homogeneous option you can assign items from a single lot to a single SSCC label.
- Mixed lots
The mixed lots option allows you to assign multiple lots of a single item for a single SSCC label.
- Mixed items
The mixed items option enables you to assign multiple lot numbers and multiple items to a single SSCC label.
In addition to this solution, Container Management can be used to fully track containers as well. This applies to all logistics processes and all standard warehouse modules.
Assigning an SSCC
Your customers who work with SSCC labels will each have their own requirements regarding the label format. With the SSCC Labels solution you can select the SSCC label your customer requires in the customer master data. This setting is made once, so that when an order and the accompanying SSCC label are created, the system automatically selects the right label layout. Per SSCC label your warehouse employee can then allocate which products and quantities are to be transported under a specific label. A unique number is automatically generated during inventory picking and the various SSCC lines are added. When the order is complete, the SSCC label is printed and attached to the goods ready for transportation.
Customers and tracing
If required, you can inform your customers as to which SSCC labels you are about to dispatch or which ones are already on their way. Your customers are then in a position to carry out checks or even to submit a complaint related to the SSCC label. An SSCC label does not just provide access to information about quantities of products and reusable packaging, it can also provide information about which lots were used during production. In the event of a recall you can then trace exactly where the products were sent to and on which container they were transported.
You can enquire on the SSCC history within the Warehouse management module. This screen gives you a detailed overview of the SSCC labels used together with the items and lot numbers.
When transport is scheduled, a transport order is created. And when you plan the transport order from a purchase order or sales return order then the software will automatically create an incoming transport order. If transport is related to a sales order or a purchase return order then an outgoing transport order will be created. If transport is required for a transfer order, you can decide whether an incoming or outgoing transport order will be created. A transport order may contain the following items: the supplier responsible for the transport, the means of transport and the tariff, the loading and unloading location, the date and time that loading and unloading should take place and the order details.
The solution recognises three types of non-conformance: from customers, to suppliers and internal non-conformances. The complete settlement of non-conformances is coordinated from a single screen. You can define non-conformances for an item or lot number, for an item attribute or even a consignment number. Within Sthe solution you do more than just register complaints, you can also define a follow-up procedure, The person dealing with the non-conformance can for example also plan return receipts. The actual creation of the return order can be easily done at the press of a button as all necessary data is already present in the non-conformance registration. If all planned actions have been completed, the status of the complaint will change to ‘closed’ and the non-conformance will be removed from the overview. Should a non-conformance not be dealt with correctly, it is always possible to re-open the closed non-conformance and take additional actions
In order to create a good production plan it is essential to have a clear sales budget. The SIS Global Solutions for the Foodware Industry contains the functionality to generate this budget based on the sales history. In addition there is an option to make changes to the sales budget manually, for example to cope with promotions. This functionality is integrated with Microsoft Excel, giving you maximum flexibility. When the sales budget is finalised, you can use the option to extrapolate this into a production forecast. If necessary the period can be changed here, for example, if the sales budget is per month and the production forecast needs to be per week.
Workload and Critical Capacities
Using the production forecast, the system can now calculate the workload and the critical materials needed for the production process. By generating simulated production orders, the workload can also be simulated. Within the ‘Workload screen’ clear insight is provided into the workload of the various production lines, Work Centres, and Machine Centres. In this screen you can easily zoom in on various aspects, for example a particular location or a period, by using filters. Figures shown in red indicate where the ‘bottlenecks’ are in the plan so you can immediately see where you need to reschedule.
MPS & MRP
When the Master Production Schedule (MPS) and Material Requirements Planning (MRP) batch processes are run, the solution automatically takes account of the product expiry date in regard to the delivery date of the sales order (direct), but also for the derived demand for raw materials and semi-finished products.
Planning Critical Materials
Besides creating insight into the workload per Work Center and Machine Center, the simulation will also provide insight into the plans for critical materials. The screen ‘Critical Planning Materials’ contains an overview of the demand for critical materials. By using filters and the simulation, the cumulative inventory can be displayed. In the production planning, the solution can also take account of the expiry dates of products. This is also reflected in the Critical Materials Planning.
Advanced Production Planning works with a long-term production plan. The longer the planning period, the more rigid the plan is. This means that there is a greater chance that sales orders are received which cannot be included in the plan. Within SI Foodware this problem is neutralised in the ‘Order Commitment’. This screen shows the list of items where you can enable various filters. For example, you can filter on Outstanding Orders. The system will then only display the items for which there is a sales order, but no production order. When you select an item, you immediately see the sales orders present in the system and if already created, the corresponding production orders. From the Order Commitment Screen you can then proceed to generate production orders.
Some companies deliver to their clients more than once a day and therefore plan production orders per route. Within the solution, it is possible to group multiple sales orders per route into a single production order and to plan this immediately so that everything can be ready within the time available for delivery to your clients.
The Factory Plan provides a complete picture of all on-going production orders. You can use filters to select on a particular location or a specific date. This will not only provide you with a simple overview of the plan, you can also easily make immediate changes to it.
Document just once
You only have to document the information about raw materials and packaging once. There are also useful copy and paste facilities too. You have to analyse each raw material separately. In Product Specifications you document the information about ingredients, nutritional values, microbiology, diet details, allergens, additives, organoleptic characteristics, vitamins and minerals, logistics information and tracing details. If applicable, information about the percentage of meat and connective tissue can be documented.
The final declarations, nutritional values etc. of a semi-finished or finished product, are calculated automatically based on the recipe. In other words, when you use a raw material from an alternative supplier and you have already entered the product specification, then the consequences of this item for the various finished products is calculated for you immediately. The same applies to changes in the recipe. For example if you decide to use butter instead of margarine. The new nutritional values for the finished product are calculated for you at the press of a button.
Version management of product specifications
By creating different versions of a product specification you can easily investigate what the consequences of replacing a certain raw material will be, for example, for the fat levels or nutritional values in a finished product. Suppose you are in the process of developing a product variant, such as a specific seasonal cake. Then it is possible to manage various versions of a product specification for which you will only release the final version when you want to start producing the product. Up to that time you can experiment with the product, including varying the ingredients.
Besides specifications for raw materials, you can also document specifications for packaging. For example, in these packaging specifications you define what type of foil is used, what the composition of this foil is and what the dimensions are. Based on the packaging specifications you can then generate a packaging declaration. The packaging declaration shows the quantities sold and the corresponding weight in food packaging materials. This weight is then used to calculate the amount to be paid to the authorities.
Product information sheet and labels for consumer packaging
You can use the product specification information for a product for various purposes. For example for the ingredients and allergen declaration, on labels for pre-packed consumer items or for the product information sheet for your customers. When a product specification is sent to a customer, this is automatically logged in the relationship management module (CRM).
Various analyses can be carried out based on the product specification. So, for example, you can quickly and easily see which finished products contain the cow’s milk protein allergen. It is also possible to carry out extensive analysis based on all the information that has been entered in product specification.
On a pre-packed product, besides providing information about the ingredients and allergens, you can also indicate the lot number of the product concerned. And you can link all manner of information to the lot number, such as the expiry date. When you receive a question about a certain product, using the lot number, you can quickly trace what has happened to this product and which raw materials were used in the production process. You can generate a clear report of all the process steps at the press of a button. You see immediately which lots of the various raw materials and semi-finished products were processed in this particular finished product.