The best practice solution combines industry best practice content, Optiva's unique and robust functional capabilities, and Formation Systems' proprietary FastTrack best practice implementation methodology. Optiva is a suite of product development software for the process industries. The purpose of the technology is to help new innovations become best-selling products. The software has now been rolled out to the food and beverage industry.
"The Optiva Best Practice Food and Beverage Solution enables Formation Systems' customers to shorten their time-to-benefit by using the institutional knowledge gained from our work with leaders in the food and beverage industry," said Dan Keelan Formation Systems president.
"By offering a way to provide companies with a functional product development system in as little as a month, and guaranteeing their satisfaction, Formation Systems helps companies shorten the time-to-value, reduce their up front costs and most importantly, reduce the risk inherent in any enterprise software purchase."
The Optiva best practice solution builds upon Formation Systems' experience of working with some of the world's largest food and beverage companies such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury Schweppes, Group Danone and Cargill.
Software is increasingly being used in food production. Coca-Cola was able to recall its bottled water brand Dasani last month after finding samples that contained higher than permitted levels of the chemical bromate because it had an efficient management software system installed.
The recall of over half a million bottles in the UK took less than 24 hours, and although deeply embarrassing for the soft drinks giant, the recall could have been much more damaging had the company not put in place adequate traceability measures.
"The general comment about this Coca-Cola recall was that it was very efficient,"Simon Lawson, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) account manager with systems integrator Capula, told FoodProductionDaily.com. "Not many companies are as efficient as that, and this could have ramifications with EU legislation on traceability coming into force in 2005.
This legislation states that food manufacturers have to be able to show that they can trace products right through the food chain.
"A lot of companies will have traceability systems in place by then, but the problem is that they are often manually linked," said Lawson. "The problem is speed, and this is becoming apparent as expectations are raised. In the US, the Bioterrorism Act obliges manufacturers to be able to respond in four hours, and this is colouring expectations in the UK."