Food firm reaps benefits of enterprise software

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cheese, Processed cheese

Private-label food manufacturer Berner Foods has increased
efficiency, visibility and productivity as a result of installing
enterprise software.

iRenaissance from Ross Systems has allowed the company to be more competitive in what is a cutthroat business and create new efficiencies imperative in private-label manufacturing.

The company has reduced overall costs by 5 per cent through increased production throughput, facility consolidation, improved product quality and more robust inventory tracking capabilities. Stock outs have been reduced by 99 per cent, and customer complaints due to quality issues have gone down dramatically.

Berner implemented Ross Systems iRenaissance ERP for manufacturing operations, quality control, supplier management, financials and regulatory management. The company has since upgraded the technology foundation in an attempt to give the company an advantage in what is a highly competitive market.

The system includes iRenaissance Data Collection, which gives the company access to real-time data that accurately depicts the manufacturing cycle and improved visibility into inventory and production processes.

In addition, iRenaissance CRM ensure that customer demand is accurately captured and communication between the sales and production teams is improved.

The software has also boosted the comapny's reputation as a safety-conscious business. As with many private-label firms, Berner operates is required, more than ever, to take into account aspects of production such as quality control and regulatory compliance.

As part of Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and especially in light of increasing regulatory scrutiny from the FDA, USDA and other government agencies, Berner needed a reliable system that would keep it in lock-step with regulations, such as the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.

Importantly, iRenaissance enables Berner to meet food safety measures required by the federal government and expected by customers. The company easily complies with the record keeping and traceback requirements of the Bioterrorism Act of 2002.

The lot traceability, recipe management and quality control applications that Berner uses provide the data and functionality required by Section 306 of the Act. This accountability and tracking, including the source and movement of all raw materials, the process by which product was produced and destinations where all product was shipped, is a fundamental part of iRenaissance.

With this comprehensive solution now installed, the duration of mock recalls at Berner has gone from taking an entire day to a mere 30 minutes.

"The food manufacturing-specific functionality is a must, since we need to meet FDA and HACCP regulations and strict quality control mandates from our customers,"​ said Troy Grove, director of business technology for Berner Foods.

"We are already in a position to comply with the Bioterrorism Act as well.

"Attribute tracking in iRenaissance allows us to monitor the quality and product attributes uniquely for each batch or lot, and make sure that we are delivering products that will meet the expectations of each customer. With full lot tracing, we can determine the disposition of any raw ingredient, throughout production and distribution of all finished products, and quickly contain the scope of a potential recall."

In addition, Berner can now locate product in its warehouse in real-time, compared to the 30-minute to one hour window required before, and total product review went from three days to four hours.

Berner built its first processed cheese plant in 1988 and began mass-producing a private-label cheddar cheese sauce. The company is now the US dairy industry's leading private-label manufacturer of processed cheese sauces, spreads and toppings.

Ross Systems​, a software unit of chinadotcom corporation, delivers software solutions designed to help manufacturers increase operational efficiencies, improved profitability and streamline regulatory compliance.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging