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To understand better how CitySoft, using SAP Business One ERP software, helps small to medium sized companies consistently & successfully produce quality products, let me take a business systems dive into an ice cream manufacturers business. Several containers of ice cream

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On the way into stock most if not all raw materials require lot – batch management including use by and expiry dates, and often quality testing-sampling. This can  lead to a needs for a secondary classification of stock (Q-quarantined for instance or a Q location in the warehouse); vendor returns or write offs & credit notes. Traceability on supply such as farm to plate visibility for certain consumers can also be important. 

Picking for production may call for further quality tests and certainly should demand picking of raw materials that meet the manufacturers marketing / packaging claims or contracted obligations to customers regarding expire by; shelf life guarantees and use by dates on finished goods.

Storage of raw materials including temperature controls can also play a part in meeting legislative demands. (Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)).

To avoid un-necessary wastage; short production runs; plant underutilization and production work order re-runs, the ice cream manufacturer will benefit from the use of product recipes that accommodate known loss factors such as processing losses, shrinkage, and sampling. They will benefit from scheduling similar work orders that consider allergens, strong residual flavours and their scheduling and equipment washdowns. They will also enjoy using boiler plate production instructions saved against a recipe.  The concept of a super batch supports production of a specific product let us say vanilla bean ice cream that may be used to produce three finished goods (A 1 litre tub, a three-litre tub and a ten-litre tub of ice cream. (Same product different packaging & finished SKU)A screenshot of a computer

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The ice cream manufacturer will also benefit from a logical production planning capability that calibrates capacity and resource requirements with customer supply demands. Accurate sales data will help drive planned production where a company also manufacturers to stock.

In a sales driven production environment scheduling is paramount especially when punitive arrangements with customers are in place. Material requirement planning and a flexible master production schedule helps production managers best prepare and execute production plans for their business. This applies to both packaging and raw materials. The ability to receive a customer’s purchase orders electronically (EDI) can be of excellent value, after the shock of the up-front costs to establish it. A mobile sales App helps salespeople collect orders on the road without necessitating a return to base to provide office staff with data entry tasks. 

Manual recording of test results, data entry of sales orders, paper-based filing of documents & storage of standard operating procedure (SOP) takes too much time in a dynamic small to medium sized business and often detract from the performance of the business especially when key personnel could be using their time far more effectively. Tight management of recipe changes, effective dates and supporting documents also reduce the possibility of misalignment between sales, marketing, and production. Electronic management of changes using electronic signatures, audit trails and user security restrictions fits into Americas FDA recommended system requirements. USA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Whilst they do not directly apply to Australian manufacturers who do not export the USA, they offer a sensible guide to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).Northcote Ice Cream - The Irresistible Allure of Ice Cream Scene

An integrated ERP and warehouse system using one common inventory file leads to streamlined picking & packing of finished goods. Route management and or freight forwarder system integration further streamlines the process of dispatching goods to customers or third-party logistics companies. A machine with ice cream cones

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For the more innovative ice cream manufacturers they may wish to add a product lifecycle element to their business system to better capture R&D expenditure and work effort. A product lifecycle management (PLM) system is designed to capture work effort across multiple departments who are investigating new lines, products, packaging, and related matters.  This is work that may lead to the production of and commercialisation of a product & from an ERP perspective may involve data already held against suppliers and in inventory in the ERP system.

So many smaller accounting systems are claiming to be the be all and end all system for small to medium sized companies. Their claims are bold but often questionable. Some have added third party applications to their main product offering however the integration points are generally basic, problematic and essentially a case for cobbling together two or more systems (Accounting system and a manufacturing system) to create the perception of a single integrated solution for manufacturers. 

CitySoft using SAP Business One as the base ERP system covering accounting, sales, finance, procurement, inventory, and light manufacturing, often complemented by using BatchMaster for SAP Business One, a process manufacturing speciality software application completely rewritten inside SAP Business One to produce a unified single user experience or Boyum’s BEAS another SAP Business One specific piece of manufacturing software to create a purpose built process manufacturing system for small, medium and large companies. And when advanced warehousing is required beyond the market leading pick and pack functionality inside standard SAP Business One CitySoft uses Boyum’s Produmex Warehouse software (WMS). 

The beauty of the CitySoft SAP Business One led system for small to medium sized process manufacturers of food and beverage items are –

  1. One integrated business system that supports the end-to-end operations of a process manufacturer. This is important as some systems replicate data leading to multiple versions of the truth, time wasted reconciling data and issues around timeliness of validated data.
  2. One unified set of data upon which to base important management and production decisions. Confidence in one’s data and the availability of that data when it is required are fundamental to running a successful business especially where competition is guaranteed but market share is not.
  3. Field level, table, and process specific functionality for process manufacturers without workarounds, modifications, & suboptimal business practices. This covers production, stock, and accounting for the typical food and beverage manufacturer. (A competitor of CitySoft once sold their client a warehouse system to address their clients process manufacturing challenges. $60,000 later the problems still persisted…)
  4. CitySoft’s SAP Business One centric solution for food and beverage manufacturers offers fully integrated warehousing, manufacturing, and accounting. The smaller systems generally offer limited functionality, or three disparate systems held together with clunky data exchange. With CitySoft’s SAP Business One system there’s one inventory file servicing warehousing stock management and ERP production. The warehouse system is used to pick goods for production and the same system picks goods to fill customer orders. There is no warehouse inventory separate to the ERP inventory with CitySoft’s SAP Business One system.
  5. CitySoft’s SAP Business One system is scalable so as you grow so does the system. Whereas the smaller systems hot all sorts of barriers some technical some functional CitySoft’s SAP Business One scales to hundreds of users and with the addition of best of breed warehousing and process manufacturing for CitySoft’s SAP Business One ERP system larger process manufacturers can also benefit from the system.
  6. The cost of ownership of a CitySoft’s SAP Business One system is far lower than most small to medium sized businesses anticipated. When compared to the lower cost entry level systems claiming to do everything a small to medium sized process manufacturing businesses needs to do, and typically don’t, CitySoft’s SAP Business One system offers far greater value for money as it streamlines business processes leading to either redeployment of staff to income generating activities or reduces FTE and or PTE head count and overtime costs. The savings in stock related matters can also be substantial as directed picking leads to best consumption of raw materials, (Proper storage and retrieval of lots / batches for production & for customer order fulfillment); more timely and accurate procurement, (MRP, accurate sales data…); better plant utilization (Master production scheduling); QC testing and return material authorization processing (RMA).

CitySoft Consulting are Gold partners of SAP specializing in SAP’s Business One ERP system developed for small to medium sized businesses with turnover in or around the $5M- $60 M AUD turnover p.a. range. CitySoft service a range of clients in different industries including in multiple process manufacturing segments.

To initiate a confidential discussion with CitySoft concerning your system and business information needs please contact CitySoft on p 1300 762 762 or e sales@citysoft.net.au or fill in our contact me web form at citysoft.net.au