The process manufacturing industry is one of the largest sectors in the world; food, beverages, chemicals and of course even pet food and treats are big business. However, most manufacturers are facing a series of challenges, ranging from fickle consumers, tighter shipping schedules and new technology-driven requirements to increasingly stringent regulations and slim profit margins. To stay ahead of the “game,” manufacturers must continue to innovate and develop new products, which adds up to hundreds of product categories already available. How can a process manufacturer keep up with the latest market demands, overcome external pressures and yet gain the results expected? (See how Merrick Pet Care has used Dynamics AX and Clients First to grow into the second largest specialty pet food manufacturing company in the U.S.!)
While all process manufacturers face the same external pressures, larger companies have more power, broader product lines, greater geographic coverage and more advantageous contractual relationships that give them a sizable edge particularly over small- and medium-sized enterprises. With large retailers demanding technology investments and big manufacturers grabbing the most lucrative opportunities, small manufacturers are about to sink just like a damaged ship.
Most of these companies have already tried everything to stay afloat in a stormy economy, including using standard ERP applications that were unable to meet the special requirements characterizing the formula and recipe manufacturing sector.
However, there is one solution that changes all of that. The solution we’re talking about is Dynamics AX. Designed with process and discrete manufacturing processes in mind, this ERP system delivers complex formula recipe manufacturing software that makes available a series of manufacturing and distribution specific enhancements.
Did you know that Dynamics AX can help a manufacturer to:
- manage multilevel formulas and recipes, packaging options, and electronic signatures;
- differentiate between production and lab formulas, and set up formulas and recipes for new and intermediate items;
- ensure consistent results by creating formulas and recipes based on the material quantities/volumes available and the characteristics of each new ingredient added;
- monitor and analyze productivity yields based on different criteria (e.g. ingredient, formulas, recipes, labor, machines, etc.);
- track ingredients and products by shelf life, batches, lots, units of measure, and catch weight;
- define multiple inventory dimensions, packaging and lot codes, main item variations, dual units of measures, and catch-weight calculations;
- develop new items based on multiple specifications and product combinations;
- analyze all the costs and requirements associated with each work order and develop graphical representations for easier monitoring;
- eliminate waste by implementing optimal inventory picking protocols, such as FIFO (first in/first out) and FEFO (first expired/first out);
- validate each manufacturing process separately to ensure regulatory compliance?
Ingredient selection is an arduous process, involving sourcing, price negotiations, approvals, and testing. A manufacturer can use this formula recipe manufacturing software solution not only to facilitate the entire ingredient selection process, but also to adjust formulas and recipes automatically, according to new ingredients selected; require formula/recipe approval before products enter into the manufacturing cycle; and protect approved formulas/recipes against unauthorized changes.
This full ERP system with formula/recipe and discrete manufacturing can be used to create master recipes, which define ingredients along with volumes and quantities; link ingredients and formulas to specific operations; and make on-the-fly adjustments (e.g. changing ingredients, modifying volumes/quantities for products already in the manufacturing cycle, etc.) so that you can effectively respond to unplanned events.
A manufacturer can also model product structure by combining the BOM approach with the formula approach. For example, you could use the BOM approach for a product and the formula approach for product variations. Though the formula approach employs similar components (Master Formulas, Formula Versions, and Formula Lines) to the ones included in the BOM approach (Master BOMs, BOM Versions, and BOM Lines), a process manufacturer opting for the first option will get additional functionality, such as ingredients substitution and bulk-pack production.
What’s more, Dynamics AX can easily handle process, discrete and mixed mode manufacturing, allowing users to monitor and manage a wide variety of operations without investing in additional software.
Do you want to find out more about this formula, recipe manufacturing software? At Clients First Business Solutions, we provide consultation, planning, solution design, and implementation services to support the businesses operating in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. Contact our experienced specialists at 800.331.8382 or email at [email protected], and we’ll help you plan and create your businesses ERP roadmap to business success.