Reynolds, a food distribution company based in the United Kingdom, uses ERP software to better understand its supply chain, leveraging ERP in particular to look at ways in which food waste can be eliminated, the Environmental Data Interactive Exchange (edie) reported.
Any business in the food industry needs to cognizant about the amount of food being wasted, as any perishable item that cannot be sold represents lost revenue. To help Reynolds be more efficient with its supply chain, Ian Booth, the company's technical director, said the organization uses ERP systems to identify a variety of factors relating to how much food is wasted. According to edie, Reynolds looks at how much food is thrown away and what types of food are most likely to go to waste.
"Working with food can be a messy business where the food supply chain starts on the farm and ends on the consumer’s plate," business enterprise writer Kate Kennett wrote in a guest blog post on ERP Cloud News. "In between this is the manufacturer who has to manage incoming raw materials, outbound deliveries, use-by dates and strict food safety regulations. Juggling all of these requirements where profit margins are small can be quite tricky. Having effective food ERP software in place can help manage the many facets of the production line."
How ERP solutions help Reynolds
The logistics software looks at potential waste-related trends emerging, allowing the business to better determine new ways in which profits can be maximized. The news source reported that ERP solutions allowed Reynolds to be smarter by helping the company to better understand ways its inventory can be utilized. For example, Booth said its solution showed that waste generated from making a vegetable a certain size and shape can be used to make items like soup stock, for which the aesthetics of the ingredients are less important.
ERP software solutions also help Reynolds determine how seasonality affects shipments and food waste. According to Booth, its analysis showed that certain produce picked at the beginning of the growing season would have a different shelf life than the same item gathered months later, so its supply chain had to adapt based on time of year. For example, edie reported that bananas ripen more quickly in hot summer kitchens, so Reynolds has to make sure it is sending out less ripe bananas during summer months and riper fruit during winter.