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Dairy ERP Software Features Designed to Suit Your Business

Dairy ERP Software Features Designed to Suit Your Business

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Dairy ERP Software Features Designed to Suit Your Business

Aug 30, 2021

Jack Payne
Containers of milk move down the line at a bottling facility.

Your dairy business needs the right tools to tackle the unique challenges of the sector. As an industry professional, you know as well as anyone that the issues you face necessitate navigating complexities not seen in other food and beverage segments.

From assessing the composition of the raw milk you receive and properly classifying it to juggling expiration dates and costing concerns, competing in the dairy market requires flexibility, agility and advanced technological solutions that can capture and analyze the large amounts of data associated with your products and materials. Only industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can deliver on all of those fronts at once.

Here, we’ll examine some key features to look for in dairy ERP software. If a platform can check all of these boxes, it can likely make your daily operations more efficient, safe and profitable.

End-to-End Traceability

Traceability is a priority for all food and beverage businesses, but it’s all the more important for dairy organizations that purchase their milk from several different sources, as is frequently the case. You need to know where your lots of raw milk come from, as well as in what manufacturing processes and finished goods that milk will be used.

This is vital not only to ensure the right class of milk with the right breakdown of components is going into the lines that require it, but also in the event of a food safety concern that needs to be tracked back to its origin. Only industry-specific ERP solutions can collect and maintain all necessary details for such precise tasks.

By automating critical record-keeping steps, dairy ERP solutions help your company avoid the risk of human error that comes with relying on memory to manually log facts and figures. The best solutions—like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP—can also sync up with your IoT-enabled equipment, further simplifying the matter, but the value of this feature merits its own discussion…

Integration with Connected Sensors and Equipment

There’s no doubt that ERP software makes a huge difference in the integrity and granularity of your data by integrating with your connected devices that scan, measure and assess your materials. But for dairies like yours, this particular function is crucial for quantifying the percentages of butterfat, protein, solids, non-fat and other components in the raw milk you receive.

The pain-staking and technical matter of analyzing raw milk by its breakdown is best left to machines dedicated to the task, and dairy ERP solutions make this much easier by automatically importing to your system all information gathered. That, in turn, facilitates classifying the milk, which is essential for making sure it’s used in the products that it’s best for.

Beyond that, characteristics like temperature and consistency are also critical to get right in the dairy industry. And you need to be able to monitor those measurements in real time and flag deviations from accepted ranges to circumvent potential problems. Making sure all pertinent metrics are reliably accurate and accessible at a moment’s notice is no less than what purpose-built ERP can deliver.

Complete Inventory and Expiration Date Tracking

New shipments of raw milk and other materials are always flowing into your facilities and each lot has its own freshness dates and remaining shelf life. You need a way to both track that information and ensure that your picking methods make the most of what you purchase.

The completely automated data capture of ERP solutions ensures that all important date ranges are recorded and accounted for in the use of your materials. These systems can help you ensure that stock is consumed on a first-expiry, first-out (FEFO) basis, which helps reduce the waste of spoiled, unused ingredients that must be thrown out.

Another powerful tool that the more advanced platforms offer is complete integration with the financial side of your company. This facilitates both automatic reordering when inventory of a given ingredient approaches critically low levels, as well as the flexibility necessary to account for costs that may change at month’s end due to discrepancies in class of milk received from suppliers.

Recipe and Formula Management

Milk is where it all begins, but dairies do so much more, from cheeses and yogurts to butter, ice cream and more. All of these products have their own very exacting methods of production, so getting your recipes and formulations just right is essential to putting out a robust suite of offerings and keeping your brand relevant.

ERP software built specifically for this industry were designed with that in mind and thus come with excellent recipe management tools that allow for the precision that these processes require. Your teams will be able to tweak levels and settings to get things “just right,” ensuring consistency in your lines and reliable results.

Of course, the dairy marketplace is always changing, and you need to have the ability to innovate when opportunities arise. The same features that help ensure your existing products remain true to their proven formulas also empower your research and development teams to branch out and experiment with potential variations and altogether new categories.

Quality and Compliance Assurance

In the world of food and beverage, few concerns are of greater significance than quality and compliance, as these are key determinants of your brand’s reputation in the market. Satisfied customers who feel confident in the taste, consistency and safety of your products are likely to become repeat patrons and your champions among peers. And steering clear of the negative headlines associated with a food safety emergency is crucial to protect your interests.

For ensuring quality control, there’s nothing better than dairy ERP solutions. The automated data capture functionalities can be applied to all of your checks to ensure that they are performed routinely and correctly while flagging abnormalities for rectification. Ensuring compliance is accomplished in much the same way, with automatic scheduling of internal audits and sanitation that keep your operations within regulations and free of safety concerns.

And speaking of food safety, dairy experts know well how important allergen management and labeling are when dealing with milk, which is on the FDA’s list for the most high-risk ingredients in the industry. Only ERP systems designed to track and trace all of your materials throughout the supply chain can give you the features to head off contamination before it occurs and recover from slip-ups with the speed required.

Doing Dairy Better with Advanced ERP Software

These are just a few of the key features that dairy ERPs offer. The unified, cross-functional nature of these platforms enable dairy operations like yours to eliminate the guesswork of less advanced solutions—like paper records and Excel spreadsheets—while enabling your facilities to churn out products of superior quality at an efficient and consistent rate.

One final way in which dairy ERP software can prove invaluable is through the high-level analysis and visualizations it can provide, which can yield actionable insights that really drive your bottom line. Whether it’s a bottleneck in a production process that can be addressed to improve efficiency or a sales trend to be identified that will get you ahead of the curve, the results will speak for themselves.

When it comes to selecting the system that suits your dairy business, make sure you choose one designed specifically for the industry, like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP. Our teams have decades of combined experience working with organizations like yours, and we’ve designed our offering to master the challenges of your sector.

Want to learn more about Aptean and what our purpose-built solutions could do for your dairy company? Reach out to us today.

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