Food Engineering

The Bioterrorism Act: Obtaining real-time data

September 2, 2004


According to Barber Foods’ Vice President of MIS Bob Lowe, a new tracking and tracing system from Rockwell Automation enabled the processor to improve order fill rate and increase inventory turns. Source: Barber Foods.

Barber Foods is a privately owned manufacturer of poultry-related products for the retail, grocery chain, club store, and food service market in the US, Canada, and Mexico. With strong business growth and an increasing diversity in more than 300 product lines, its manual operations for tracking and tracing of materials and people were no longer adequate. The poultry processor needed systems that provided visibility and feedback to maintain business performance requirements and continue to meet regulatory requirements.

Barber asked Rockwell Automation to help it migrate from a paper-based system to an automated electronic-based system that provided real-time KPIs and constant feedback to its SAP system.

Working closely with Barber Food's cross functional team, the Rockwell Automation team was able to develop and startup Barber's system in 120 days with no disruption to production.

"Barber adopted a progressive stance on tracking and tracing", says Paul Moylan, Rockwell Automation's food industry manager. "Barber recognized the significant business benefits they could realize by raising the visibility of labor, material, and equipment usage in their manufacturing operations. They understand the need to be responsive to regulatory needs, while seeing the advantage of electronic."

According to Barber Foods' Vice President of MIS Bob Lowe, the new tracking and tracing system enabled the processor to improve order fill rate, increase inventory turns, and initiate an effective continuous improvement program, while continuing to ensure the highest product quality.

Although the system was deployed prior to enactment of the Bioterrorism Act, Herb Rau, director of quality at Barber Foods says the company's policy is to always comply with, and exceed, FDA and USDA regulations.