It’s more important than ever for food and beverage manufacturing executives to get ahead of the curve to ensure food safety and traceability across their business, says a report from the Aberdeen Group.

According to the report, “Food Safety and Traceability: Keeping Consumers Happy and Healthy,” food safety, compliance, product recalls and brand reputation have forced many processors to question their ability to provide enterprise-wide traceability. These companies are taking a second look at the success of their traceability initiatives with a focus on creating product and process traceability across four business processes: innovate, source, make and deliver.

The report found that best-in-class processors are more than twice as likely as laggard manufacturers to standardize escalation procedures for quality, non-compliance and recall events across the enterprise; implement business processes for collaborating with suppliers on quality; and deliver role-based, actionable intelligence on key quality metrics to decision makers.

Compared with other industries, the food and beverage industry earns points for focusing on the consumer experience, especially in ensuring product quality, adhering to government regulatory requirements and reducing the number of non-compliance and recall events, says the study. In the study, best-in-class manufacturers of all types achieved 99% production compliance, 89% overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), 98% on-time and complete shipments and two hours response time to non-conforming shipments. Specifically, food industry manufacturers achieved average scores of 97% production compliance, 80% OEE, 94% on-time and complete shipments and 13 hours response time to non-conforming shipments.

The study finds that food processors who want to achieve best-in-class performance must:

• Establish food safety and traceability as key items on the executive team’s agenda.

• Build traceability into the production process with technology enablers such as automated statistical process control, HACCP, corrective action/preventive action systems.

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