What are meat processors and retailers currently looking for from IT systems? What is driving that demand (e.g. legislation, environmental and/or other)? What are the general trends? Future trends?
In our experience meat processors are generally looking for five things when deciding to implement new software systems.
- Full integration between Financial and production systems
- Dynamic Yield reports that highlight areas where improvements can be made
- Dynamic reporting of the status of production against plan
- Accurate reporting of stock, with age analysis and availability
- Fast, accurate order picking and containerising, ensuring documentation does not hold up deliveries.
The drivers are usually one or a combination of requirements to drive efficiencies, legislative demands, customer demand and ultimately profitability.
Future trends are definitely towards more automation in processing. Emydex are actively involved in shop floor automation projects specifically designed to improve yield, throughput and efficiency.
Minimizing operator involvement is also high on a list of customer priorities, Emydex systems are being used to plan production in the office and then issue those plans to the shop floor to control production using RFID tracking and shop floor automation, with the minimum of operator involvement.
A key benefit that results from implementation of all of the above functionality is traceability that is second to none. Emydex systems record the full history of everything that has happened to a product, whether it is a forward trace, backward trace or mass-balance traceability report. Furthermore, for re-usable containers such as refrigerated containers, crates, dolav’s (pallet boxes), hooks and gambrels, Emydex can even trace the history of every product that has ever been in that container.
Emydex on Demand
The Emydex team have been quietly developing a solution which we expect to have a major impact on small to medium size processors who do not have their own in house IT departments.
Emydex on Demand utilises the power and availability of the internet for the deployment of new standard solutions being developed. Emydex on Demand is a hybrid solution, not running fully as “Software as a Service” (i.e. Hosted in the cloud);
Emydex recognise that processors still need to be able to label boxes even if the network connection is down. As such the new standard Emydex application programs for data collection will run on the data collection terminal itself, not on the internet, the terminals will also have their own off line database allowing operation to continue even if internet connection is not available.
The Emydex database however will be hosted on the Microsoft Azure “cloud platform” this platform is constantly being updated by Microsoft in terms of both hardware and software. Back up is also inbuilt into the Azure package. From a support point of view, Emydex technicians are dealing with one standard database. Software deployment of both shop floor and office applications is achieved simply by selecting a hyperlink which automatically downloads and installs the application programs.
Not quite the same as those thousands of little programs that can be down loaded to your smart phone or tablet but following the same idea. Emydex will be launching a sequence of standard shop floor applications for collecting data, printing labels and reports for commonly used applications in the food industry.
Each application will have a shop floor component and a corresponding back office component. Both components will connect to the Emydex on Demand database running in the cloud. Developed using the combined 130 years of food industry experience inherent in the Emydex design team, the standard apps will have a degree of built in configurability enabling them to meet the majority of users requirements.
Initial apps being developed are:
- Outer Case Marking Station
- Individual Pack Labelling Station
- Recipe Formulation Station
- Intake Station
- Dispatch Station
- Into/Out of Process Station
If a user invests in more than one application they will share the same database, enabling Emydex standard client applications for reporting on Process, Yields and Stocks.