The Power of Real-Time Inventory Management in the Food and Beverage Industry

October 26, 2023
By Harvest

The food and beverage manufacturing industry, especially the baked goods sector, is under constant pressure to meet the ever-changing demands of consumers. One of the most significant challenges they face is managing their inventory efficiently. This is where real-time inventory management systems come into play.


Why Real-Time Inventory Management is a Game Changer

Real-time inventory management offers an immediate insight into various stages of production:

  1. Raw Materials: With real-time data, purchasers can efficiently order based on the current inventory levels. This ensures that there’s no excess or shortage, optimizing space and resources.
  2. Work in Progress (WIP): This is often the most challenging stage to manage without real-time data. Real-time inventory management systems calculate how many batches are in progress, aiding both purchasers in raw material ordering and manufacturers in planning.
  3. Finished Goods: Manufacturers can easily see the days on hand, providing the data needed for planning future production runs. It also aids in space planning for finished goods and can guide in ordering full truckloads efficiently.


Stand out with technology

Harvest ERP was designed especially for the food and beverage industry, and stands out with its distinctive features. One of the most notable is its real-time inventory management, which provides invaluable costing information. Unlike traditional FIFO or standard costing methods, Harvest ERP offers lot-specific costing. Each component is loaded with real-time costs, offering detailed insights into what drives costing changes at any given moment. This data, while invaluable in the present, accumulates over time, revealing patterns and trends in costing changes. Other features food and beverage manufacturers can expect to benefit from include:

  1. Inventory Visibility: Many companies without ERP systems often grapple with a lack of inventory visibility, leading to operational inefficiencies. Harvest ERP addresses this gap by offering unmatched visibility, especially during the Work in Progress (WIP) stage. The software’s capability to factor in the number of batches required for raw materials provides a comprehensive view of the inventory.
  2. Space Optimization: Space is a pivotal factor in inventory management. With real-time data from Harvest ERP, orders are tailored based on actual needs, ensuring optimal utilization of space and resources and preventing wastage.
  3. Finished Goods Inventory: Tracking finished goods inventory is paramount for holistic visibility. Harvest ERP’s ability to display days on hand is instrumental in production planning and efficient storage.
  4. Real-time Costing Information: This feature is a boon for various departments, from purchasing to sales. The software’s unique ability to retrospectively update costs ensures that the actual cost of the product is always at the fingertips of decision-makers, aiding in precise planning.
  5. Forecasting Tools: Harvest ERP is equipped with tools like “Item Availability by Event,” which can forecast and prove especially beneficial for new items that lack a sales history.


Partners in Success

In the intricate world of inventory management, having the right tools and technology is crucial. Recognizing this, Harvest Food Solutions has partnered with Honeywell, a global leader in hardware solutions, to bring about a transformative approach to warehouse operations. Honeywell’s solutions are proven across thousands of customer deployments worldwide to increase worker productivity and reduce errors – with up to a 35% increase in worker productivity and over 99% improvements in task accuracy.

Optimizing Warehouse Operations

Together, Harvest and Honeywell aim to optimize the flow of materials through your warehouse. With real-time inventory management, businesses can monitor raw and in-process material usage, track every movement of inventory, and ensure efficient use of warehouse real estate.

Ensuring Traceability and Safety

One of the standout features of this partnership is the emphasis on traceability and lot tracking. With food safety being paramount, accurate scanning of lots for picking is ensured, and automated First Expired First Out (FEFO) picking is implemented, ensuring that products are always fresh and safe for consumption.

Gleaning Real-time Insights

The combination of Harvest’s software and Honeywell’s hardware provides real-time insights into the consumption of raw and work-in-process material and the efficiency of picking performance, ensuring that the right products reach the right places at the right time.

Real-time inventory management systems like those provided by Harvest ERP are not just tools but essential partners in growth. They provide critical, user-friendly data to all levels of the organization, ensuring that every decision made is informed and efficient. As the industry continues to grow and change, the importance of such systems will only become more pronounced. For a transformative approach to inventory management tailored to the unique needs of the food and beverage industry, reach out to Harvest Food Solutions.


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