5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Food Production Management Software
The options for food production management software vary in capability and price. It can be overwhelming to research and decide which program will be the best fit for your business. We’ve put together five questions that are important to consider when choosing food production management software.
Can You Create and Maintain Food Safety Programs?
The constantly growing requirements of food safety compliance have made it more important than ever for a company to have a comprehensive system to organize and track food safety practices, but newer or smaller companies unfamiliar with compliance standards or large companies with many facilities may find implementing a food safety program daunting.
Icicle was created with ease of use in mind; users are guided through HACCP plan creation by modelling the way your facility actually works, with the help of highly trained customer support staff. Icicle also ensures that you achieve compliance beyond HACCP (such as HARPC and Preventative Controls) and other with other legislative requirements like Occupational Health and Safety. We also believe that food safety should spill over into quality assurance. When you’re doing the work to make sure your food is safe, Icicle makes it easy to adjust your program for quality standards as well.
Keeping software in line with change is not your job – don’t waste your money on software that thinks it is. Icicle updates continuously to reflect changes in food safety standards to help you win against the competition.
Does the Software Support a (Comprehensive) Traceability System?
The majority of recalls are caused by operational deficiencies. Software with a comprehensive traceability system can improve control over operations and limit the risk of a damaging recall. The key to Icicle’s robust traceability system is integration.
In order to have a comprehensive traceability system, you must know where all your product is at any given time. This means that inventory management is key; it can help you contain the scope of a recall with precision and reduce food waste and food fraud. You can look at any materials related to production (whether ingredients, finished products, packaging, equipment, and more) and see how much you have, where it is located, how it’s being used, and where it goes. With sophisticated picking and racking features, Icicle’s inventory management makes your warehouse more efficient so that you can prioritize shipments by shelf-life to reduce lost revenue.
If there is a problem, integration with laboratory management means that reports of swab test failures will trigger corrective actions immediately, potentially allowing you to retrieve products before they leave your facility and, even if your facility is running perfectly, you can never eliminate the risk of other people’s mistakes. Icicle’s vendor management feature can go a long way in preventing vendors’ mistakes from becoming your problem.
From the moment ingredients enter a facility to their departure as completed products, Icicle tracks details including which specific products were created with contaminated lots, what stage of production those products are in, and pinpoints where completed products were shipped for calculated retrieval (including, of course, automatic mass balance calculations). If you are faced with a recall, Icicle’s traceability system will back you up with the appropriate logs and records necessary during an audit.
Does the Software Utilize Big Data?
Food production management software (or any software) that collects your data but does nothing with it is already outdated. When you input all your production information into a centralized software system, one of the big returns on your investment is data trending.
Icicle makes use of your data to show you the big picture. You can view the entire flow of inventory transactions to track discrepancies and take advantage of production forecasting. With production forecasting, you can bring up a list of all products produced at a facility and set production targets for any time period you choose. This is linked to the production status interface – yet another integrated interface that records what you are actually producing. With this kind of data analysis, Icicle users can easily see when a production is lagging behind and take corrective action, instead of missing deadlines and losing sales and efficiency.
Ultimately, the more you use Icicle, the closer we get toward building predictive suggestions based on your production records, making it easier to order ingredients and schedule productions with little to no waste. This is part of smart data use – we pool anonymized data to make Icicle even more efficient for your needs, providing shortcuts like smart hazard suggestions when you are creating HACCP plans.
Can You Take Advantage of IoT Technology?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next step in automation technology. Different software systems and devices can talk to each other without human intervention; having a software system monitor, regulate, control, and notify you of problems reduces workload while increasing safety and quality. IoT also allows you and your employees to access Icicle’s cloud-based system anywhere and on multiple interfaces, simultaneously.
With IoT capabilities, things like temperature control become automatic. Temperatures are automatically recorded and communicated to the food safety system. If the temperatures are outside the acceptable range, Icicle’s notification management feature is automatically launched to ensure the problem is addressed. When it comes to food production management software and IoT, Icicle is leading the way.
Will Your Software Scale with Your Business?
Making the investment in food production management software isn’t just money – it’s time. And once you bring your entire production process online, you want to stick with that system. Many software systems become quickly outdated; most require you to buy new features or updates at additional cost. You need to choose software that will stay on top of the game and value you as a client.
Unlike traditional software, all the modules relevant to food production management are included in Icicle. This means that when your company is growing, whether in variety or expanding into other countries (with new regulations), Icicle will easily adapt to your needs to keep you as up to date and as competitive as possible.
Since many of the ways Icicle has grown comes from user suggestions, we reward our active community by making developing these new features and making them available at no additional cost. That means that when you buy the Icicle food production management system you get all the advantages, not just today but tomorrow too – so better to buy sooner rather than later.
Buy Food Production Management Software with Confidence
One of the best indicators of food production management software success is user reviews. If the software you’re researching creates and maintains food safety programs, has comprehensive traceability, keeps track of inventory, uses the newest technology, grows with you, and is recommended by your colleagues, then you’ve found what you’re looking for.