A leading supplier of ready-to-eat frozen products is now able to create detailed traceability reports in a matter of minutes, where previously this would have taken a number of hours, thanks to the introduction of a bespoke IT solution from food and drink specialist CSB-System.
Drover Foods produces a range of cooked products, including sausages, stuffing and popular vegetarian items such as croquettes, bhajis and falafels, for major blue-chip food manufacturers. To meet increasingly stringent quality standards, Drover needed to be able to provide in-depth information about its raw materials and processes including, for some customers, monthly back-to-farm traceability and mass balance reports on all their meat. Previously all such information was collated by hand, but this was proving to be both extremely complex and time-consuming.
The solution from CSB, based on its industry-specific ERP system, covers raw material reception, inventory, production and quality control. Using CSB’s industrial PCs, CSB-Racks, together with printers and interfaces to scales and scanners, operatives at Drover can now directly register incoming raw materials and immediately issue barcode labels. Movements or usage of the ingredients are subsequently captured by simple scanning, while weights are picked up directly from the scales for labels to be issued to WIP bags or kits.
This means that all relevant information is inputted directly in real time, eliminating the need for complicated paperwork, which greatly speeds up the process while avoiding copying errors and duplication of effort.
For enhanced quality processes, the CSB Quality Control module is also integrated into the system. This enables Drover to build relevant checks at any point in the process. Tests can be restrictive, meaning that further process steps cannot be transacted in the system until corrective action is taken or an authorised manager releases product. All tests are also recorded in the system, so that control data can be monitored and easily retrieved when required.
A further benefit of the system is its ability to handle allergen labelling, with the relevant information only needing to be entered once against a raw material item.
“The authenticity agenda is so big now,” explains Lee-Anne O’Keeffe, Drover Foods’ Technical Manager. “The CSB system gives our customers confidence in what we’re doing.
“Some customers demand monthly back-to-farm traceability and mass balance reports for meat. What used to take a day can now be done in less than one hour.”