Why Barcoding for Food Manufacturers?

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Barcoding, labeling and scanning are all just tools, but! If used effectively, with the right software, there’s no other investment food and manufacturers make that pays off quicker or has a broader impact.

Barcode scanners, just like barcode printers, are only as good as the software that runs them. We visit two or three new operations each week and talk to hundreds of industry folks at events, and we hear one story consistently: We tried to use our ERP for barcoding and scanning, spent thousands of dollars, and eventually gave up.

Their takeaway? That barcoding and scanning just won’t work at their operation. The right takeaway? That the WMS components of generic ERPs are designed for basic warehouses and lack the sophistication that food manufacturers require.

Food and Beverage manufacturing carries some of the heaviest, most specific regulations. No generalized WMS or ERP can handle the lot tracing requirements that are placed on food and beverage operations. ParityFactory was built from the ground up, just for this, which is why it works.

Larger operations can request that vendors include GS-1 labels on pallets or cases, which will dramatically expedite receiving. There will always be some items without barcodes, and when that happens you should expect that your WMS system has the ordered inventory figures available on the scanner.

This enables the barcode scanner, and your team, to validate that they’ve received the right amount. With ParityFactory, the scanner will warn your team if they over or under receive. More importantly, it will warn them if they:

  • Try to scan the wrong ingredients into production
  • Try to add the wrong case or pallet to a shipment
  • Fail to enforce FIFO, FEFO or other operational rules

How long should it take to implement? While we’ve heard stories of implementations ranging from six to eighteen months, ParityFactory is up and running in 90 days at most operations, up to 120 at larger plants.

Lastly, in conjunction with barcodes and scanning, ParityFactory frees up 6% to 8% of an operation’s man-hours. Importantly, the hours freed up tend to be in critical roles such as finance, receiving, quality and so on.

Giving those hours back to your team has a huge impact on the business. We’ve seen the results time and again, and it’s one of our favorite parts of implementation.

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