Eliminating waste within the value stream

Behind every food and beverage product on the shelf is a supply chain journey that starts with ingredients. The Australian food manufacturing industry is an intricate maze of ingredient and packaging suppliers, most with different supply chain management solutions.

To manage ingredient safety and increase the visibility of food ingredients and raw materials in these complex supply chains, a new project, titled the Supply Chain Improvement Project, is being implemented with the objective of strengthening integration between upstream supply chains in the Australian food manufacturing industry.

An industry working group has been set up to drive the project using GS1 standards. The group will work to achieve consensus across the industry to improve food safety, deliver efficiencies and reduce costs. Representatives from Nestlé, Ingham’s, SPC, Lion Dairy and Drinks, Sanitarium, CHR Hansen, Newly Weds Foods, FPC Food Plastics, Labelmakers and Visy Industries are some who currently make up the group.

The ability to capture material movements from “paddock to plate” provides data integrity and timeliness from receipt to delivery, with traceability back to the source. Through automation, many of the manual processes are eliminated and companies can be proactive with inventory management and handling systems.

The capability to support information and production flow within existing systems for integrated supply chains is critical to businesses. The project has the capacity to eliminate waste within an organisation’s value stream, reduce non-value-added tasks and ensure cost-effective solutions for customers, leading to a “right-first-time” approach for all deliveries.

Sourcing ingredients without a traceability and food safety protocol today invites counterfeit products onto the food chain and increases risk of contamination.
The adoption of GS1 standards as the common language for the identification, data capture and data sharing will enable automation of key ingredient sourcing, and traceability between ingredient suppliers and food manufacturers.

Using GS1 standards for upstream integration allows companies to translate their internal processes and approaches into a common language that all trading partners can use and understand without having to translate data formats across different supply chain management systems.

The Supply Chain Improvement Project has the potential to confer many benefits to industry, including increased visibility of food ingredients and raw materials, unique identification and traceability to improve food safety, and reduced costs with automated business transactions.