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How Food Traceability Software Fulfills Critical Business Needs
How Food Traceability Software Fulfills Critical Business Needs
15 Nov 2023John McCurdy
Around the world, food traceability regulations are becoming more exacting, demanding due diligence from businesses in the industry and requiring that more information is captured and preserved throughout the supply chain.
In the U.S., the FDA Food Traceability Rule is set to usher in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety properly, establishing the Food Traceability List—16 ingredients that pose an elevated level of risk—as well as Key Data Elements and Critical Tracking Events that must be recorded and tied to them. Enforcement starts January 20, 2026, so now is a good time to proactively prepare for compliance.
Meanwhile in the EU, the European Commission recently passed legislation that bans products linked to deforestation and forest degradation—targeting coffee, cocoa, soy, palm oil, cattle and wood, as well as their derivatives—and requires businesses to verify that their ingredients were sourced accordingly by conducting due diligence, which can require using GPS coordinates and satellite photos.
Whether the primary aim of any given law is to promote food safety, mitigate climate impact, protect workers or accomplish some other objective, it’s critical that your company can keep up with changes and rise to the challenge. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can provide the purpose-built functionalities and the “single source of truth” that bidirectional traceability within your supply chain requires.
In this post, we’ll look at the specialized features that you’ll find in the best food traceability software—namely, an industry-specific food ERP, like Aptean Food & Beverage ERP—and how each can help your organization maintain a clear picture of your supply chains and the materials and products that move along it.
Lot Management and Advanced Attributes Features
Full traceability requires end-to-end supply chain visibility, and in the food and beverage world that means lot tracking with coverage down to the sublots and individual items. The lot management features of food ERP systems enable you to follow your goods and their associated traceability data—including origin and special attributes—backward and forward, in real time.
Aptean Food & Beverage ERP’s lot and sublot management functionalities allow you to split a larger lot into sublots without losing any traceability data, helping you allot your inventory flexibly. Our software’s toolset allows you to establish a comprehensive record of your products’ movement along your supply chain, which will help you make more informed strategic decisions and ready in the case of a recall.
What’s more, the advanced attributes module of our food ERP enables users to add any number of special attributes to lots and then filter and search by them. You can also aggregate that data for use in reporting, and group certain attributes according to their type to facilitate the creation of an organized structure for your lot data.
License Plating, SSCC and Labeling Functionalities
Within your facilities, license plating is crucial for tracking your products in the warehouse, so you must have the capability to track that form of identification effectively and efficiently. ERP solutions for food and beverage businesses have that functionality built-in, without the need for an expensive customization or bolt-on.
Another very common kind of container in the food and beverage industry—the serial shipping containers—also requires specialized technology to handle, as their barcodes (serial shipping container codes, or SSCCs) carry important information that must be recorded digitally and preserved along the supply chain. Luckily, food ERP systems are developed to have a module for tracking SSCCs to fulfill that need, too.
Our solution also offers features that enable you to create your own labels—configured to your specifications and with all the information you need—and then assign them to customers, vendors and items. You can also easily print labels and use templates to create more with modified parameters if necessary.
Product Specifications and Compliance Documents Modules
We opened this post on the subject of regulatory compliance, so you might be wondering if ERP software can provide functionalities to handle the data and facilitate the processes necessary for adhering to the law. Fortunately, advanced food and beverage ERPs—like ours here at Aptean—are equipped with just such capabilities.
The product specifications feature of our software enables users to link item numbers directly to bills of materials (BOMs). You know that’s of tremendous importance in the food and beverage industry, as many different product varieties and configurations exist—and it’s critical for allergen management, which requires having clear identifiers for items that should be segregated.
Taking that a step further, our solution puts dedicated compliance document management features at your fingertips. This module allows you to digitally maintain all of your regulatory paperwork, including producer certifications, quality certificates and their expiration dates. You can also assign compliance documents to purchases and set requirements for approvals for security.
Excel in Traceability and Food Safety With Aptean
Considering just how crucial traceability is for food and beverage companies—and how challenging it can be to track all of the details on your products from one end of the supply chain to the other—it makes sense that purpose-built technology is the best solution. And in terms of food traceability software, industry-specific food ERP systems are considered the go-to answer.
Aptean Food & Beverage ERP shines thanks to the robust traceability functionalities covered above, as well as the option to deploy from the cloud on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. This flexible and lightweight setup can afford your business greater scalability, enhanced data protection, stronger cybersecurity and broader accessibility.
We also have a team of experts with decades of collective experience with the food and beverage market, which helps them develop and continually support unique technologies that facilitate the highly specialized processes necessary in your industry. We truly “speak your language” and know how to implement best practices for manufacturers and distributors.
Finally, it’s worth sharing with you our recognition from Frost and Sullivan, which gave us its 2023 Customer Value Leadership Award in North American ERP Software for the Food and Beverage Industry. We’re proud of what that says about our commitment to our clients and the positive impact our solutions can have on organizations like yours.
If you’d like to learn more about how software can help you maintain food traceability with standardized processes, check out our 4 Steps to Create Excellent Food Product Traceability Procedures, and feel free to contact us with any other questions.
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If you’re ready to take your food or beverage business to the next level, we’d love to help.