At a Glance:
Looking for an industry-leading Food Safety Management solution? Food and beverage processors are under constant pressure to deliver quality products with more efficiency while managing customer and regulatory mandates. Food safety is of utmost importance in the highly competitive food processing market.
In this demonstration we show how Plex handles recipes and ingredients, handles receiving, production and shipping, improves quality and production controls, provides complete genealogy and traceability, and provides real-time recall management.
All right. Good afternoon. Thank you all for jointing us. My name is Jonathan Cowan. I’m the Senior Account Executive with Plex Systems, and we’re here to talk to you today about our solutions for the food and beverage industry.
Specifically, we’re here to answer a simple question. That is, how do food manufacturers like yourselves adopt to the new regulatory environment and become a best in class manufacturer? At Plex that answer is fairly simple, and that’s by way of a cloud-based comprehensive enterprise food safety management system with integrated ERP.
So a fully robust, fully encompassing solution that’s based in the cloud.
So what does that mean? Let’s break this thing down into segments. A cloud-based solution is one that — some terms you may hear in the industry are cloud or software as a service, or SaaS, or hosted, which isn’t exactly the same thing, but we’ll talk about that in a minute. It’s moving your environment, your IT environment, away from your four walls and out to a data center or a provider, a service provider like Plex Systems.
Now the other part of it is around functionality and having a comprehensive enterprise food safety management system, one that addresses all the things around trace ability, quality, shop floor integration, HACCP, better control, all those elements that we will get into and talk to you about the four cornerstones of a food safety management system.
But having that integrated with an overall ERP system, and having ultimately one system of record, is the answer to how you become compliant with these new regulatory environments and become a best in class manufacturer, and that’s what we hope to show you today.
So I’m going to spend a couple of minutes taking you through a little background on the food and beverage industry, much of which will be familiar to many of you to set up the premise for why a food safety management system is needed.
Then from there we’re going to hand it over to my colleague Tom Nessen, who is going to take you through the actual elements of the food safety management system, and enterprise food safety management system, and give you a demonstration of our solution here at Plex Online.
So to tell a story — typically to tell a story about the complexity, the complexity of the supply chain within food manufacturing, we can do that with a series of a couple numbers, the first being 50. That’s that a single food product may contain well over 50 ingredients. So when you go to a grocery store, for example, and look on the shelves at the bakery and see one of the cookies that has been made, if you look on the back of that box you will see that those ingredients total 45 to 50 ingredients easily on a single chocolate chip based cookie.
So any food product may have many, many ingredients. These many ingredients can potentially be sourced globally all over the world by ten or more business entities. A single manufacturer may have well over 500 unique suppliers of ingredients as well. This is very common especially to some of the larger manufacturers out there.
So with all this complexity in the supply chain, it only takes one single incident to cause serious harm to a consumer, or to completely jeopardize or ruin your brand that you have spent years and years building. Actually, it can completely ruin a company and tarnish an entire industry as well.
It really only takes one incident for everything to come crumbling down. So with the complexity of today’s supply chain, and the complexity of the food and beverage business today, we need to be more and more vigilant about how we’re taking care of food products within our own four walls and what we have control of.
So this number of recalls as well over the last few years has been going up substantially. Last year in 2010 we saw well over 600, close to 700 FDA focused recalls.
When there are that many recalls, the way industry responds is through regulation, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen that was initiated at the beginning of this year — the enactment of The Food Safety Modernization Act) that was pushed down through the FDA. The FDA is telling you that you must have risk based quality control solutions, you must be able to do a recall in a certain amount of time, you must be able to hold documents and records for a couple of years so that if an FDA auditor comes in and wants to see something you have access to that, and this regulatory enactment from the FDA has given them unprecedented power to come in and actually now mandate recalls.
So they are stocking up, they are adding more auditors, and they can come in and mandate recalls, where before they could only strongly suggest them and twist an arm.
But it’s not just government pressures that manufacturers like you are feeling. It’s also from the retail and the consumer side. So you’ve got your major retailers and mini retailers, like the Walmarts and Targets and other retailers of this world, the major grocery chain, are saying that you must comply with global food safety initiative or one of the policies within GFSI. So you must adhere to safe quality foods initiative, ISO 22000 which is HACCP based, or any of these other type of mandates that are sitting out there.
So manufacturers like you are getting squeezed from both the government regulatory side and the industry side. [They] say that you’ve got to be compliant with all these certain rules or you’re not going to sell through us, or you’re not going to make product anymore.
So the question becomes, how do I, as a manufacturer with limited resources, comply to all these new regulations that are being imposed on me? That’s where we think, again, the answer lies within the cloud and Plex Online and our enterprise food safety management system, coupled with our enterprise resource planning system. So we have a full FSMS with ERP based in the cloud that’s going to enable you to more effectively meet these compliance standards that are out there, and to become a best in class manufacturer.
We’re going to talk about the functionality more in a minute. We’ve kind of set the tone for why this is so important. We’re going to talk about first what the cloud brings to you and why that’s important, and then we’re going to talk about the specific elements of the food safety management system today. That will be the focus of today’s session.
So when we talk about the cloud, what does the cloud mean? Most of you out there are probably already using the cloud in your daily lives and maybe you don’t realize it. If any of you have a Yahoo email account or a Gmail account, those are cloud-based email systems. You just log in every day to get your information. You don’t have software running on your local machines. [Those are] examples of the cloud.
Well, research is another example. In the past you used to have to buy a set of encyclopedias if you wanted to go research a certain topic. Every year you had to get either an update to that encyclopedia set, the minor revisions, or you had to go out and buy a new set of encyclopedia every couple of years. Well, today we just simply go to Google or Wikipedia, or any other resource on the Internet, and we can get real time information at our fingertips as soon as we need it by just logging into the Internet.
Same thing with maps. We used to have a buy a road atlas, and every year — as soon as you buy a road atlas, technically it’s out of date. So you update that every year or two. Today we just go on any mobile device. We log in to Google Maps or MapQuest or some other mapping program and we have the latest and greatest maps at our disposal, and we’re able to get directions immediately.
Business software is making this same shift, and for many good reasons. That’s where Plex Online is. Plex is an Internet-based solution. So with Plex you don’t buy software, you don’t buy all this hardware, you don’t bring in IT resources to manage it all for you. You don’t have to buy the new set of encyclopedias or the new version of software every couple of years. You simply just log in and subscribe to a monthly service, and this has huge benefits for several reasons.
One is that, first and foremost, Plex is a fully encompassing ERP solutions suite. We’re going to show you that in the demonstration. It’s 100 percent focused on manufacturing. But specifically, it’s really strong in regulated industries like food and beverage, and that’s why you’re here. It’s about the food safety management.
The cloud matters because you’re always on the latest version. You never have to worry about those upgrades again. It’s driven by our community, so the more and more people that get on board the more and more robust the software becomes.
This delivery mechanism, this model, ultimately provides a lower total cost of ownership because you don’t have the huge outlay of expenses upfront and ongoing, like you do with traditional on premise software. So this levels the playing field for organizations, especially small to medium sized businesses, giving you, really, a competitive advantage to have a more robust enterprise solutions suite that you can adapt to changing business climates quite easily, versus what used to be possible with on premise software.
So that’s where cloud matters, and that’s what we wanted to show you today about cloud. Now what we want to do is take you through the actual elements of a food safety management system, and some aspects of our ERP system, and show you what a comprehensive solution should look like.
So with that I’m going to hand it over to Tom Nessen, who is going to take you through the remaining portion of today’s webinar.
Okay, thanks John. Appreciate the intro here. I am going to go through and discuss with you today some details around the Plex Online enterprise food safety management system. We’re going to cover three key areas, and then also talk about some other areas of the system that are related to broader ERP functionality.
So today’s discussion is going to start with manufacturing operations management. We’re then going to discuss the concept of electronic HACCP systems and food safety and quality control, and then we’re going to cover the idea of instant traceability and recall management. Those are the three areas that we consider the cornerstones of a food safety management system, or an enterprise food safety management system.
But we’re going to add into that today, and we’re also going to talk about the idea of ERP and food defense, and how those work together with food safety management to provide a total covered solution for your organization.
So the first thing I’m going to discuss today is manufacturing operations management. That covers the idea of shop floor control as well as a methodology for viewing an end to end manufacturing process, while focusing on optimizing efficiencies through that process.
Now, that involves things like recording production, recording of machine metrics through the PLC, providing tools for performance analysis, and also providing a key piece, which is the human machine interface, which is being used on the shop floor to properly record production and real time activities as they occur on the shop floor.
So that’s the first thing that we’re going to discuss today.
I want to provide a couple of images of a customer of Plex using our food safety management system out on the shop floor through that human machine interface. As I go into the demo today you’re going to see how someone, or how we will actually use that to record production and quality through the system. This is a person, an actual customer of ours, recording quality data and production on the shop floor.
Another thing that’s important when we talk about manufacturing operation management is the ability to record transactions on a handheld device as they are occurring through that manufacturing process. So whether it is receiving goods from our suppliers, recording inventory transactions at a work center, recording the production of finished goods, or the shipment of products, a lot of can be done through a handheld device. I wanted to make sure everyone saw that here today.
So let’s go into the system now and talk a little bit about Plex, and how we address manufacturing operations management. The first place you’re going to see me go here is into Plex using the common login that every one of our customers is currently using around the world. We even have a million square foot manufacturer down in Texas right now that is transacting data through the same system that I’m logging into right now. So the reaction times I’m receiving are the same that all of our customers are experiencing right now.
So I’m logging into Plex Online. Oops. I’ll need to provide my correct password.
The system changes and we deliver the business application. Everything is delivered through Internet Explorer, and I have access to three different demonstration companies within my system. One is Acme Manufacturing, and one is Edge Food. Edge Food is where we will be doing the bulk of the demonstration today.
The last company here is Plex Systems. This is the system that we use on a daily basis to transact all of the business through our own company, whether it’s quality around our data center, human resources, accounting and finance. We’re working every day with our customers shoulder to shoulder using the same system to run our business.
So let me go into Edge Food here and take you into the main menu of Edge Food. Now, our system is designed to be deployed within a touch screen environment, so that’s why, with this menu, it’s large and easy to touch on the screen. So you can go to all the features in the system using a touch screen. On the left-hand side here we have executive management features, so all your recording, your key performance indicators. Those types of things are under executive management. We have back office, which is a lot of the accounting and finance features of the system, as well as your HR functions and things internal to the business.
On the bottom third menu node you see manufacturing. So those are all the features and functions that we’re going to look at today to run our facility.
On the right-hand side here we have customer portal, supplier portal and employee portal. These are the external facing parts of the system that have been properly secured for access by our trading partners. Whether they are customers or suppliers, we can provide limited access for them to transact business within Plex Online.
Also, the employee portal provides those functions related to HR, whether it’s paid time off, or it’s employee benefits. We can allow our employees to come in and use the system as well, again on a limited basis.
So I’m going to go navigate using the menu nodes and go down a couple of menu nodes down to show you how we would access different parts of the system. So I just went into the back office. Now I’m going into product development, and from this menu I could go in to the item list. That would be the lowest level that I would reach within the system.
Likewise, I could go to my navigation bar on the top right-hand side of the screen, which is activated by putting my mouse over the logo, and I could have a series of shortcuts that would take me directly to the item list rather than navigating through the menu nodes.
So by clicking that it takes me right down to the item list. Now, most likely, if you have a number of different roles within your organization, than we would design, or you would design, a series of shortcuts that would apply to specific jobs, whether they are accounting, finance, production scheduling, safety manager within the organization — they would use these shortcuts to reach different parts of the system.
So now that we’re at the item list, I want to take a look at the product that we’re going to use to show how manufacturing operations management works within our system. So I’m going to click Search, and because I have pre-filtered the word “cold” on the filter list, I’m shortening my total return results to only one item. That’s the cold deli potato salad.
So let’s look at this deli potato salad at the highest level within the item list. On the left hand side here you can see I have a clickable item number that will take me to a lower level of detail for this item, and we’ll go there in just a second.
But if I move over to the right here you see I have different categorizations for this product, but there’s one thing here I want to point out. That’s the icon that is the paper clip that’s over a gray or a yellow piece of paper, and that has specific meaning within our system. That means that there’s access to the document control system for this particular record in the database.
So if I click on that you will see all of the documents that are related to the cold deli potato salad within Plex Online. In this case I have a PRP document. That’s an Excel spread sheet related to cleanup. [I also] have a recipe certification document [and] the Word document stored here as well. I can store any document, any file type. I can even store movies if I wanted to. So if we have a certain activity that had to be done a specific way, our operators could pull up a movie of how to actually do that.
Now within this document control system, it’s fully functional as any other document control system. You have the ability to check in, to check out, to edit documents, to control the revisions, and even lock down so only people could view documents and not make any changes to them. So everything you would expect in a document control system comes right along with Plex Online. It is available right next to — right in a record within the database.
So I’m going to click the Back button and go back to the cold deli potato salad, and talk to you a little bit more about the details of how this product is made. So let’s go into the submenu. Now, the submenu is everything that is related to cold deli potato salad in our system. So we have general item information, we have formulation and process information, quality, and then some other information at the bottom related to the inventory and shelf life and those types of things.
I’m going to stay focused right now on process and formulation. We’ll come back to the quality items here in a few minutes.
Let’s first go into the formulation of the potato salad. So on the formulation side of things we have two different steps within our recipe. It’s the preparation step and the mixing step, where we introduce ingredients to the process. So with the prep step you can see I introduce celery, potatoes and white onions, and I introduced them at certain quantities based on a number of pounds that are going to be produced.
In this case the value is six. But we do have the ability to create variability within these ingredients, so you can have tolerances both above and below for certain ingredients within the process.
Likewise, during our mixings ops, we’re introducing mayonnaise, pimentos and sugar in these quantities. So this is our complete formulation for this product, and then if we have sub-ingredients to these ingredients we could go a level deeper within our formulation, if need be.
Now I’m going to go back to the submenu and I’m going to take a look at the process recipe. So what is the full process that we go through regardless of the ingredients that are being introduced?
If I click on the process recipe, you can see on the left hand side here I’ve got a series of operations, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 50, 60. They correspond to preparation cooking, mixing, cooling, packaging and storage. We have identified ahead of time the available work centers within our facility that we available to produce this product at certain stages of production. So in the case of the cook operation, we have the ability to assign work centers. You can also see the ingredients on the right-hand side of the screen as well, and where they’re being introduced to the process.
So that is our formulation and our recipe. Now, a common thing that happens within all food processes is the management of multiple versions of recipes, and how that is controlled. If I go to the Item Info screen here you can see that Plex has the ability to assign an effective date to a particular recipe and change the revision of a recipe by clicking on this part of the item detail screen.
Now, I have the ability to institute a rollover change or a concurrent change. The important distinction there is, if I do a rollover change, I’m updating all existing items to the new recipe regardless of what has been processed on the floor. If I do a concurrent change it allows me to institute a recipe without effecting what’s currently within the process.
So, two different ways to put in a recipe change.
And then the other important thing is, once we put in a recipe change, how do we control that? We have the ability to manage multiple versions of a recipe throughout our process. So that takes you through, really, a high level look at what the product is going to be that we’re going to make. So now I’m going to take you to another step, and we’re going to look at what we call the dispatch list.
So the assumption is being made now that we have, based on demand within our organization, released some level of jobs for this product into the system. As a planner, how do I look at my total manufacturing process like we described in a manufacturing operations management? How do I look at that end-to-end process and make decisions about where things should be produced and how they should be produced?
Well, one of the ways we do that is through our dispatch list. So looking at just cold deli potato salad, you can see my work centers are on the left-hand side here, and I have all my jobs or stages of jobs that are available for production. In this case I’ve got job 100 that’s going to start in front of job 127. So, as a planner, if I need to make decisions on the fly of reordering the process of production, I simply go into Edit mode. I can drag and drop job 127 in front of job 100.
So that means job 127 is now the next job to occur at the packaging line through my production process. This is an infinite capacity planning system, a job board that allows you to flexibly move jobs around the board. But we do have the ability to institute a work center calendar and shift to use our finite scheduling system so the decision making is automated.
So I’m going to go back to the View mode, and now I’m going to talk a little bit about how we actually make this product. So I’m first going to go to the shop floor console to show you how we model our facilities, and then we’ll go down to the control panel and take a look at how the production is conducted on our system. So I’m going to go down to the plant floor console. I’m going to go to the ready to eat food model of a facility, and this is something that we provide to all of our customers — is the ability to model your facility, and also create the icons that you see on the screen that correspond to the up or down status of a particular work center.
If we look along the bottom here I’ve got a series of mixers. I have injection molding machines here in the middle, and then I have a continuous oven running in the back part of the operation and some free standing ovens in the back left.
Now, every 30 seconds you’re going to see the screen flash. What’s happening there is the system is going out, and it’s capturing the current status of each of these icons or work centers from the database. The important part here is that that database status could be updated through a PLC or a SCADA server directly into Plex. So we have the ability to take information right off the shop floor in real time and put it into our system so it’s actionable by the users of Plex.
So now let’s actually use the shop floor scheme to go down into one of our work centers. So I’m going to click on this icon. It should take me down to the packaging line.
So this is our control panel. On the PowerPoint slide you saw earlier, you saw an operator standing in front of a touch screen device entering quality data or recording production. This is the same screen that they were using, and once again, it was designed originally as a touch screen interface. So these areas of the system are big and bold and able to be clicked through by touching your finger to the screen. So if I wanted to change work centers I could change work centers by touching on preparation and changing to a different work center.
Likewise, if I’m on the set up side of things, if I click on, or if I touch on that part of the screen, I have a small subset of the job board that we looked at earlier that shows me the product that’s being produced currently at this workstation, and potentially other jobs that are queued up waiting for production to occur. On the bottom part of the screen I have access to all the inventory that has been labeled and stored at this work center waiting for production.
So you see we have a series of ingredients, celery, potatoes and onions, in various amounts with various load times, and their current status is okay. So they’re okay to use for production.
Let’s go back here. On the right part of the screen here, as an operator, I have the ability to take this work center into a variety of statuses, either production, in the off status, in the problem status or in the maintenance status. If I put in the problem status I can choose the kind of problem that I’m having. So if I’m having a motor problem I can click that and my work center now is in a problem state.
This is the point where, if your PLC can pick up a signal from your machinery to provide this information to Plex, then you don’t have to have the operator actually intervene and provide the status information. We can pick that up from the machine interface.
So a very information part of manufacturing operations management is that real time collection of data, collection of production data, and we do that.
On the bottom right here we have a bulletin board with all your current shop floor announcements. Product specific quality announcements can be translated or communicated to the user through the bulletin board. On the left-hand side of the screen here, the green part is my quality system. So it’s my checksheet that I have to fill out as an operator. The middle part of the screen here is my work center log. I have the ability to launch a work request into our maintenance system and alert maintenance of an issue.
We have a suggestion system, so if you want to enable the shop floor operator to provide information on how to improve a process, you can enable that right here through the control panel.
Another tie in here that we looked at earlier was the attachment system. So just like we have the attachments available within our item list, we have those same attachments now available through the control panel for the operator to pull up. So if I click View Attachment, I now have the ability to look at that PRP document that shows clean up instructions for this operation. So we’re bringing it up because our work center is currently working on cold deli potato salad.
So let’s go back to there.
So, again, work instructions, PRP documents, everything can be brought in to the control panel. You can see on the bottom left-hand side here, I’m logged in as an operator. So we’re able to record not only indirect labor applied to your operation by clocking in and clocking out people from a time clock within Plex, but we also have the ability to log in the operator to the actual operation that’s recording, so we record that direct labor component against the product being made.
That’s an important point here. Not only does it provide us amazing costing abilities within the system, but it also limits me, the user. If I don’t have the authority or the skill, or I happen not to have certain certifications, I wouldn’t be able to log in to produce this product at this control panel. So we provide an element of food defense right here on our control panel to prevent the wrong people from making products within our system.
So let’s go into record production. So once we’ve got everything squared away, and you see I’ve actually missed something here because I have to put my machine back into production status — I’m going back into production. I have turned green. My quality sheets are done. My work center is in product. Now I can go and record production.
So on the top part of the screen you can see I need to consume a certain amount of white onions, a certain amount of celery and a certain amount of potatoes as ingredients into this process. I’m indicating through the system that I’m producing a certain amount of that product.
In this case, let’s produce 50 pounds. I will record production. Now, that is going to consume a certain amount of these ingredients into the process, and create a new barcoded raw material inventory label that’s uniquely identified for a serial number that’s now going to track the product through the system.
The implication of that is, if we’ve done a good job of shop floor control and recording production, and we’re controlling inventory very tightly, that’s going to provide complete product genealogy and manufacturing genealogy from a traceability standpoint as we move through the process.
So that’s a brief look at reporting or production. I’m going to go back to the control panel here, and I’m going to take you over to another part of the system where we’re now able to do OE reporting. So a lot of food manufacturers like the idea of understanding the overall equipment effectiveness of all of the operations within their facility, and because we have tight control over the production process through manufacturing operations management, we can provide those performance analysis statistics to the user directly within Plex.
So I’m going to look at all my mixers over a period of time and open up the date window, and we will see how our OEE report is formatted. Here’s an OEE report I have for a variety of work centers that are classified as mixers within the system.
So, let’s see. Mixer number one had these items that were produced. We had a certain amount of good quantity. It looks like we had no rejects. A number of operating hours. We didn’t have any planned hours set up, but this is how the OEE is calculated and reported, and I can print this report and send this out within my organization.
So here’s a quick OEE report listing all of the statistics of my facility.
All right. So that’s a quick tour through manufacturing operations management. I’m going to switch back to my PowerPoint presentation and talk to you a little bit about the HACCP for food safety system.
So in manufacturing operations management we’ve covered the shop floor, the performance analysis, the human machine interface through the control panel, so let’s talk about risk-based quality and how we accomplish that within the system.
So food safety really covers a number of areas. It covers the idea of document control, which we’ve seen in the initial part of the demo. It covers the idea of compliance management. So how do we manage our ISO documents, our SQF documents, control, GFSI, all the requirements around those — how we manage that within a system?
The next part is really at the heart of manufacturing, which is defining a HACCP program, dynamically altering all of the documents within the system, and controlling it from a single point in an electronic format. We’re also going to talk a little bit about the idea of integrated statistical process control right on our control panel, and all this is able to be work flowed within our system to a variety of approvers through a specific process that has been set up ahead of time.
So I’m going to go ahead and take a look within our food safety system and show you a few key features. So the first place I want to go is compliance management. This is a pretty simple idea, but it has a lot of power to it. Most of us deal with quality systems, or quality documentation systems that sit in three ring binders. Every time that there’s a document change or a document review process, there’s a series of paper shuffling that goes on to remove the old document from the three ring binder, or replace it with a new one, and move on.
What we’ve created is a system that virtually controls the document management process. I’m going to go ahead and go into 22000 and show you an example of a segment of a specification that we’ve set up here.
So once I’m inside here you see the specification number, the requirement description. There are notes involved. There’s a link to our document control system, so if there are corresponding documents that need to be scanned and stored with this section of the requirement, we can do that.
The middle part of the screen here shows the last review that occurred, the status of that review, and when the next review that needs to occur, and the number of sign offs that might have happened. So let’s go look at this in detail. If I bring up this section of the compliance section, then I have description of the requirement, description of the spec, the note about fulfillment, who might be responsible for it, what group, who is the champion, and then also some checklist or audit forms that may need to be brought into the process if we’re up for review for this particular document, for instance.
So we can set up those checklists. We can set up those audit forms, and we can work flow this review process through our system. That’s a quick look at the compliance system.
Next thing I’m going to do is take a look at the HACCP process. Let’s go back to our item list. I’m going to bring up the cold deli potato salad again, and we’re going to spend a little time at the submenu looking at the quality information. So the first thing I’m going to do is bring up the quality specs.
So for cold deli potato salad I have seven different specifications that I look through through the entire process, whether it’s the prep step, cook, storage packet, it doesn’t matter. These are all the specifications thrown into one bucket.
On the left-hand side here I have a spec number, and I have a graphic indicating which one of my specs are involved with a critical control point. Measuring of the cooked potato temperature, measuring the temperature of the potato salad, checking the temperature of the packaging area, checking the temperature of the cold storage area, are all critical control points which involve temperature readings.
I’ve indicated those through the note section, and they will be organized in our quality system based on this idea of critical control. The ones on the left, or the bottom part of the screen here, are more cosmetic to the product. So they’re making sure the celery is a certain size, stopping the mixer and checking the consistency. These are also quality specs that we’re going to pay attention to through the production process.
So once I have fully defined my item specs, then the next thing I do is join those specs together with the appropriate step in the process. So I’m going to bring up my process flow chart. So I have created a process flow chart for the preparation of potato salad.
So it starts with the prep step, goes through cook, mix, cooling, packaging, storage. For the steps that involve a critical control point, I’ve indicated it using the standard International Association for Food Protection icons within our flow charting tool to indicate that this is under critical control. I’ve joined this process step with the inspection step of [in] process every 15 minutes.
So we’ve defined when we’re going to sample, and this is the specification. Measure the cook potato temperature. We’re using a one side minimum up to 140 degrees for this test. Now, if I’m interested in knowing more about this spec, I can open up this spec, take a look at it, change the sample size, change the control method, assign a reaction plan to it, and really make a lot of detail changes to that spec.
But right now I want to just focus on the idea of joining the operation to the specification through our flow charting capability. So once we’ve joined them together, the next thing that happens is the dynamic offering of a quality control plan. So from those couple steps that we just did at the set up stage, this part of the system dynamically generates. So our Op number, our process step, our inspection step is created, and then finally we’re generating a checksheet that’s going to be used at the control panel by the operator.
So if I go to the cook step and click this icon here, this is the checksheet for this step within the process. So I have to measure the cook potato temperature, 140 degrees, and provide a measurement. This is what the actual checksheet will look like.
So the idea here is we’re taking away the paper. We’re taking away the manual data entry. We’re providing a virtual environment for data collection and quality inspection to occur, and really enabling a real time environment. So if there’s a problem with the cook temperature, we’re not waiting until the end of the shift to turn in quality checksheets that get entered into another system. We’re bringing in that quality information to Plex, and if there is a quality problem right now, the person responsible for that will be alerted through our system.
So let’s go back now to the checksheet and take a look at the — let’s bring up the quality control plan again. I’m going to take a look at the entire control plan. There’s an important point here.
So this is our entire control plan for the entire process, the machine it occurs on, the spec number involved, whether or not it is critically controlled, what the measurement we’re taking, and the reaction plan that has been set up.
Now, in the background, I have joined this product and this control plan to an asset plan for the production of cold products within the facility.
Now, when I clicked on that you saw a lot of things happen. What happened was we launched a new session, and we logged in to the part of the system that is a HACCP system. So this we’ve created dynamically by creating our product and creating our specification. We’ve indicated a process step, the potential failure that could occur, the severity of the failure if it does occur, the number of occurrences that we need to pay attention to and the risk priority number that gets calculated.
So we’re quantifying the risk of certain failures within our system dynamically within our HACCP system. Now, if we’ve chosen to take some sort of a corrective action to this issue that could occur, then we have the ability to recalculate our risk priority number, and lower it as we take more actions in the system. So the idea here is, in most companies that we have been through, HACCP systems are still in Excel spreadsheets. They aren’t connected to any other quality system. They’re manually maintained and they sit on the shelf.
We believe that if you create a product, you create the specs, you create the control plan, you should be able to apply a HACCP control plan to that as well, and it should change as your process changes, and it should change as your product changes as well. That’s the concept here of dynamic quality food systems.
So now let’s actually see. Once we’ve done the work — I’m going to close this window. I’ll close my HACCP plan down. Once we’ve done the work to create this control plan, the effects of it are immediate down to the operator level.
Let’s take a look at that.
I’m going to go down to the control panel, and I’m going to change from the preparation control panel to mixer 01. This is the step, the cooking step. So cooking of the potatoes. Same kind of control plan, but we’ve got a different job and a different step in the process. But you notice here in the middle part of the screen here my quality section is yellow, and that’s because we have crossed the 15 minute period to take another temperature reading that’s at this critical control point.
So all I have to do as an operator is click on this section of the control panel, and this is the section that we just authored through the set up process for our final product.
So I see the measurement I need to take. Cooked potato temperature. I have to target the temperature I need to take, the sample size, and I provide a measurement.
The nice part about this system is, if I accidentally take the wrong measurement, or I didn’t read my gauge properly and I’m outside of the minimum specifications, the system is going to alert me. So it’s going to allow me to make a change or recheck my reading to really ensure that I’m on spec.
The important part of that is, in most places today who are using paper checksheets, if an erroneous measurement is taken by accident, it may wait an hour, two hours, the end of the shift, until it’s put into a system that actually calculates whether a process was in control or out of control, and by then hours may have gone by before you know about it. Then it becomes a big quarantine effort to figure out what the problem is, what has been affected, when really it was just a mistake in the system.
So what I’m going to do is actually provide the right measurement, and I’m going to click the Add button.
Now, if you remember, we talked before about the idea of integrating into the quality system statistical process control. So in this case I’m taking those temperature readings. I’m putting them into our SPC database, and I’m providing the operator an immediate view of SPC within our system.
What does that do? That allows the operator to visualize whether a process is moving in control or trending out of control, and we can alert on this. So if we’re moving on a control we can send an alert to the quality manager, and they can take action immediately rather than waiting for the data to be batched into another quality system, which could take hours. So that’s the SPC system.
All right. And lastly, once we’ve done all of our quality measurements, then we can go over to the inventory system. We can pull up a product that has been manufactured.
So I’ve got a certain quantity of cooked potatoes of 20 sitting in inventory. If I want to know more details about that inventory, all I have to do is click on the serial number. I have a whole host of information about shelf life, where it was made, who last touched it, where it was created, who last dealt with it, but more importantly, on the right hand side here, I have a lot of historical information about how this product was made.
Most importantly, I have access to the checksheet that we took at Op 20 during the cook process every 15 minutes. The inspector was me, Tom Nessen. Here’s my checksheet.
So now I have the check data available, joined up with the inventory that is moving through our manufacturing process. So gone are the days where we would take checksheets, put them in a filing cabinet, [and] if there was a problem later on we would go and access them. If there is a problem and we do need to look at the quality of information that has been reported, it travels along with the inventory and is always available to be recalled.
If we look at a couple of other things here, I’ve got complete container history. So I know all of the changes that occurred over time to that container, everything since the beginning of its life. I actually have cost information available on a lot of other things.
So with its dynamic quality system that’s fully integrated within your food safety management system, you’re now enabling better use of that data throughout the system.
So now I’m going to conclude the talk on quality and move over to traceability. So let’s talk about the idea of traceability. Traceability is really the result of effective manufacturing operations management. If we hadn’t done a good job of barcoding, identifying and labeling all the ingredients into our facility, and if we hadn’t have done a good job of recording the usage of those ingredients through a control panel, and the production of intermediate and finished goods all uniquely identified within the system with lot information, with allergen information, then really, traceability isn’t possible.
But because in Plex we have done such a good job on the MOM side of things, traceability is really easy, and it’s quick. It allows a company to quickly reduce, or quickly identify tainted food products, reduce the overall scope of the recall and contain those products quickly and be much more proactive in the recall process.
So I’m going to show you an example of that and how it is effectively used in our system.
So let’s go back to Plex. Let’s bring up customer shipping, or ship history. I’m going to search on Nealander’s. Let’s back this up a little bit. All right.
So, within Plex, we have the ability to — we have a complete shipping system. It produces all the paperworks, generates all the EDI transactions if they are required, and handles the loading process of trucks, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. But from a recall standpoint, once we’ve shipped to our customers, they may call us and say, “Listen, I’m having a problem with something you shipped me.” If they are able to provide the shipper number, or quarter number, a lot number, any unique identifier that we can immediately come back into something like shipping history, pull up the shipper, go to the bottom of the screen here and immediately see the unique inventory item that was shipped to this customer at some point in the past.
The link here is, once I find what has been shipped to them, I need to go back and figure out what else might be wrong with this product and who else I shipped it to. So I have an immediate link into my inventory system. I can see details about what was shipped. These were hot dog buns. Here’s the lot number of the product, the shipper that it was shipped on. It was shipped on 3-22-2011.
But more importantly I have a link to what we call the traceability tree. If I click on the traceability tree I now can see all the ingredients that went into the dough for the hot dog buns, and then I can see where it progressed to through the process until it was eventually shipped to the customer. So this was the traceability tree of looking at the ingredients for that single instance of inventory that we ship to Nealander’s.
Now you can see here, it looks like I have some problem with my salt. We use color coding to indicate nonconforming materials. So if I have identified something wrong with salt, I then need to find out, okay, based on this ingredient, what was affected downstream from the salt?
So if I click on the top part of this box, now the salt will show which processes it went into, and what was the resulting finished product on the bottom part of the screen?
So on the far left-hand side here, this is the serial number we shipped to Nealander’s. But we have some other products that looked like they went out the door as well. So let’s take a look and see what they are.
If I click on the bottom part of the box we’re going to launch another session, go into the inventory system, [and] I can look and see what the lot number is, grab that lot number, go back to the inventory system and start to really start to quarantine products within my environment. So, by using the lot number, you can see — oops, and these were changed to nonconforming ahead of time, but I have the ability to capture this information. I know where they exist. I know what status they’re in, and I can perform what’s called a mass update and change the status from defective to good to okay or nonconforming. Then I have the ability to launch a new problem within the system and start capturing information related to this recall.
So I’m going to click Update here and we’re going to launch a problem form. This problem form allows me to capture the inventory that is affected, classify the problem accordingly, and then, if I want to, start work flowing this through my customer service department, or my quality department, based on who is responsible, to take action on this problem through the system.
So the point here is, within a couple of clicks, based on very limited information that I have received from my customer, I am able to go into our system and immediately find all effected products, whether it’s in inventory, it has been shipped out to another customer, and facilitate a really quick recall. And we all know that the recalls now have to occur under or at a four hour window, as mandated by the FDA.
Well, we like to think we can do a recall much quicker than four hours, and I think you’ve just seen that. So that’s traceability.
Let’s go back to the PowerPoint presentation here and cover one other area.
Before I get to that I want to show a couple of images here of why Plex is so good and so strong in handling food traceability, and it really comes down to that idea of barcoding and uniquely identifying the ingredients before they’re used in production. This is another one of our customers. They use a variety of small quantities of certain species and ingredients. Each one of those ingredients is uniquely identified.
In this case they’re using zip locked pouches to keep those labels drying clean, but every time they use a scoop from any one of these raw material or ingredient containers, they are recording by scanning this unique identifier, which ties this lot of this [spice] back to the manufacture, and also ties that ingredient into the production process.
This is another example of how they uniquely identify things that contain allergens, for instance. Same idea. We’re using barcodes, we’re using unique identifiers, and there’s also a stop sign that’s being printed on the labels to identify them as allergens.
All right. So once we’ve covered traceability we’ve covered the three areas of an enterprise food safety management system. So we’ve covered manufacturing operations management, we’ve talked about risk-based quality through electronic HACCP, we’ve talked about the effect of instant traceability, and the ability to recall effectively. All those are working together to provide tremendous value to our manufacturing customers.
But at the bottom part of the screen, in grey, there is even more than just the food safety management system. We provide a lot of ERP functions that play into the idea of food defense, and bring value to the entire organization.
I want to spend time talking about just a couple of those to give you an idea of the capabilities there. I’ve listed a few of them. We have an HR system with a skills matrix so we can prevent people from doing things they shouldn’t do. We have a visitor log, so we can check people out of the building and check them in, and know, at any point in time, who is in our building and what they’re doing.
We have a supplier approval and score carding process. We can create vendor specific measures and see how they are performing against those measures. Accounting and finance. We have an accounting and finance system that encompasses the entire ERP system. Product costings. Customer relationship management. Maintenance management, where we’re able to handle equipment schedules and preventative maintenance schedules, and also a full purchasing system with MRP and production resources planning.
So let’s take a look at a couple of those. I’m going to move over to another part of the system, and we’re going to take a look at the HR system.
I’m going to bring up a simple employee list showing all of the employees within my facility. Click Search here. I’ll bring every one of them up, and I’m going to take a look at Joseph Acme. Now, Joseph Acme has a submenu. There’s a lot of basic HR functions like employee details, payroll, benefits, time off tracking. One that kind of ties into what we’ve bent talking about all day is the idea of the skills matrix.
So what is Joseph Acme able to do within our facility? What is he currently ranked as? An expert in Six Sigma, but medium in all these other skills. He’s got a degree, or has been certified as an expert in upper management. If we click into Joseph Acme we can see his skills, how he is rated, when he was issued them, and if he needs recertification, and when is that recertification due — we’ve got that set up here so we can alert based on it, and what are the courses that have been passed.
So the important thing here is we can, based on the skills matrix, make a determination of where he is able to work. You can see here we’ve got a series of approved work centers that Joseph Acme is able to work on. You can see they’re all listed here. Some have check marks. Some don’t have check marks, but we have clearly identified where he is able to work within our facility, and we’re able to control that at the control [planner] level.
One other thing I want to see, or take a look at, is the costing system. So let’s go over to Edge Foods again. Let’s go to the costing menu. And a byproduct of what we’ve done throughout the manufacturing process is the creation of detailed cost records.
Oops. I’m actually going to need to bring up the cold deli potato salad. Let’s bring up the right item here.
Now, just like my quality system dynamically created the checksheets that I’m using for my quality system, the costing system dynamically creates based on the rules I’ve set up, the cost structure for all products within my system. So you can see here I’ve got the same steps that you saw on the [routing], preparation, cooking, mixing, cooling, packaging and storage, but this time I’ve got different cost types that have been assigned to this step in the production process for this product.
You see that if we look to the right here we have a cost that has been assigned for each of these steps, and an accumulated cost for this entire step in the process, from a labor standpoint and from an ingredient standpoint.
On the right-hand side here I’ve got a calculation that has been determined. So in the case of labor at this operation, I have a crew size of two times a work center labor cost of $9.50 that is being multiplied by our standard production rate. So that provides this cost information, but this calculation is completely configurable by you. It can be set up as a cost model within our systems.
So you can have a number of different cost models that all use different calculations that provide different results in terms of cost within the system.
So that is the last point I wanted to make. We’ll go and wrap up back at the PowerPoint. Just to summarize things by showing you all the things we covered today, whether they are manufacturing operations management, food safety, traceability, or overall ERP and food defense, Plex Online is an enterprise food safety management system. We provide a fully integrated suite that allows you to address all the regulatory compliance requirements, all the industry compliance requirements, and even go above and beyond by providing robust ERP functionality and food defense functionality that work together throughout our system to provide value to the customer. That’s Plex Online, and those are all the areas we’ve covered.
I want to thank everybody for coming today, and that concludes today’s webinar.