Best Practices For Food Manufacturing Production, Planning, and Scheduling

With every industry comes unique planning and scheduling challenges. When it comes to the food and drink industry, proper planning is the key to a successful business. 

Within the food industry, many factors are at play. The culinary team has data about what food is needed daily. Following their guidelines, each business needs to plan food orders and delivery based on food expiration dates, preparation time for the food, and rotating menus. 

 Prodsmart is also a food traceability software, which is our main value  proposition for food manufacturers.

 As if this was not difficult enough, if something goes wrong in the process, it is a chain reaction—

Everything is affected. 

That is why best practices must be followed for food manufacturing, production, planning, and scheduling. 

Are you interested in learning how you can optimize this process? 

Keep reading!

Related – How to Deliver A Successful MES Project

Unique Challenges in Food Manufacturing

As we mentioned previously, the food industry has its own unique set of production challenges to accommodate to run a successful business. 

Here are some factors that affect food manufacturing production, planning, and scheduling: 

  • Demand. Different seasons, competing restaurants, and the number of money families have to spend on food all affect the demand for products being consumed. 
  • Lack of shelf life. Unlike other industries that may sell products, food expires! Therefore, it is not practical for businesses to stock their shelves full because they want to avoid wasting their product. On the other hand, under-stocking can lead to issues as well. It’s the Goldilocks trick, don’t order too much or too little— order the perfect amount. 
  • Production is constant. Businesses in the food industry need to place orders, restock, and keep data of usage daily. 

Make sure to keep this all in mind because an effective manufacturing strategy is key to any business’s success within the food industry. 

If you feel like you need an extra boost, we provide consulting services for all manufacturing types!

Mastering the Master Production Schedule

The name of the game is always to aim to increase profit margins. To increase profits, businesses need to keep their costs low and avoid mistakes whenever possible. 

The first thing businesses need to do is develop a Master Production Schedule, also known as an MSP. This plan maps out all of the materials and labor that they will need throughout the production process. 

When businesses in the food industry start developing their MSP, they may find that they have plenty of individual schedules and plans across different departments. They can continue to encourage each department to keep these plans, but all of this data needs to be compiled to create the MSP to be genuinely successful. 

The MSP is not just a plan; it is a tool for data collection. As you fine-tune your MSP and gather more information, this plan will help you make business decisions that will keep your costs low and help your business avoid making mistakes, wasting products, and overspending on labor. 

The information gathered from the MSP can be communicated to sales (and any other relevant departments) to obtain consistency across the business and achieve clear communication. 

Related – Cost of Production: The Ultimate Guide

Understanding Batch Management 

After the food is ordered and delivered, it is stored on-site. At this stage, it is crucial to keep track of the dates or “batch” of each food delivery. 

Of course, different foods expire at different times. Also, depending on demand, other food ingredients will be used up at different times. Just because the delivery of several different foods arrives on one day does not mean that they will be uniformly used up. 

Batch management is all about carefully tracking the date of arrival and expiry dates for your stock. If batches are used out of order, this could cause problems down the line for production. Creating a transparent system for how your food stock will be used is essential to avoiding food waste and keeping in compliance with industry standards. 

 Food Traceability is also an important component. By knowing exactly which raw ingredients went into which final product and where that product was delivered is crucial if there is a problem with some ingredients and the company needs to do a product recall.  Also it’s a requirement to keep these records to be compliant with government regulations (such as FSMA)

Bottleneck Prevention and Management

The best strategy for handling a bottleneck in your manufacturing process is to prevent it. 

A bottleneck is a point of congestion in the manufacturing process that causes subsequent issues. This weak point has a snowball effect and is something to avoid at all costs. Keeping reliable data and ensuring that there is no point in your process where work arrives too quickly for your team to handle it is essential for success. 

To prevent and handle bottlenecks in real-time, you can set up the following: 

  • Create Daily Auditing Processes
  • Create a System for Check-ins. Within this process, allow employees to alert if the process is getting overflowed or not going smoothly. 

Related – How To Avoid a Bottleneck in Production

The Advantages of a Manufacturing Execution System

With the help of a Manufacturing Execution System (MES), production floor tracking and management have never been easier. 

Enlisting the help of technology will help ensure that your data is accurate, up-to-date, and adaptable to your process. 

Here are a few advantages of using an MES: 

  • It makes it easy to track production and quality.
  • It helps reduce waste and scrap.
  • It tracks quality standards for long-term data. 
  • It has scheduling capabilities. 
  • It allows in-house communication. 

Prodsmart has created an MES solution that has it all so that your business can thrive. 

Engaging in the Best Practices for Food Manufacturing Production, Planning, and Scheduling

In the food industry, it is not just your concept, product, or experience you offer that will bring you success—

It’s your execution. Hundreds of tiny steps need to go smoothly before it ever reaches the customer. Manufacturing Execution Systems can help you engage in the best food manufacturing production, planning, and scheduling practices

Fine-tuning your master production schedule, creating strategies to prevent bottleneck, and perfecting your batch management will help you overcome the unique challenges that the food industry faces. 

For more information and assistance optimizing your manufacturing business, check out our other content and professional services we offer!


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