‘Demonstrating best practice in traceability is vital for food manufacturers; especially when it comes to audit performance. Optimising traceability tag design and implementing stand-alone tag printers reduces human error to ensure a smooth-running system that won’t let you down.’
Our customer is a food manufacturer with a mission to create great tasting, fresh prepared food for people world-wide. They operate multiple sites manufacturing various specialities such as prepared meals, packaged salads, desserts and bread products.
Traceability is important across the whole group. Each production speciality has its own specific labelling requirements and individual sites demand different metal detectable traceability labels and tags.
The Customer’s Challenge
The purchasing manager’s challenge is to specify and manage the supply of a variety of different traceability tags to suit the differing needs of each production process and food manufacturing environment. Some sites use temperature resistant or ovenable traceability tags whilst others need tags suitable for cold, damp conditions; some use allergen tags, and, whilst many tags are handwritten, some are overprinted.
As well as central purchasing managing a plethora of customised traceability tags, on-site technical and operational mangers need to ensure that their traceability processes are audit-ready. That means robust metal detectable tags that contain accurate, legible information that minimises human error, made from materials that don’t fail under the pressures of the operational environment.
Having many years of experience in food traceability labelling, the Piroto team are experts in the field. First, the team detailed individual operational needs at each site and then started a process to explore where enhancements could be made.
By looking at traceability labelling best practice across the group, improvements could be made at an individual site level and cost savings could be achieved for the group as a whole. In particular, the Piroto team explored the benefits of installing standalone printers to overprint thermal trace tags at some locations in order to satisfy traceability systems auditors
What we delivered
Our team worked closely with head office to identify individual sites where traceability systems could be improved and possible cost savings achieved. We delivered customised metal detectable traceability labels and tags; exceeding the expectations of many individual sites.
For sites where the operation was moving from hand written to printed traceability tags, standalone printers were installed. A database of product information to be over-printed onto each tag was set up and loaded by the Piroto team to ensure that the new traceability system was up and running quickly.
Where printed tags were already in use, traceability tags were redesigned, printers upgraded and new formats installed which greatly improved the legibility of the tags. In particular, those sites that had failed audits due to traceability tags being unreadable, were now confident that the issue had been overcome.
Working with both the group purchasing team and individual sites meant total transparency; everyone involved being aware of traceability improvements and cost savings.
The impact on the customer’s business
With technical knowledge of food manufacturing environments and years of experience in developing metal detectable traceability tags, the Piroto team was able to provide an extensive range of tags suitable for individual sites across the whole group as and when required. Specific benefits include:
- providing fully serviced and supported standalone printers to give each site superior traceability with reduced errors, as well as greater peace of mind
- clear printed traceability information which meant that tag size could be reduced, resulting in cost savings
- metal detectable traceability tags customised to meet the conditions of each manufacturing site; ensuring the very best traceability, utilising the most economical sizes and materials to suit the individual site-specific requirements
- improved tag performance ensures audit-ready traceability throughout
- complete transparency of pricing and specification for central purchasing to ensure the best value for money for traceability tags is achieved across the business.