Automating Systems is Key to Traceability

Imagine you’re a plant manager who was just notified that your company’s product is contaminated and must be recalled—an insurmountable task if your company is still using traditional paper records to track production and distribution. Safeguarding consumers and customers from food products that might do them harm is the focal point for a company during a recall. But having to manually flip through huge stacks of paper to identify exactly which lot number was contaminated, what plant it came from, what day, shift and time it was produced and to which grocery stores it was shipped, is a costly and time-consuming task, with a large margin for error. To avoid going through excruciating details when time is of the essence, many manufacturers will simply recall every item that was produced within a certain timeframe from every store. Although this approach may be less time consuming, it causes unnecessary waste in the form of food and costs, and could cause a delay in getting the actual contaminated products off the shelves because precious resources are being spent ridding stores of the good products.