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How Cloud ERP and an Industry-specific Application Can Help Food, Beverage and Chemical Process Manufacturers Solve Their Biggest Pain Points

Tasked with producing many of the goods that we use and/or consume on a daily basis, food, beverage and chemical manufacturers must strike a balance between ever-changing regulatory requirements and their own long-term financial viability.

Accurately tracking product formulations, maintaining regulatory compliance, determining total product costs and managing HAZMAT documentation requirements are just some of their key responsibilities. That means complying with the Environmental Protection Agency (for emissions, spills and toxic materials), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (for workplace health and safety) and the Department of Transportation (for the storage, use and transport of chemicals) requirements.

Process manufacturers also have to:

  1. Track product formulations. Manufacturers not only need to know what’s going into their products today, but also the full history of those formulations. Armed with this information, companies always know whether their formulas went through the appropriate development, review and quality control processes before being transformed into saleable goods.
  2. Know true product costs. With commodity prices constantly in flux, process manufacturers have to be able to accurately cost their product development processes or risk losing money. This is a major issue for chemical manufacturers, which work on very thin margins and have to deal with fluctuating commodity costs. These companies need to keep a sharp eye on their product costing, which is something they can’t accomplish using basic technology and manual systems.
  3. Maintain accurate documentation. All chemical manufacturers use safety data sheets (SDS), which are technical papers that specify the properties of each product and its proper handling procedures. These documents must be created for every product made and must then be distributed to customers and kept updated over time. Companies must also produce the right HAZMAT bills of lading (BOL) for every shipment. Companies that ignore these requirements risk steep fines from the state and/or federal governments.

Managing these complexities in today’s unpredictable business environment requires robust, enterprise software that can handle formulation tracking, product tracing, product costing, regulatory compliance, logistics and complete financial management.

From Basic Systems to Robust Platforms

Unfortunately, many process manufacturers use on-premises software solutions or basic systems to run their operations. Most of these solutions offer only basic functionalities and none of them can effectively manage the complexities of process manufacturing (on the front-end) and financials (on the back-end).

A family of SuiteApps, Blend ERP by Starling Solutions is the first and only NetSuite application to be purpose-built for batch manufacturing, formula/ recipe management and HAZMAT documentation. It allows companies to address their unique manufacturing requirements—and the intricacies of their production and shipping processes—within NetSuite, and without the need for external software or ad hoc manual workarounds.