Process manufacturers—those in industries such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and chemicals—have differing enterprise resource planning (ERP) needs than most other industries. From increased regulatory requirements to more detailed traceability, these manufacturers face all the same challenges that other manufacturers do but with an emphasis on different areas. That’s why a process manufacturer looking for an ERP application should be looking for specific features designed to meet those vertical needs. Here are four must-have ERP features that any process manufacturer should look for.
1. Quality Management
In process manufacturing, a mistake in product quality could lead to serious consequences, which is why quality management designed for process manufacturing should be top of the list for any ERP application you choose. Not only do your customers expect a consistently high-quality product every time, but you also need to track and maintain quality control (QC) records in the event of an audit. An ERP application designed for process industries should have a strong QC suite that meets even the most stringent of your demands.
2. Lot Traceability
Lot traceability is a requirement in many industries, but compliance regulations make it imperative in process manufacturing. A process manufacturer must be able to trace its products from raw ingredient to final product. In some industries, a manufacturing recipe can be long and complicated. Each raw ingredient must be tracked. Only a process manufacturing ERP application can provide that type of traceability, so be sure when you’re considering ERP for your process manufacturer you look at the solution’s traceability capabilities to ensure that they’ll meet your specific needs.
3. Recipe-Based Bills of Materials
All manufacturing ERP applications will have bill-of-materials (BOM) capabilities, but not all those capabilities will be sufficient for process manufacturing. Process manufacturers may have thousands of ingredients to track and manage, making it vital that BOM capabilities are sufficiently robust to handle the variety, with low margins of error. For process manufacturers that want to operate using lean manufacturing capabilities, this is even more important because even recipe-based BOMs must be highly accurate to maintain steady production.
4. Regulatory and Compliance Capabilities
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