As a meat distributor, you deal with the typical difficulties of the distribution industry: significant competition, the need for reliable shipping, and the demand to produce high quality, well priced goods. However, because meat is perishable, and because it can become spoiled or contaminated, having an effective meat distribution software is even more important.
For example, in order to comply with regulatory bodies (such as the USDA and FDA if you’re based in the US), you’ll need systems in place for the prevention of accidental/intentional contaminations of the food supply.
Meanwhile, you’ll also need methods to respond to potential recalls for your products. After all, prevention, though important, is not foolproof.
What qualities then make a strong meat distribution software then that will help you run your business reliably?
- Meat Inventory Tracking System
As a distributor, the core of your business software will be your meat inventory tracking system. You need to have complete inventory visibility, which involves the knowledge of:
- Amounts of all items/types of items
- Their locations within the warehouse
- Which warehouse items are located in
- Meat stock coming in from suppliers
- Meat stock exiting to be shipped to customers
Log and/or serial # tracking enable this visibility, by ensuring that each item/group of items is properly accounted for. Additionally, barcode scanners integration make this process easier for your workers.
- Quality Control
Your meat distribution software needs to be able to deal with quality as well. An effective quality control module will allow you to run checks at the cutoffs of your choice. For example, you may want to run a quality check at the point of delivery of items from your supplier. This may involve a temperature check, leakage checks, and other measures.
You can also make these checks mandatory to ensure a reliable and safe product. This will lead to more satisfaction (and less dissatisfaction) from regulators, resellers, and the final consumers.
- Shelf Life of Meat Inventory
Also relevant to quality, your meat distribution software should track shelf life and expiry date information. For one reason, you may want to run extra quality checks for items nearing the end of their life.
In addition, something we’ve done at Bista Solutions while working with companies in the meat industry is instituting a First-Expiry-First-Out (FEFO) inventory system. By tracking expiry dates, FEFO means that products set to expire first are also shipped first. This can be integrated with your warehouse setting and picking processes, so that items coming in from suppliers are set in the right places, and so that items being shipped out are picked appropriately.
By using a FEFO system, you’ll reduce waste and become more cost effective.
- Fleet Management
After getting inventory out, you’ll want a proper hold of your fleet management. It’s important to know what inventory was shipped out, and also know whether items are delivered on time, whether the conditions of storage are good, and more.
- Potential Recalls
No one wants recalls to happen, which is why we take important account of the methods of prevention above. But in case such an event does occur, preparation is also important.
Inventory traceability is key here. When you discover that particular items had problems, you need to be able to figure out which suppliers those products came from, in case the problem is located there.
In case the problem is located in your business, you also need proper tracking of your own systems. Did you run your quality checks properly? Do you need to make any changes to your systems? Answering such questions will help you prevent such problems in the future.
The proper meat distribution software will help you identify where the problem was located, and act appropriately.
Is OptoMeat Right for You?
After working with companies in the meat industry, Bista Solutions has developed a software called OptoMeat that satisfies the above needs and more. OptoMeat provides complete inventory visibility and tracking through lot/serial #’s. It has a quality check system as well as promotional offer handling and meat processing features, if your operations extend to processing. Finally, it has fantastic dashboards, so that managers and decision makers can get a bird’s eye view of these different processes.
To learn more about OptoMeat, click here.
Bista Solutions is an ERP implementation and consultation company that has worked in ERP for over a decade. To request a demo or to find more information, please give us a call at +1 (404)-631-6219 or reach out using our contact form.