Integreater® at largest case ready meat plant in North America
For more than 12 years Vantage Foods and Systems Integration have worked closely together to ensure that Vantage’s meat processing plants in the USA and Canada are world-class. Each of its four state-of-the-art food processing facilities rely on Integreater® from Systems Integration to automate production planning and high volume retail packing.
In November 2013 Vantage Foods opened its new service centre in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. At 162,000²ft, this factory is the largest of its type in North America and provides a full case-ready fresh meats program for Ahold – one of America’s largest retailers. For this new facility Integreater® was live from day 1.
With years of experience working within the industry, Rob Stephens, Managing Director for Systems Integration, recognised the requirement for production planning software specifically designed for food manufacturers:
“In addition to the usual production planning issues, fresh food processors face a number of unique challenges associated with the perishable nature of their products and the short deadlines they have to work to. This often results in hours of planning preparation every day. To solve this problem, we’ve worked with food manufacturers to develop our unique solution that will enable anyone to build and update a live plan in seconds.”
Our unique solution enable food manufacturers to build and update a live plan in seconds.” Rob Stephens, Managing Director, Systems Integration.
100s of orders, 1000s of items … planned by 0530 each day
Kerri Castillo, Scheduler at Vantage Foods, explains: “Camp Hill receives hundreds of orders and processes thousands of items each day. We have to work to very short deadlines when producing fresh perishable finished goods using fresh perishable raw materials. This is why planning is complex and difficult.”
“Without Production Planning we would spend hours producing a daily plan using spreadsheets. Firstly, we have to work out which orders need to be despatched that day. Then we must identify if there were any finished goods on stock with enough shelf life to meet these orders and then calculate what we must produce. To get production underway we have to calculate exactly what raw materials and packaging will be needed and when and we have to let everyone know all this by 5.30am.”
“We have hundreds of products in our range, some of which are made from the same raw materials but have to be processed on different production lines and at different times. Our delivery vehicles also depart at various times to reach depots in different parts of the country. This means we may have to stagger production accordingly. To add to the pressure, we often receive last minute changes and top up orders.
“To get production underway we have to calculate exactly what raw materials and packaging will be needed and when and we have to let everyone know all this by 5.30am…. Creating my daily plan is so easy. Integreater® automatically calculates everything we need to achieve 100% order fulfilment while using raw materials and labour in the most efficient manner. ” Kerri Castillo, Scheduler, Vantage Foods.
“Spreadsheets become out of date as soon as they are created and Production requires updated plans every time there is a change. Integreater® not only allows me to plan and monitor in real time but, if the customer requests an amendment to the order I can adjust it whilst it is in progress on the line.”
“I can see my entire plan on one screen and have complete visibility of Forecast, Pre and Final orders. I can add forward production or adjustments easily. I can also click on any item for detailed associated data such as which stores’ orders contribute to a product’s production figure. I’m able to make changes, add orders, move products onto different lines or even insert breaks with a click of the mouse. Integreater® will automatically calculate and display any knock on effects these changes will have instantly.”
“Creating my daily plan is so easy. Integreater® automatically calculates everything we need to achieve 100% order fulfilment while using raw materials and labour in the most efficient manner. Production line supervisors and crew also have a live, real-time view of the plan through screens on the factory floor. They can see their progress and are immediately alerted to any changes, additions or bottlenecks. With a clear view of the history of these bottlenecks and issues, our management team can make better informed decisions about how to resolve problems and identify areas for further investment.”
About Vantage Foods
Vantage Foods is a fresh meat processor that operates four state-of-the-art food processing facilities across Canada and the USA. Each of its service centres delivers:
- A full range of fresh meats capability, including ground and sausage products
- Integrated supply chain technology
- Demand forecasting and just-in-time inventory management to ensure consistent 24/7 in-stocks
- Complete flexibility on raw material supply
- Exceptional cost efficiencies
- Uncompromised food safety