Consistent Product Data Management in the Food and Beverages Industry

Ensuring product quality is one of the most important activities that businesses need to engage in. The first step here is to ensure that consistent reporting of all processes and materials used has taken place. Data management is useful in keeping all product-related records up-to-date.

Consistent data management is key to ensuring compliance. This could mean compliance to organizational policies, procedures, and practices or to industry norms and government regulations. However, with so many regulations being brought forth and revised on such a regular basis, it becomes difficult to know what to report and how. As a best practice, organizations should collate and record all data right from raw material procurement to after-sale service. In the Food & Beverages industry, it is imperative to manage the information that goes on product labeling.

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Organizations generate tons of data on a daily basis and managing it can become quite challenging. By using various databases and software, organizations have finally found a way to collect, record, and track data.

Data management and regulatory framework

The Food and Drug Administration Data Standards Council of the United States of America evaluates, develops, maintains, and adopts regulatory data standards to ensure that a common procedure is followed to document and manage data with regards to the manufacturing, packaging, transport, and sale of products. Having a data management system at the organizational level will help managers remain compliant.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set up certain rules and regulations that seek to streamline data management. The new European Union Food Information Regulation states that consumers should have access to pertinent product information, which outlines the risks of consuming a particular product. The EFSA and EU are now working on having a common risk assessment strategy for all member states. The help of the Evidence Management Unit has been enlisted to enable thorough investigation and assessment. By using state-of-the art tools such as the SAP® GTIN-Connector, organizations can both provide and have access to important product information. Having an efficient and effective data management system makes following the labeling requirements set forth in the new regulation easier.

The Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (FSVO) allows only regulation-compliant food and beverages into the Swiss market. The New Food Law that the FSVO has released has regulations regarding the use of plastics, silicone, printing inks and other substances in the product. By using data management tools such as the SAP® GTIN-Connector, organizations will be able to access regulatory information that is available on the GDSN. Through this, they will be able to ensure that they have followed all the rules established by regulatory bodies. Organizations can also provide the GS1 and other required regulatory-compliant information, ensuring that they will be able to release their products to different markets without facing any hurdles.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) follows the regulations provided under the Legislation Act, which stipulates various food safety codes. Organizations are expected to follow these codes and to record everything related to the production and sale of products. Data management software helps keep organizations informed of industry and regulatory requirements. This software can also help them provide mandatory information.

When it comes to state-of-the-art databases and SAP tools, most organizations use tools such as the SAP® GTIN-Connector to automate the GDSN publication. Developed by SpecPage, one of the world’s leading vendors of innovative technology, the SAP® GTIN-Connector helps organizations record and maintain documents that are related to the manufacturing, packaging, transportation, stocking, and sale of products in the Food & Beverages industry. What makes SpecPage’s products, including the SAP® GTIN-Connector, ideal for data management in the Food & Beverages industry is that SpecPage specializes in meeting the technological and data management requirements of food manufacturers as well as of their suppliers and retailers.

The SAP® GTIN-Connector tool helps input data into the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN), which comprises of over 35,000 companies and 30 data pools, including the 1WorldSync, FSEnet or Contentis GloLIB pools.

As per the regulatory framework of the Food & Beverages industry of respective countries, organizations must make certain data available for regulatory compliance. This data pertains to the entire chain of activities that takes place in the Food & Beverages industry. For example, information regarding the nature of the raw materials needs to be provided. If the materials used require certification from a Government Agency or a Certifying Authority, that certificate must be uploaded into the global database. The SAP® GTIN-Connector helps organizations export GS1-compliant data from their own internal SAP® ERP systems to the GDSN-certified data pools.

Benefits of automated master data management

  • Helps with data collation
    By allowing organizations to update and access data about their products, data management systems ensure that important information is collected and available whenever needed. Record maintenance helps organizations identify any key pieces of data that is missing or that needs to be updated in the system. One of the reasons managers prefer using the SAP® GTIN-Connector is that it maps the data directly into the data pools. There is no need for manual updating.
  • Ensures regulatory compliance
    Tools like the SAP® GTIN-Connector are designed to access information about an organization’s product specifications. These tools are designed to input all data and supporting documents into the global data pools. This will help organizations remain GS1-compliant. A look at the information in the database will help managers know whether or not they have provided all the required information.
  • Avoid accumulation of dark data
    Dark data is data that is of no use to an organization’s operations. This data accumulates over time as new data is generated and added to the system. Consistent data management will ensure that unnecessary data is removed from the database. The SAP® GTIN-Connector helps extract only the relevant and necessary data. It also aids in updating mandatory information, which an organization is legally required to provide. This effectively prunes the data.
  • Get industry insight
    Data management through a global, centralized database such as the GDSN will help organizations gain insight into industry trends. Product managers will know what their competitors, both at home and abroad, are doing and how they are manufacturing and packaging their products. Consumer-pertinent information will help managers understand more about other demographics. Also, if an overseas organization or agency wishes to partner with a business back home, they can easily check the company’s credentials and product information in the data pool, this visible data which the SAP® GTIN-Connector extracts from the organization’s internal database.
  • Ensures data security
    Unmanaged data can be misused. Data that is unaccounted for can create multiple problems for senior management. By using data management tools like the SAP® GTIN-Connector, organizations can account for their data. Additionally, global databases and data pools such as the 1WorldSync tend to be more secure and have the latest infrastructure and storage options. This will help organizations manage and control their data.

How does SpecPage’s SAP® GTIN-Connector help in data management?

  • It improves the quality of data made accessible by the organizations
  • Data transfer becomes easy and more efficient
  • It reduces paperwork and helps avoid manual updating of data
  • Organizations have better access to external data through the connector
  • Greater control over updating and modifying the data
  • It helps ease the transfer of data to partner firms
  • The connector helps organizations access the GDSN for available information regarding regulatory compliance
  • It helps increase the speed of providing information to the market
  • The SAP® GTIN-Connector helps managers obtain the latest information about competitors in the data pools

 

Photo Credit Featured Image: © fotolia / sdecoret

2019-01-14T11:46:56+02:00Blog, Data Management|
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