The Food Processing industry in India is undergoing a significant transformation. It is thriving thanks to initiatives like 'Make in India' by our government. It accounts for 35% of our country’s total food market and is ranked fifth in terms of production, consumption, export and expected growth. The government has been pushing forward with new reforms in this space and is looking to capitalize on the benefits brought about by a public - private partnership. With increase in online food ordering, the food processing industry is witnessing an incredible growth. This growing demand beckons the question; is the industry equipped enough to match the supply?
The food processing industry in India has a high concentration of unorganized segments, accounting for almost 75% across all product categories. This was also true in the case of the food processing company in this case study. So when they approached Planet NEXTgen Technologies (PNT) for a solution, PNT offered them UnitXPro, a proprietary Total Unit Management System Software.
Let’s look at the case study of this food processing company that serves as a supplier to one of India’s largest QSRs. Some key challenges that directly influence the company’s ability to sustain continual growth, and how UnitXPro mitigates them.
Implementing processes in different units spread across multiple locations is challenging.
Due to numerous regulations and policies, food processing units have to adhere to different rules and regulations, according to the state they are in, this leads to a difference in the quality standards, contradictions in specifications, lack of co-ordination and administrative delays.
In order to streamline and increase efficiency, UnitXPro is designed to standardize and institutionalize processes adhering to industry best practices. Employees are provided clear activities for the day, which are in line with the company’s objectives.
All activities, which are calendarized for the year, are linked to a purpose that reflects the organization’s goals. So each position in the organization knows what to do, when to do, how to do and if help is needed, whom to contact to complete their activities.
As the food industry sector develops, encapsulating different product categories, the food processing industry must meet customers’ highest quality expectations at the lowest cost.
The food processing industry is vulnerable to litigation brought by consumer groups and government agencies based on the production or offering of low-quality food products. Often, in majority of the food processing units a defensive method of addressing customer complaints is established to address complaint management.
The submitted complaints are compiled in an excel sheet, the complaints are collected, transferred and further analyzed according to their product data on a weekly basis by the quality manager. This process is often time consuming and tedious. As the entire data is compiled on an Excel document, there are several versions of this file, increasing the disorganization of the process.
Among the several complaints usually the top recurring complaints are the ones that are addressed. In this current method of operation there are hardly any control or fail-safe measures in place to ensure that the processes are carried out according to desired quality levels. Ultimately the direct outcome of improper quality management is improper customer complaint management.
UnitXPro's integrated solutions keeps one informed about the latest complaints and allows one to respond immediately with appropriate evidences and root cause analysis, thus decreasing the turnaround times of the complaints.
The built-in escalation matrix helps accelerate complaints that have not been addressed in time, to avoid unnecessary delays. Complaints are automatically escalated to higher positions once the tolerance period expires. Real time dashboards provide analysis and trends. Thus, providing assurance to customers and reducing risk to the company.
Currently, there are no dedicated institutions that offer comprehensive courses in food packaging, processing, biotechnology, information technology, agriculture and allied fields.
Personnel hired in these industries mostly come from different educational backgrounds. Hence, an industry as demanding as this also needs to develop skill internally.
Without a proper system in place, the learning curve of a new employee is high and long. As such, there is a need to facilitate learning and development within the food processing industry, focusing on developing managers, supervisors and trained manpower force.
UnitXPro has a learning and development module for internal employees. Providing them with the knowledge that they can utilize when doing their work. It also has a unique feature called WIDAQ (When In Doubt Ask Question). It is a great system for on boarding new recruits. All the information is available in the form of eLearning manuals and videos for better learning along with requisite checklists, forms and reports.
Manufacturers of packaged food products are obligated to comply with quality standards and label declarations prescribed under multiple legislations such as The Standards of Weights & Measures (Packaged Commodities), Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) and Fruit Products Order (FPO). Correspondingly, FPO allows usage of Class II sweeteners in Fruit Products, whereas PFA does not.
This is just one of the examples of how complex regulations are in India. Following and navigating through these rules can be a daunting task especially with unskilled human resources. Usually companies rely on experienced employees to guide them when a tricky situation arises. But if the concerned person is not available it creates sometimes a bottleneck.
UnitXPro disseminates all required information to the relevant personnel present on the facility so that the work is completed and incidents are addressed without any delay. This lowers burden of responsibility on those few experienced employees while simultaneously empowering other employees, thus acting as a resource enabler for the company.