Delivering Full Traceability & A Competitive Edge for Market Leaders Kerry Group
Kerry Group is a publicly traded Irish food corporation quoted on the Dublin ISEQ and London stock exchanges. The Kerry Group site at Newmarket in North Cork is a leading manufacturer of cheese from a state-of-the-art cheese production facility. With an annual manufacturing capacity in excess of 35,000 tonnes, Newmarket manufacturers cheese for the Groups' branded cheese business.
Food & Nutrition
Tralee, Kerry – Ireland
- Maximise value
- High level of traceability
- Integrate all data collected
- Quality Analysis & Compliance
- Inventory Management
Since 1993, Kerry Newmarket has used a computerised quality management system to meet its quality, traceability, yield and risk management requirements. Kerry’s commitment to quality was the key factor that led them to pursue a system upgrade, intensifying, even more, the emphasis on food safety and market trends pointing towards the need for increased levels of data integration. The site was looking to improve plant efficiencies, achieve KPI’s, and maximise the value of the cheese inventory with the implementation of a new system. SoftTrace was then posed with two main challenges: ensuring high level of traceability and integrating the data collected in every process.
- Electronic traceability and quality system able to replace paper-based & legacy systems
- Trace milk received back to supplier farms
- Trace all ingredients end-to-end, through the manufacturing processed to the finished product
- Manage traceability of dispatches to customers
- Integrate data from the discrete systems including plant automation and CIP data
- Integrate weighbridge, milk intake, production, laboratory, inventory and dispatch data
- Integrate with the existing financial system
- Full control over production parameters
- Comply with environmental regulations
Understanding Kerry’s commitment to best practice standards of quality and compliance and the site’s specific requirements, SoftTrace implemented the Weighbridge, Quality Analysis & Compliance, and Inventory Management modules. These modules control and trace all raw materials released into the production process and optimise inventory utilisation.
When milk tankers weigh into the production facility, information from each tanker’s automatic data capture system is downloaded and imported for comparison against the weighbridge loads. In addition, although Kerry Newmarket has never experienced a product recall crisis, they manage risk by regularly running mock product recall exercises and internal audit traceability checks. SoftTrace Quality Analysis & Compliance module provides Kerry Newmarket with a complete audit trail of the sample chain of custody by using a variety of points in the supply chain to instantly return all points of traceability on the raw materials used during a defined period of production.
Kerry Newmarket now uses SoftTrace to monitor production output against milk volume at intake. The quality of production can be monitored against the test results recorded in the laboratory. At dispatch, management can easily compare products shipped from storage against actual production and subsequently track any losses occurring due to damage during storing. By providing a full profile of the quality and grade of all cheese inventory to individual pack levels and the functionality to cross-match customers’ quality specifications with each pallet’s quality attributes, the Inventory Management module has allowed Kerry Newmarket to optimise inventory utilisation for maximum returns.
By implementing SoftTrace at their Newmarket facility, Kerry Group has optimised the value of cheese and significantly reduced losses incurred as a result of product downgrades Moreover, SoftTrace’s traceability capabilities have allowed Kerry Newmarket to significantly increase retailer and consumer confidence and reduce requirements for on-site audits. With the implementation of the SoftTrace software, a full product traceability that is required to be completed in four hours for audit compliance, can be completed remotely in four minutes a significant time and resource-saving.
The software’s seamless integration of all critical quality, manufacturing and business data guarantees full forward and backward traceability, also fully adhering to quality compliance regulatory and validation rules. Besides, the solution has also provided them with superior yield and plant management capabilities, resulting in rapid return and cost savings.
''Before we installed SoftTrace, increases in production would have required an increase in staffing levels to manage all the paperwork and documentation required in a paper intensive production process. Automated interfaces and real-time information allow us to keep staffing levels to a minimum. Furthermore, the level of process monitoring SoftTrace provides has allowed us not only to manufacture higher quality products but also to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and keep our pricing competitive. Being able to run forward and backward traceability routines throughout the plant has been an effective tool in attracting and retaining customers in today's highly competitive market''