Meat Processor Performance Improvement

Until the challenge of the global pandemic hit, Meat sales were on a growth track with total meat and poultry sales hitting $50.4 billion in 2019. Plant-based meat alternatives are slowly become a disruptor in the industry in consumer response to perceived health benefits and environmental concerns. Consumer convenience remains a driver. The introduction of the Air Fryer combined with on-the-go sustainable packaging have served as a market lift. Organic, sustainable sourcing, environmental concerns and animal welfare continue to increase in importance to the consumer. Supply chain food safety remains a top priority.

These trends and the corresponding shifting demand mean that your organization must be flexible and agile to deliver innovative products timed to market needs, all while managing costs and risk.

The Adroit team helps organizations to improve their agility. Our team works to understand your specific operational challenges, jointly craft solutions that incorporate best practices, leverage your existing software assets, and where necessary implement Adroit’s software solutions.

Working with Adroit, you are better positioned to efficiently create and produce products in response to newer trends.

Looking Deeper – Meat Processing Operational Challenges

The meat processing industry is made up of complex and interrelated system. It covers a range of operations from slaughtering and processing, to traceability tracking and the packaging used for a range of processed meat products.

Meat processors purchase and receive whole meat or parts of meat for cutting, grinding, or processing into a range of meat products.  Some meat processors also slaughter but the vast majority receive the meat as parts or whole.  Meat is regulated by the USDA and includes Beef, Pork, Lamb, Bison and various game meats.  We separately classify chicken, turkey, duck, and various game hens under Poultry.

Each step in the process is marked by regulatory mandates designed to reduce the chance for contamination of meat with any biological, physical, or chemical hazard.

Custom meat processing software can improve the processes for operators as they process meat, often stored in tubs or containers by weight basis. The varying weights per container are handled via catch weights in which each container is assigned a serial number (or sub-lot) as part of an overall lot number.  Item numbers are assigned based on the species, cut, and other attributes such as organic, grain fed, etc.  Fat content is a key attribute for input into many grinding and processing recipes.

Meat processing typically includes work orders that combine ingredients and parts and fractionate in which parts are cut into substreams. All this tracking complexity is handled via lot control tracking in combination with work orders.  Production yield is a key performance indicator that directly drives the margin of the meat processing.

Factors that can impact yield include the initial meat cuts, varying fat content requiring addition of higher fat content pieces, drop off, loss and addition of moisture, overly conservative packaging over/under weight fills.

Temperature is a key environmental factor that must be tracked for the life of a lot of meat.  Lot expiration dates are negatively affected the higher the temperature.  Storage areas generally do not exceed 37º F and processing rooms do not exceed 50º F.

A meat inventory tracking system can help manage work-in-process tracking – which can often get complicated as various parts of the animal are blended, cooked, and process. 

Adroit can help you solve your production and inventory control challenges with the application of best practices, optimizing your existing systems, or through the implementation of an Adroit software solution.

Meat Processing Industry Solutions for Improved Operations

Whether it is crafting targeted solutions to specific operational issues or helping to improve the processes of the entire supply chain, Adroit understands the unique challenges of meat processing. 

Meat processing can be complex, and the challenge is to streamline operations while managing cost and maximizing food safety and compliance. The manufacturing process is typically a combination of front-end batch processes and continuous runs producing discrete units. As meat processing operations scale up and the number of unique formulations and packaging configurations increase, so does the operational management challenge.

In many cases, we can help understand how a meat processing oriented ERP system in combination with a Supply Chain Planning system can be leveraged to meet key challenges, including: 

  • Developing cohesive sales, operations, and finance plan (SOP Planning) with accurate forecasts, production capacities, inventory inclusive of distribution pipeline and planned expiration, and financial metrics.
  • Shifting formulations and recipes to an online system when spreadsheets becomes unmanageable.
  • Integrating insights into production including yield challenges, bottlenecks, and downtime
  • Determining trends across batches and production runs.
  • Eliminating manual and labor-intensive traceability through the application of meat traceability software.
  • Integrate the record-keeping and document management challenges into ERP software
  • Improving work in process visibility and inventory tracking through the application of a meat inventory tracking system
  • Assessing your meat management software system fit to the required batch and continuous processes
  • Complying with GFSI food safety schema, such as SQF, supported by independent record-keeping and plans

Meat processing software and other key business systems all have a role in helping to modernize operations. When properly aligned with overall strategy, these systems help manage complex traceability and record-keeping mandates.

Adroit brings industry experience to each engagement and takes the time to understand the specifics of your meat operations.  We can help you migrate the spreadsheet-based recipes and formulas into a formal system, and help you to get control of your costs, yields, production, and inventory challenges.