Raw materials are expensive, and costs are rising in food manufacturing. It makes no sense to waste any materials, as every bit of product or ingredient wasted is eating into your tight profit margins. If you are working with perishables, there are systems and processes you can implement to reduce ingredients becoming spoiled and having to be wasted.
Introducing a First In, First Out (FIFO) system will mean that the ingredients that arrive first and need to be used first, will be utilised before new arrivals. This is a simple process that could help reduce costs with wastage and make the manufacturing process run more effectively. You should also ensure the accuracy of measuring ingredients is strong enough to reduce the wastage of ingredients further. Don’t overbuy ingredients from suppliers – use data from previous years to track orders and demand throughout the year so you aren’t overbuying product that is going to be spoiled before it can be used in production.
Repair Rather Than Replace
Preventative Maintenance can be key to reducing costs in the food manufacturing industry. Keeping on top of your machinery and equipment, checking seals, and other integral parts, and making sure it is in good working order can prevent a breakdown which might be unfixable. Such a breakdown will cost you time and money, as not only are you without the vital machinery for production, but there is also the huge expense of the replacement to consider.
If something does go wrong or is worn and needs replacing, this is far less costly than an entirely new machine. Regularly checking parts of the equipment, including belts, drives, and sprockets to make sure they are in good order is good practice and can massively help with managing and reducing production costs. Seal kits are available for a wide range of food manufacturing machinery and can be a cost-effective way of keeping machinery running rather than the huge expense of a replacement.
Of course, you cannot predict every single breakdown or fault with machinery. Sometimes things are going to happen out of the blue, but by doing regular checks and replacements of vital parts, you can go a long way to reduce this and make sure your production can continue and your business can run smoothly.
Product variety often causes a lot of equipment changeover for a manufacturer, and these can add inefficiencies into the business – lots of cleaning, lots of material changeover. By reducing your range or focusing on core products, equipment changeover time will also be reduced, allowing the business to have more hours in the day where food is manufactured, rather than time with the production line sitting idle awaiting a changeover. Know your best sellers – your product with the highest profit margin – and know what product requires the least resource to use, and focus on these. Reducing downtime is a big factor – is there a way you can synchronise machines so that as soon as one production run finishes another starts straight away? By doing this, manufacturers are utilising every hour available and running efficiently.
Battling rising costs is something that is happening to businesses throughout the food industry but also further afield. Introducing systems, reducing waste and importantly, maintaining and repairing machinery regularly are all helping to manage costs. Not everything is avoidable, raw materials are expensive, energy costs are rising, and the cost of living is going up – that is why it is so important to do all you can to maximise savings during your production runs.