Food and beverage equipment maintenance excellence

9 June 2023

Excellence in equipment maintenance is a priority for industries across the country, however, there are a number of factors standing in the way of companies achieving equipment maintenance excellence in the food and beverage industry. A comprehensive and holistic work management software (WMS) can help companies track and monitor related activities, and access up-to-date data to mitigate and navigate these industry challenges.

Xugo - Case management solution

In Australia, food safety regulations apply to every stage of food and beverage production – from processing and manufacture to distribution. 

These regulations include general food standards (including labelling requirements), specific food product standards (including those pertaining to genetically modified foods), and food safety standards (including health and hygiene obligations for food handlers).

Due to the increased implications of mishandled goods on consumer health and wellbeing in this industry, equipment maintenance in the food and beverage industry is of the utmost importance. Companies need to employ systems that allow them to monitor and track all aspects of the food and beverage production process accurately and efficiently.

As with any industry, external factors can have a significant impact on product quality in the food and beverage industry. These factors can also stand in the way of companies achieving equipment maintenance excellence.

Rising supply chain costs

Despite the World Health Organization ending the global emergency status for COVID-19, the knock-on effects of the pandemic are still being felt across the globe. 

In addition to this, global instability due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict is a contributing factor in rising supply chain costs. Due to the supply chain instability that this conflict is causing, countries are scrambling to create new, diverse supply chains, which can mean paying higher costs for the same materials. 

Increased shipping costs across the world have also driven supply chain costs up, meaning companies in the industry are paying more than they ever have before.

Increased consumer demand for food traceability

Increased access to the internet and readily available information means consumers are more knowledgeable than ever about the food they consume. As such, today’s consumers want more information about the products they buy and greater transparency about where they came from.

Details about the origin of food, the handling process and any additional steps involved in production is information consumers are increasingly demanding from suppliers.

To meet this need, the food and beverage industry needs increased transparency in reporting the handling and manufacturing of food, as well as improved tracking and monitoring of the handling process, from start to finish.

The need for traceability is further underscored by the potentially severe implications that mishandled goods can have on consumer health and wellbeing.

Rising equipment maintenance costs

The food and beverage industry utilises capital-intensive machinery and equipment. Due to the high volume of matter being moved, equipment in this industry can be especially susceptible to wear and tear.

Equipment maintenance and upkeep is more cost-effective in the long term than replacing equipment following failure or faults. In spite of this, the cost difference between reactive equipment replacement and proactive equipment maintenance is steadily narrowing, in part due to rising wages and increased labour shortages. 

Skills shortages

The impact of the ongoing labour and skills shortages continues to be felt in industries across Australia. Efforts to mitigate the crippling effects of these shortages include the Federal Government’s 2022-23 Budget, which increased permanent migration visa caps.

Skills shortages are not exclusive to the food and beverage industry and the nation-wide shortages mean that industries are being forced to compete for workers in a bidding war. Employees are demanding higher wages and companies are being forced to pay up in order to fill vacancies in their workforces.

Software navigating and mitigating industry challenges

Maintaining compliance within the food and beverage industry involves the successful management of a great deal of smaller tasks. A lot of the time, these tasks are widely dispersed across supply chains, personnel, and even geographic locations. Without a comprehensive WMS in place, it can be difficult to guarantee contractors, workers and suppliers are all meeting necessary standards and producing the expected products. 

Xugo’s WMS means companies can log detailed information encompassing all aspects of production, handling and delivery, monitoring who did what and when.

This enables Xugo’s users to deliver increased transparency and traceability to consumers.

In an effort to combat skills shortages, Xugo’s WMS can assist companies in the food and beverage industry to improve organisation-wide communication and, in turn, prioritise and optimise workflows. This can help identify possible efficiencies and opportunities for improvement, further streamlining worker performances.

The WMS provides an undeniable source of truth and information and helps users meet customer satisfaction levels and deliver consistent product quality, while also managing compliance-related activities more effectively and efficiently.

The streamlined tracking and reporting processes enabled by Xugo’s WMS mean that any issues that arise can be identified early and traced to their source. In addition to this, the information and data is all easily accessible in the case of an audit.

Xugo helps drive continuous operational improvements and efficiencies, identify trends, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction levels. Companies in the food and beverage industry that employ a WMS like Xugo’s have an increased likelihood of achieving equipment maintenance excellence.

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Want to learn more about Xugo

With SFI’s Xugo, you can employ a solution that delivers a personalised, truly exceptional customer service experience with a full overview of your consumer management activities. Xugo not only assists your business to achieve regulatory compliance but also helps to identify trends, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction levels. Get in touch and follow us on LinkedIn.