ERP Software for Rice mills Sector
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ERP Software for Rice mills Sector

Italy is the main rice producer in the European Union: Italian rice farming in fact not only covers more than 50% of European rice production, but also more than half of the rice fields and areas committed to growing this cereal in Europe.

The Italian rice supply chain not only safeguards excellent product specializations that contribute to the Made in Italy popularity, but also ensures an important socio-economic enhancement of territorial districts.

SAM ERP2 is the cutting-edge ERP system designed for the specific needs of companies operating in this sector.

Thanks to experience gained over more than 15 years in this sector by automating the management and processes of groups such as Euricom (Curti Riso, Riso Pigino, Gariboldi, etc.), Riso Scotti Snack, Carpi Riso and many others, Centro Software has created an ERP system that allows for the optimal management of the complete digitization of all the processes that characterize rice mills: from the acquisition of raw materials, their storage, to the processing, production processes, quality control, food traceability (in full compliance with the “food law” CE 178/2002), commercial processes and finally all administrative, fiscal and financial requirements.

Centro Software’s ERP system is equipped with functions that allow to completely manage advanced logistics (according to INDICOD “UCC/EAN-128” “SSCC” standards) to guarantee full traceability. SAM ERP2 also represents a key tool for certifying the quality of business processes and related products throughout the integrated supply chain (ISO 22000 e FSSC 22000).

Sales process management, CRM, relations with large-scale retailers, lot and deadline management, warehouse organization, labeling, bar-cording, picking, goods handling and storage, transportation, calculation of net contribution margins and management control… these are just some of the functions that make SAM ERP2 the perfect solution for all businesses in this sector, either large or small, manufacturing or commercial.

Full management of rice mills

SAM ERP2 is the perfect companion for every processing phase involved in this sector.

  • Silos synoptic panel for “graphical” consultation of the status of each Silos, with quantitative and qualitative information on the products it contains (Kg in stock, lots in stock, etc.)
  • Husking management: the person in charge of the husking can be associated with the production order of the rice, i.e., the rice factory production line, to manage its phases, from the selection of the silos from which the paddy rice is to be collected, to the final balance.
  • Management of “husked” rice, i.e., the product of the husking process: SAM ERP2 provides all the necessary functions to manage the production of rice, thereby guaranteeing traceability and declaration of quantity and quality data of the production processes. Each lot comes with information of processing time, processed and produced weight, processing types and yield percentage.
  • Management of byproducts that result from the processing of rice: husk, chaff, breakage, sortex waste, paddy, etc. The production process also involves obtaining and manage quantities of byproducts, which in turn are managed in batches for traceability purposes.
  • Parboiled rice management: again, the process starts with paddy rice, i.e., specific types of paddy, which undergoes the first phase of the process (“Cleaning”), from which the paddy destined for the parboiling process is obtained. The paddy “discarded” from the cleaning phase, the so-called “Risone Sporco” (“Dirty Paddy”), will then be used in other processes. The processing of parboiled rice also involves processing summaries, economic analysis of yield, by-product management, etc.
  • Organic product lines: SAM ERP2 also provides functions to manage the production of organic rice, with a series of control procedures for the origin of paddy rice (from organic farming) and “strict” rules regulating the possibility of “mixing” organic and non-organic products.

Relationship with “mediators”, “carriers” and “farmers”

SAM ERP2 allows to manage the relationship with “mediators”, “carriers” and “farmers” in order to:

  • Management of the “Establishment” (framework contract stipulated with the farmer) and “collections”;
  • Management of acceptance of paddy rice through the “sample/stick” analysis process;
  • Recording of quality data of received paddy rice: “incoming” yield, “incoming” speckled rice, “incoming” global yield;
  • Payment of fees for the mediators;
  • Management of services provided by the carriers and calculation of transportation costs (tractors, trucks, etc.), warehousing, porterage, etc.

Italian National Rice Authority

The Italian National Rice Authority, a public economic entity under the supervision of the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies, carries out an intense activity to protect the entire rice sector by implementing dissemination actions to spread the popularity of Italian rice.

Thanks to SAM ERP2, it is possible to manage the relationship with this interprofessional authority that is in charge of implementing concrete choices for the entire supply chain, specifically managing:

  • Italian Rice Authority load and unload register
  • Certificates and transfer voucher (“paddy vouchers”)
  • Reason of certificates different from RA and EO

Packaging

The packaging represents the last processing phase and leads to the finished product. It can take on different characteristics depending on the type of rice. In fact, rice can be packaged in “Paccotti” (small vacuum-packed bags) or Big Bags in different sizes.

One of the most effective methods for simplifying and speeding up operational processes is LEAN organization, which has its origins in TPS, the Toyota Production System, also renamed Lean Production. These features are surveyed in the “packaging templates” section that lists the types of packaging to be used, the assignment of the template to the Customer for “Private Label” management, and the directions for shipping (Pallet types and sizes).

It is also possible to associate silos with packaging lines: the type of packaging, in fact, depends on the Production Line, which must be associated with the Silos of Processed Rice, and which in its final phase ends with the “palletizing” and SSCC labeling.

Packaging function also includes buffering for primary and secondary packaging with tracking of the lot used, as well as label printing on industrial markers through the assignment of “label templates” and “pallet structure” defined by item or customer.

SAM ERP2 also ensures that warehouse inventories managed in compartments are optimized, including incomplete pallets generated during transitions between batches, as well as the ability to manage single-batch and single-item or multi-item pallets, depending on the specifications required by the customer.

Lots and expiration dates (Shelf Life, Best Before), FIFO And FEFO (First Expire First Out)

Thanks to the complete configurability of the “flow of materials”, it is possible to manage lots with respective production dates, shelf life and/or best before, for each raw material, semi-finished or finished product, from packaged or vouchers, including the supply chain up to the farmer, and up to the deposit into silos with lot traceability according to grain quality regulations. Management of “silo” warehouses automatically allows to manage lots resulting from blending, refining, cutting, etc.

Complete traceability and trackability management

The quality of products is not only the result of excellent production processes, but also the care put into controlling the origin and use of raw materials.

This is even more important for the foods sector because perfect knowledge of the components strongly impacts the protection of customers’ health: Italy, a land where historically quality and creativity are assets in all sectors, has more interest than many other countries in defending the certifiability of its food products.

Through the management of operational processes, it is possible to easily and automatically follow the product through the supply chain, identify its origin, and collect qualifying information to be highlighted with brands, labels, or certifications. The powerful traceability tools offered by the ERP guarantee compliance with the precise food safety regulations and thus the full fulfillment of well-defined parameters, exclusively of a health-related nature, indicated in the European Regulation no. 179/2002.

The integrated environment also allows traceability and trackability functions to be used commercially through the ERP’s operational portals. The quality of raw materials, semi-finished and finished products can be highlighted and made available to the consumer, so that a “consumer/customer quality guarantee pact” can be established.

Integrated Quality Controls

Integration of ISO standards enables efficient management of the quality control system during normal operational flows, without additional or asynchronous operations, in full compliance with product control:

  • Definition of Control Plans for each item and at each stage;
  • Customizable test levels;
  • Associations between Product Criticalities and Supplier Classes;
  • Configuration of automatisms for switching test levels.

Each raw material delivery, for example, can be subjected to Measurement and Analysis, in the internal laboratory, with “relay” protocol, opening of non-conformities that are linked automatically to purchase processes (pricing based on the characteristics detected, downgrading, etc.) and to supplier accounting.

Production planning

Production planning is one of the most crucial and challenging activities for all companies in the food industry, especially in medium and large sized ones that strive for customer satisfaction, where production times can be very short, where planning for more than one week ahead is not possible, and where the plan can be revised due to sudden changes in priorities.

SAM ERP2 provides all the information and automation needed to help the planner put their experience to good use by preventing manageable critical issues (such as forecast data from promotions, canvass, etc.) and then generating the production plan and activity schedule for the production lines using the scheduler built into the ERP.

The communication between the ERP and the plant, which takes place with the passing of “recipes”, processing plans and rice dies to use, is guaranteed by the specific Industry 4.0 software module, which allows to carry out the change of recipe to compensate any differences in quality or quantities for the raw materials or because of environmental reasons.

Process quality analysis, where possible, also take place via direct connection to the plant supervisor.

Goods handling with Barcode (WMS-Warehouse Management System)

It is possible to recognize and handle goods by reading barcodes using wireless terminals connected in real time with the central system: entries, shipping, withdrawals, transfers, replenishments, lowering, etc.

But that’s not all: also inventories controls, management of compartments (aisles, plans, columns), loading units, which can even be customized, optimization of spaces and routes, dynamic mapping of physical and fictitious warehouses, etc.

SAM ERP2 is also equipped with DRP-I (Distribution Requirements Planning) control tool that allows to identify within a time window when the different types of warehouses (e.g., picking locations, stocking, overstocking, etc.) will go out of order, proposing their replenishment in due time by rebalancing inventories, in order to synchronize their redistribution and ensure availability in the appropriate locations based on planned transactions and shipments.

Warehouses, internal and external logistics (EAN, UCC, SSCC, etc.), Labeling, Picking

SAM ERP2 allows to immediately identify and locate every product, as well as optimize spaces and transfer routes, which in turns allows to reduce average time for order preparation and to provide better services to clients, thanks to the drastic reduction of non-conformities due to picking

  • Management of compartments and their size-related and “anti-contamination” characteristics
  • Generation and management of LU
  • SSCC labeling
  • DN management, Packing List, DESADV
  • Etc

Value assignment to warehouses for goods category

SAM ERP2 allows to assign values to remaining items, periodically or at the end of the fiscal year, contemplating different parameters according to the goods category (rice, paddy rice, semi-processed products, packaging, etc.) respecting the indications specified by the company in the Financial Statement.

E.g.: paddy rice at the average purchase cost of the last period, packaging at last cost, by-products at standard cost, etc.

Manufacturing plant maintenance (Industry 4.0)

The concept of Business Continuity, i.e., the ability to continue to deliver products or services without interruption, is critical in an industry where in addition to the need to ensure certain production and delivery times, there are also almost always problems of perishability of goods.
Predictive or preventive maintenance of facilities is one of the contributing factors in decreasing the risk rating to reduce potential issues. The CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) allows to manage maintenance of company plans and equipment by suggesting “checkups”, “replacements” or “repairing” before any operating issues occur and by allowing “plant downtime” for maintenance planned at the most convenient time, thereby optimizing the use of plants, in full compliance with WCM (World Class Manufacturing) directives.

The CMMS module is integrated with the ERP system and the entire workflow is automatic: upon exceeding the planned limits, the system suggests or issues a MO (Maintenance Order) that in turns contains the bill of materials that provides the maintenance technician with all the necessary information on replacements and necessary jobs (replacements, type of lubricant, time estimated for job, pictures or links to web pages, technical information, etc.).

An important feature of this software function is that in order to achieve maximum effectiveness, it must be interconnected with electronic devices that enable real-time dialogue between the ERP system and the production facilities (e.g., the “Black Box C4” electronic board designed by Centro Software). Therefore, implementing these functions represents one of the first steps that companies can take to enter the Industry 4.0 world, while also taking advantage of the related tax benefits.

Commercial relations with large-scale retail trade and management Sales contracts

The complex business rules of dealing with large-scale retailers can be effectively reproduced in all the functions of the sales area of SAM ERP2, where different levels of application of prices, line discounts, multi-agent, document promotions and period premiums can be set up and fully managed.

– Sales framework agreements and “sub” orders
– Forecast details of quantity to be shipped according to order portfolio and shipment planning

The ability to place campaigns at specific periods and set targets by product mix as in addition to being an excellent tool for managing and controlling the actual sales price, allows sales management to guide sales force in an informed way thanks to the always up-to-date data.
The integration of all EDI standards (Euritmo, Edifact, etc.) allows to regain efficiency in document flow management while limiting manual intervention to a minimum.

Economic analysis of yield

Economic analysis of yield can be obtained as early as the end of rice production: all costs incurred from the time of purchase to the end of production (net rice cost, mediations, Italian National Rice Authority, rice milling cost, transportation, etc.) are collected and represented analytically to determine the “Industrial cost of rice”, the “Recovered value of by-products”, and the “Average cost of processed rice”.

The average cost of rice is the basis for calculating marginality analysis by revenue lines and single lots.

Industry cost accounting

SAM ERP2 allows to create sophisticated and detailed cost accounting management control models that contain statistical control information ranging from Income Statement Reclassifications to Margin Analyses, Product Income Statement and definition of Hourly Costing.

In case of Rice Mills, it is particularly important to take advantage of full processes integration, which makes it possible to receive all economic details that have occurred in the process or in single lots in a timely manner, both in terms of costs (purchases, mediations, transport, freight, sureties, etc.) and revenues, in order to reach margin values, not only as an average, but as a punctual value for each individual sale.

Conclusion

SAM ERP2 is a fully integrated software solution, in which all functions communicate perfectly with each other because, unlike other systems, it is the result of a single, fully engineered project.

SAM ERP2 is also a system open to the future, as it is prepared to:

  • Integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) neural networks,
  • Integrate software robots (RPA) to automate repetitive tasks with no added value,
  • Extract value from process information through Deep learning,
  • Integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality,
  • Automatically download and take advantage of all the information made available in real time from the web (weather, quotes, markets, etc.)

Some of our customers

Here are some of the companies of the rice milling sector that use Centro Software’s ERP systems to manage their processes.

                         

Giovanni Maggioni (Resp. of Information Systems at Curti Riso, Euricom group):

“The strength of Centro Software’s ERP is that it is a scalable and customizable system that grows along with the company. On the one hand, it adapts to the company’s methodologies, and on the other hand, it renews them.”