September 23 2015

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By: Staci Cretu, Marketing and Communications Manager

With half of all food recalls costing affected companies more than $10 million per year, many companies in the food industry are turning to automation to help prevent recalls.

Globalization of the food supply chain has created safety gaps that have contributed to the increase in food recalls, according to the August Food Logistics. Food production, warehousing, transportation and supply chain technology has all evolved to close these gaps. But it has taken the supply chain time to identify all of its vulnerabilities and to get up to speed on the tools being introduced.

Two tools becoming mainstream are automation and technology via automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) and warehouse execution systems (WES) to mitigate these brand-damaging recalls. These sophisticated tools provide companies with real-time track-and-trace insight into their inbound and outbound inventory, including when a shipment arrives, when it departs, and where it is going. In case of a recall, such traceability data allows operators to see if any contaminated products are still among inventory and allow operators to quickly react.

However, with the use of an AS/RS and WES, manufacturers can focus on preventing recalls from happening. This high-tech duo allows manufacturers to identify contaminated products before they leave the warehouse and increases the speed that products are moved, preventing spoilage.