Fresh Produce companies are highly concerned with consignment management both at home and abroad. Naturally enough, you want to have access to the status of these consignments, wherever and whenever. Is there still enough in stock? Which cost items have been booked on the consignment? Can the consignment be removed from the system? These are all questions that are answered real-time in the consignment domain in Foodware 365. The costs associated with each transaction can be allocated to each specific consignment for processes throughout the chain, from import, logistics and production to delivery. It provides answers to questions that customarily can only be addressed at general ledger level, but are now demonstrated transparently at consignment and even batch level.
Fast, flexible and trustworthy
Foodware 365 integrates the commercial and financial systems. On the one hand, the system needs to be quick and flexible for the commercial departments, but from a financial perspective it has to be reliable first and foremost. An overall solution in which both imperatives are addressed is a must for every Fresh Produce company that wishes to respond adequately to continuously changing market conditions. It is of the utmost importance that you have access to the right information at all times, and can take action accordingly in order to facilitate growth.
A selection of the modules provided with Consignment Management
Agreements with suppliers and growers are set forth in so-called consignment contracts. These act as a template for procurement orders in order to enforce a certain workflow for procurement order entry. Documents are submitted by external parties such as suppliers, shipping lines, grower cooperatives, government services and inspection offices. These are collated in a file that should be centrally accessible. All consignment characteristics should be available in this file: anticipated volume and manner of appearance, but also travel documentation, ships and ports of arrival. Anticipated incoming volume can be expressed against commercial commitments on the output side. The desired quality and anticipated certification are connected on the suppliers' documentation. You then receive a list of what the supplier needs to deliver, so that you can register the growers and the pre-calculated costs.
Foodware 365 enables you to safeguard the pre-calculation of cost with respect to import through to automatic budgetting of procurement costs to the general ledger in one system. Fewer errors and no more duplication of effort, but fully automated. Everyone is obliged to buy into a certain workflow so that everything is properly entered into the registration process. By the way, this does not generate extra work, but offers a flexible and convenient way of submitting orders, and that leads automatically to correct budgetting.
Growers possess various certificates in which the quality labels for which they are certified are noted and for which products certification applies. Should it become apparent that certification does not match quality assurance requirements in the case of an incoming consignment, yet this number is what was offered to the customer, then you have a shortcoming on hand. Being able to manage this certification process is therefore a must. Certain growers are certified, others not, and you have to deal with certificates that are approaching their expiry date or certificates for certain product groups. Foodware 365 knows exactly which of a grower's products are certified for a particular customer - or not. This information is used in the allocation of consignments to the customer and potentially afterwards, should a dispute arise.
Quality inspection is typically a standard part of the reception process. Product photos can be made with the help of a tablet. The consignment file is then automatically expanded with truly specific quality assurance reports (including residual requirements) and photos. The photos are registered in the system, wireless and real time, so that they can be accessed in Foodware 365 from anywhere. That gives the sales department immediate insight into the quality of products up for sale, and solid commercial decisions can be taken on the basis of that insight. That safeguards customer satisfaction and mitigates the risk of claims. Periodic or outgoing quality inspection from external inspectors can be linked to the consignment file.
Foodware 365 offers insight into all information pertaining to product ripeness. You can plan the ripeness cells on the basis of supply and can continuously register maturity at a deeper level as well as flexibly register the intended final sales moment. You can plan the sales process on the basis of all this information.
If the result of a quality inspection is negative and falls outside the range of what the customer is prepared to accept, then you as a supplier have to deal with conflict. But also when a grower's certification expires during delivery or when the wrong consignment is picked. Foodware 365 also has an alarm function that alerts the parties involved to the fact that a conflict has arisen. The system then indicates the alternatives on one central screen: the conflict screen.
Making use of buffering
In many Fresh Produce companies, certain product volume is set aside for specific destinations, such as very important customers, specific sales programmes or for ripening room scheduling. Generally speaking, dummy sales orders are used for this purpose. Foodware 365 has an expansive buffer registration at its disposal, including authorisation and logging, so that you can retroactively see exactly who has used what for whatever purpose.
Allocating inventory for sale
Foodware 365 offers insight into inventory at a highly-detailed level. Insight is provided into all relevant inventory characteristics for sales staff, such as quality codes, residual requirements and certification. During this allocation process, the system ensures that only those consignments that fall within the customer's criteria can be ordered. Potential conflict after inventory allocation is also mapped in Foodware 365.
Tracking and tracing cost
Just as from a procurement perspective, you have the option of installing a range of cost structures on the sales side as well; at article, customer or customer group level. Consider bonus agreements, rebates or graduated transportation surcharges. These can be registered at will in Foodware 365 and synchronised with the general ledger.
Create account sales for consigment deals
At the end of the cycle, the consignments are of course also settled with the suppliers. The various settlement alternatives, such as Commission, minimum price guarantee or joint account, are all supported in Foodware 365. When calculating the consignment, the system takes into account all registered proceeds and costs (procurement, sales, overhead) when proposing a settlement price to the grower. Exceptions to the standard process such as advance notification, sales in commission and the separate removal of deposited numbers, are also supported by the system.
Insight into consignment results at a detailed level
In Foodware 365, you have real-time, detailed insight at all times with respect to the current consignment result. All procurement, sales and overhead cost are continuously reconciled with the consignment, real time. With Business Intelligence you can extract the results to a higher level to retrieve supplementary information from your data. Which suppliers and growers perform the best within one season? How do the sales margins in the various customer segments relate to these suppliers? Who are the top 10 suppliers per product-market combination? What are the potential explanations for differences between suppliers and how can we further optimise margin?
Are you looking for other Consignment Management options?
There is much more to be found in our Foodware 365 solution. Contact us at a moment of your convenience so that we can be of further assistance.
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