As a result of their acquisition of 49% of the Norwegian software company
Scase on March 15, Intentia International AB (XSSE: INT
B), a Swedish provider of enterprise business applications, has announced
that it is the first Enterprise Applications provider to offer an integrated
system for origin tracing of food items.
to Intentia's John Gledhill, Food & Beverage Industry Application Manager,
"With the pressures now being created by the consumer and governments
throughout the world for transparent traceability, our solution has the
ability to track the individual carcass from farmer to the supermarket
shelf, collecting all relevant information from each stage in the production
process. These include veterinary control, slaughter, freezer, de-boning,
processing and packing. This information is then extended, using integration
with external animal passport databases, such as those being created within
the EU to give the consumer the total view of the history of any animal.
These details include, its origin, the breed, where it has been throughout
its life, veterinary records, slaughter information etc. This information
can then sent by e-file to each store when a delivery of meat, fish or
poultry is made, this will give the consumer (in store) the ability to
buy with total confidence."
functionality will be incorporated into Intentia's flagship Movex Food
& Beverage product suite and be further refined. Intentia touts that
Scase will provide it with a combination of depth, breadth and specialized
know-how in applications for managing meat, among other products, that
no other supplier of business systems can offer.
is clearly trying to capitalize on the media coverage of mad cow disease
and foot-and-mouth disease frenzy in the EU. While it is correct in stating
that this announcement can assist its livestock processing customers (especially
in the EU) in tracing product from the farm to the consumer, its "first
to market" claims are a bit overstated relative to the food industry in
general. While we endorse Intentia's attempt to market the Movex product
with more boldness that is rather characteristic of its US-based counterparts,
we believe that the company should have emphasized other more valid merits
to differentiate its offering and attract the market attention (e.g.,
announcement claims applicability for the entire food industry, but actually
appears to be very targeted to the live stock markets of red meat and
pork within the meat processing industry. The announcement extends the
lot tracking functionality available in Movex backward in the supply chain
toward to the source of the animal, e.g., the farm. Yet, the lot tracking
capabilities of many ERP products provide the infrastructure which can
accomplish most of what Intentia claims as a first in the marketplace.
Early process-manufacturing oriented ERP (MRP II) products like BPCS,
Datalogix and PRISM provided the majority of this in the
early 1980's. Today, ERP products from process-oriented vendors, for example
SCT and Ross, provide this functionality and more. Even
some non-process specific products from companies like J.D. Edwards
and SAP address most of these requirements.
challenges for a food manufacturer in providing tracking from the agricultural
source (farms, feedlots and fisheries) to the consumer have not been primarily
systems issues. The primary problems are derived from the lack of procedures,
both within the company and at all levels of the supply chain, to identify
the product (product identification, labeling, location management, etc.)
and to gain access to the required information in the first place. To
that end, the Intentia's announcement indeed appears to address some of
these challenges within the supply chain that starts with livestock.
system issues do impact the users of some ERP applications though. Regulatory
requirements for full product tracing varies by type of product and country,
but may include for example, the identity of the source (farm), where
in the warehouse (slot location for example) a specific product was stored,
which piece of production equipment was used in processing the item, which
truck did it go on, etc. Integration of quality data is an important part
of the requirements, and the Intentia's announcement appears to address
many of these requirements, as do several of its process oriented competitors.
However, the fact remains that not all ERP products have the facilities
to store or trace product based upon this level of information.
Brown, VP of Marketing of SCT Corporation, Process Manufacturing & Distribution
Division, states, "Our many customers in the meat industries have taught
us that product traceability from the farm to the consumer is a key requirement.
These customers use Adage to fulfill their traceability commitment
to the consumer. We see Intentia's announcement as helping the meat industry
and the consumer focus on this critical need."
Existing Intentia customers who are in beef or pork meat and possibly
the other meat or food industries should evaluate this offering. It appears
to be a valuable extension to Movex for these specific customers. Meat
processors who are looking for a new ERP system should add Movex to their
long list of potential products. However, this announcement is not a reason
for other food processors or other enterprises who are looking for a new
ERP system to add Movex to their long list.
general recommendations for both current and potential Intentia users
can be found in Intentia
Possibly Seeing Daylight.