Food Lot Traceability: The REAL (And Devastating) Costs of Not Investing in Modern ERP System

In any manufacturing organization, there are business issues that can keep people up at night. Issues you face day in and day out. Food safety issues that appear in the news have a large impact on organizations and even devastating consequences.

In the food manufacturing industry, a top business issues is product recalls. Recalls are a high cost subject that can deeply affect your business in the future – from operational costs, public relations and branding, and many other organizational matters. How can you plan for and deal effectively with product recalls, both in real situations and in mock ones?

Full lot traceability  functionality is a key aspect to look at when evaluating ERP software. Most manufacturing businesses have traceability in some shape or another, but typically the process is not complete from start to finish. The objective is to invest in an ERP software solution that enables companies to have a fully automated traceability plan for every stage of the production process-from farm to fork and everything in between. This automation allows manufacturers to recall at any stage in the production. The quality of the raw materials, the location of the finished goods, the different customers who have received the products, and being able to manage FDA Regulations and Global Food Safety Initiatives, can all be tracked and integrated by a modern ERP system.

These systems provide:

  • Lot Traceability – You know where every raw material that went into every product came from, and every customer that received that product. This can actually speed up the recall process.
  • Customer Tracking – You can see how customer deals affect margins, as well as track promotion effectiveness.
  • Package Tracking – From lot numbers to converting units of measurement.
  • Sample Process – Tracking the product from the lab to the production floor.
  • Compliance – Assisting you with compliance for FDA Regulations, Global Food Safety Initiatives, and Food Safety Modernization Act.

Protecting the health of your customer, protecting your brand in the marketplace, and protecting your costs and margins can all be improved with a comprehensive ERP solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations that provides full traceability in food manufacturing.

Click here to learn more on how to improve your Food Lot Traceability by watching our On Demand webinar.

Success on the Plant Floor: 3 Keys to Shop Floor Optimization

When it comes to warehouse management, today’s manufacturers face many challenges around shop floor optimization. Successful manufacturers require a solution that promises customers the following:

  • A firm commitment date for delivery
  • Visibility of delays on the production floor and material requirements in the short and long term
  • Ability to reduce the frequency and time for machine cleanup and setup.

With Dynamics 365 for Operations (formerly Dynamics AX), manufacturers do not have to worry about any of these shop floor questions.  By implementing an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations, manufacturers will improve manufacturing efficiency through connected operations.

Manufacturers know that maintaining a healthy, long-term relationship with a customer means following through on promised deadlines. Now and again in the production process, orders can be mixed up, machines may break, and other unforeseeable situations may arise. Dynamics 365 for Operations offers manufacturers the ability to assure customers of a firm delivery date with the Available-to-Promise feature. Order promising helps you reliably promise delivery dates to your customers and gives you constraint visibility so that you can meet those dates. With global visibility of all inventory, manufacturing and logistics, and a role-tailored workspace accessed anywhere and on any device, your customer service representatives can proactively explore production, warehouse and transportation options. Further, with material and capacity planning, you can optimize production and materials planning, incorporate demand and supply forecasts, and schedule required work orders with Capable-to-Promise deliveries.

One manufacturing nightmare is order delays; unexpected halts in production mean prolonged shipments and backorders. Both of these could put companies at risk for failure. When things do not go exactly to plan, Dynamics 365 for Operations is capable of warning planners regarding delays or the impact of customer order date changes and cancellations and ensure that proper communication is delivered. With the Master Planning tool, production planners can calculate the earliest fulfillment date for a transaction, based on lead times, material availability, capacity availability, and other planning parameters. When an order is delayed, the master-planning tool forward-plans the order from the current date and incorporate lead times from all levels of the product structure (from materials to work-in-process to finished goods). If various lead times and constraints indicate that a product cannot be produced on a required date, the order then receives a delay date and is tagged with a “delay message”. Having this information and capability at the touch of your fingers ensures your delivery goals are met and establishes true communication and trust with your customer.

To optimize the shop floor, production planners often try and minimize machine cleanup and downtimes by having a system sequence products in a logical fashion. The last thing manufacturers need to worry about is setup and changeover times on a machine or production resource. To help minimize delays, Dynamics 365 for Operations offers production sequencing as an out of the box feature. With production sequencing, manufacturers can:

  • Use finite or infinite scheduling from various dates
  • Quickly reschedule jobs and simulate alternatives using a drag-and-drop Gantt chart view of the schedule by resource type (e.g. production lines, packing crews).
  • Resolve scheduling overloads by reassigning operations to alternate work centers
  • Improve machine utilization by combining similar products

Also, having constant visibility of material requirements in the short and long term is a necessity for planning. The resource scheduling functionality in Dynamics 365 for Operations’ Master Planning module assists by scheduling and tracking material, equipment, and labor resources and by planning resources based on production activities and capabilities of resources.

“By generating a long-term production plan, Dynamics 365 for Operations can give you visibility of your long-term material requirements and enable you to negotiate better volume pricing with your suppliers, allowing you generate a request for bid to multiple suppliers so they can provide a better price and lead time on materials,” mentioned Sylvain Menard, ERP Solution Consultant for Fullscope.

Dynamics 365 offers better manufacturing though integrated operations by making it easier to have full visibility of the shop floor. Dynamics 365 for Operations provides manufacturers an ERP solution that is architected with flexibility and change in mind, focused on allowing you to drive innovation and become the market leader. With Dynamics 365 for Operations, business can grow at their own pace through the choice and flexibility of the Microsoft Cloud, allowing them to scale their operations globally to meet business needs.

At Edgewater Fullscope, we know manufacturing. With over 200 manufacturing clients worldwide, Fullscope is ready to be your one-stop shop for all your ERP, CRM, and BI software needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Fullscope to learn more Dynamics 365 for Operations can do for you.


Top 3 Takeaways from IPPE 2017

by Marielena Zajac, Marketing Specialist

From January 31st – February 2nd, thousands of exhibitors from around the world gathered for the annual International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE). The annual, global feed, meat, and poultry industry trade show, which took place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, highlighted the latest technology, equipment, and services used in the production and processing. With so many vendors in attendance discussing a variety of topics, here are my top three takeaway from this fantastic show:

 1. Over 31,000 people attended!

The show had more than 533,000 net square feet of exhibit space and 1,275 exhibitors. Sponsored by the US Poultry & Egg Association, American Feed Industry Association and North American Meat Institute, IPPE is the world’s largest annual feed, meat and poultry industry event of its kind.

“This year’s tremendous exhibit floor and attendee and exhibitor numbers are a compliment to IPPE’s unmatched education programs, ample networking opportunities and diverse exhibits. The excitement and energy displayed by this year’s attendees and exhibitors will continue to safeguard the success and growth of future IPPEs,” the three organizations said in a joint statement.

2. IPPE 2017 was the year of the feed exhibitor.

Multiple food storage and processing equipment exhibitors at IPPE said business is currently strong internationally, and improving domestically due in part to the large size of the U.S. crop. Further, there has been expansion activity across live production and processing, and feed mills play directly to that. Despite previous years, grain is improving due to a large 2016 crop, strong exports, improved ethanol margins and profitability. From pelleting equipment to feed storage systems, feed exhibitors truly reigned supreme with captivating and interactive booths that highlighted their strengths. Turn a corner, and any attendee would immediately see a product directly tied to feed.

3. Sessions, sessions, sessions.

When it came to informing the masses, IPPE 2017 certainly was not lacking.

IPPE 2017 featured several new educational programs, including important sessions on food safety, consumer trends, and international trade. Some new programs discussed the following:; Meat Quality Workshop; Beef 101; Whole Genome Sequencing 101; and much, much more.

Attendees also had the opportunity to attend free 20-minute technical presentations while they walked around the tradeshow floor. The TECHTalks program, located at Booth C1305, was held at various times throughout the event and discussed topics such as food safety, animal welfare, sustainability, and feed production. An IPPE exhibitor who shared their expertise and experience on the topic of the session led each presentation.

Edgewater Fullscope once again exhibited this year at IPPE. We were delighted to share the latest information regarding technology and food manufacturing. Specifically, we shared how Dynamics 365 for Operations is changing the landscape for cloud-based ERP solutions.  From product recalls to recipe management, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations has everything food manufacturers need to stay ahead of their competition.

Join us tomorrow, February 7th, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a 60 minute webinar exploring how you can resolve the top three food manufacturing issues and get back in control of food lot traceability. Sign up here and learn more information.


Microsoft Dynamics 365: Digital Transformation at Work


Let’s talk about Digital Transformation.

Digital transformation means re-envisioning how you:

  • Engage your customers
  • Empower your employees
  • Optimize your operations
  • Transform your products

To enable digital transformation strategies—so organizations can grow, evolve and meet the changing needs of customers, as well as capture new business opportunities—companies need intelligent business applications…and that’s where Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes in.

Microsoft is unifying all its business applications. Breaking down the artificial silos of ERP and CRM and will deliver new purpose-built applications in the cloud to deliver next generation intelligent business applications.

With Dynamics 365, your business applications can work together seamlessly across CRM and ERP. You can now manage specific business processes in a single platform including Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Operations, Project Service Automation, Financials and Marketing.

With Microsoft Power BI, Cortana Intelligence, and Azure Machine Learning built in, Dynamics 365 helps you and your employees turn big data into actionable plans. You can engage customers with personalized insight across all customer touchpoints. You can transform products with an extensible platform and integrated applications to use data as a strategic asset, automating processes, and innovating with new business models, services, products, and experiences.

Dynamics 365 helps organizations empower people to achieve more by giving them proven processes, familiar tools and intelligent guidance to take the next best action—so they can do their best work.

Dynamics 365 takes advantage of the foundational capabilities of the cloud ecosystem built on Azure. This includes all the intelligence and data tools that make your knowledge available and actionable throughout your business process workflows.

With intelligent business applications across CRM and ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives you choice. Start with just what you need to run your business—and then add apps as your needs change. Add new capabilities to your existing enterprise business solutions to enhance what you already use. These apps are designed to change and adapt, including an amazing breadth of technologies that prioritize actionable intelligence. With applications that fit roles, industries and businesses – so organizations can start with and pay only for what they need and grow at their pace to run their entire business in the cloud.

Take the next steps for your business.

Now is the time to take advantage of all the benefits of cloud-based, data driven business applications.

Join us for this free, in-person event and learn how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can drive business growth with Digital Transformation. You can view the sample agenda here.

Reserve your seat!

 Atlanta, GA on 2/8

Chicago, IL on 2/22

Houston, TX on 3/1

Process Safety Management Dynamics AX

By Randy Goldbeck, Fullscope Services Director


Whatever business you are in, there is always the possibility of an accident or damage to someone’s health. All work exposes people to hazards: manually handling loads, dangerous machinery, toxic substances, electricity, display screen equipment or even psychological hazards such as stress.

Thanks to the systems of prevention that are in place, there haven’t been more accidents and diseases in the workplace. But safety does not come about by accident: most accidents happen because they have not been prevented. Despite all the precautions that are taken, there are still thousands of workplace injuries every year.

In this Blog series, we will focus on the major elements of a Process Safety Program and how Dynamics AX can help your company setup a Process Safety Management system to provide for a better work environment.
The major objective of Process Safety Management (PSM) is to prevent unwanted hazardous conditions that could expose employees and others to serious dangers. An effective process safety management program requires a systematic approach to evaluating the whole process. Using this approach, the process design, technology, changes, operational and maintenance activities, non-routine activities, emergency preparedness plans and procedures, training programs, and other elements that affect the process are all considered in the evaluation. The purpose of the standard as a whole is to aid employers in their efforts to prevent or mitigate hazards that could lead to accidents in the workplace and possibly in the surrounding community.

To control these types of hazards, employers need to develop the necessary expertise, experience, judgement, and initiative within their work force to properly implement and maintain an effective process safety management program as envisioned in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard.


Safety Management Area Description Dynamics AX Feature

Hazards of chemicals used in the process.

Complete and accurate written information concerning process chemicals, technology, and equipment is essential to an effective process safety management program and to a process hazard analysis. Formulas and Document Management

Technology of the Process.

Process technology information is a part of the process safety information package and should include employer-established criteria for maximum inventory levels for process chemicals. Formulas

Bills of Materials

Production Routes



Equipment in the Process.

Diagrams are used to describe the relationships between equipment and instrumentation as well as other relevant information that will enhance clarity. Document Management

Employee Involvement.

Train employees regarding their efforts in developing and implementing the process safety management program elements and hazard assessments
  • Human Resources
  • Workers
  • Injury and Illness
  • Absence
  • Skills Analysis

Process Hazard Analysis.

A process hazard analysis (PHA), or evaluation, is one of the most important elements of the process safety management program. Used to identify and analyze the significance of potential hazards associated with the processing or handling of highly hazardous chemicals Questionnaire



Operating Procedures.

Operating procedures describe tasks to be performed, data to be recorded, operating conditions to be maintained, samples to be collected, and safety and health precautions to be taken Production Routes

Document Management


Employee Training.

All employees, including maintenance and contractor employees involved, need to fully understand the safety and health hazards of the processes they work with so they can protect themselves, their fellow employees, and the citizens of nearby communities Human Resources

  • Workers
  • Skills Analysis
  • Courses


Employers who use contractors to perform work in and around processes that involve highly hazardous chemicals have to establish a screening process so that they hire and use only contractors who accomplish the desired job tasks without compromising the safety and health of any employees at a facility Human Resources

  • Contractors
  • Skills Analysis
  • Courses

Pre-Startup Safety Review.

For new processes, the employer will find a PHA helpful in improving the design and construction of the process from a reliability and quality point of view. Questionnaire



Mechanical Integrity of Equipment.

Employers must review their maintenance programs and schedules to see if there are areas where “breakdown” is used rather than the more preferable on-going mechanical integrity program Questionnaire

Quality testing



Written Procedures.

Compile and categorize a list of process equipment and instrumentation included in the program. Document Management

Quality Assurance.

A quality assurance system helps ensure the use of proper materials of construction, the proper fabrication and inspection procedures, and appropriate installation procedures if applicable Quality Management:

  • Certified of Analysis/Assurance
  • Nonconformance tag
  • Corrective actions

Inspection and Testing.

The mean time to failure of various instrumentation and equipment parts would be known from the manufacturer’s data or the employer’s experience with the parts, which then influence inspection and testing frequency and associated procedures. Questionnaire

Quality Management:

  • Certified of Analysis/Assurance
  • Nonconformance tag
  • Corrective actions

Non-routine Work Authorizations.

Non-routine work conducted in process areas must be controlled by the employer in a consistent manner  

Managing Change.

To properly manage changes to process chemicals, technology, equipment and facilities, one must define what is meant by change. In the process safety management standard, change includes all modifications to equipment, procedures, raw materials, and processing conditions other than “replacement in kind.” Formulas

Bills of Materials

Production Routes



Incident Investigation.

Incident investigation is the process of identifying the underlying causes of incidents and implementing steps to prevent similar events from occurring. Cases




Emergency Preparedness.

Each employer must address what actions employees are to take when there is an unwanted release of highly hazardous chemicals. Document Management

Compliance Audits.

An audit is a technique used to gather sufficient facts and information, including statistical information, to verify compliance with standards. Employers must select a trained individual or assemble a trained team to audit the process safety management system and program. Questionnaire

Quality Management

Audit Workbench



Planning is essential to the success of the auditing process. During planning, auditors should select a sufficient number of processes to give a high degree of confidence that the audit reflects the overall level of compliance with the standard Questionnaire

Quality Management

Audit Workbench



The selection of an effective audit team is critical to the success of the program. Team members should be chosen for their experience, knowledge, and training and should be familiar with the processes and auditing techniques, practices, and procedures. Human Resources

  • Workers
  • Skills Analysis
  • Courses

Conducting the Audit

An effective audit includes a review of the relevant documentation and process safety information, inspection of the physical facilities, and interviews with all levels of plant personnel. Questionnaire

Quality Management

Audit Workbench


Evaluation and Corrective Action.

The audit team, through its systematic analysis, should document areas that require corrective action as well as where the process safety management system is effective. Quality Management:

  • Certified of Analysis/Assurance
  • Nonconformance tag
  • Corrective actions






Introducing Microsoft Dynamics 365

By Marielena Zajac, Marketing Specialist

It is all anyone in the Microsoft Dynamics community has been discussing. Since Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella’s announcement back in July, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has caused quite the stir among partners and customers alike. Dynamics 365 unifies CRM and ERP cloud solutions together into one unified, cloud-based application platform. Nadella’s main takeaways to eager customers were that Microsoft Dynamics 365:

  • Helps organizations move from monolithic application suites to purpose-built, SaaS applications with intelligence built in
  • Integrates Microsoft Office 365
  • Introduces a customer centric business model to build what you want and buy just the capabilities you need, while ensuring all roles have access to all the data they need to be successful in their jobs

All this buzz has consumers asking, “what is Dynamics 365?” and “what does this integration mean for my business?” More importantly, what sets Dynamics 365 apart from the competition?

It’s Purpose-Built

According to Microsoft, Dynamics 365 provides customers a modern and familiar experience with built-in insights, intelligence, and workflow. It allows customers to choose the exact functionality that they need, which can be selected from a huge catalog that include sales, marketing, customer service, field service, project management, accounting, and much more. Dynamics 365 merges current CRM and ERP functionality into one comprehensive, cloud-based collection of apps and services for business.

Dynamics 365 apps are independently deployed and bring together the full power of Microsoft’s enterprise offerings. With these business apps, customers can start small and only pay for what is needed, and from there expand their arsenal.  The app catalog includes built-in insights, predictive intelligence, and workflow optimization, among many other selections. All of these will be delivered through simple, easy-to-use mobile experiences with offline capabilities.

It’s Productive

Dynamics 365 will provide an immersive user experience with Office 365. Microsoft states that there will be a deep integration between Dynamics 365 and Office 365 that will connect the structured workflow of business apps with the unstructured work of collaboration and productivity. With Dynamics 365, all information you have can easily be uploaded and shared on Office 365, and it is offered across web, mobile devices, and the PC.

It’s Intelligent

Power BI and Cortana Intelligence will be natively embedded into Dynamics 365 to attain actionable next steps and predictive insights for customers everywhere, making this the AI product that everyone will be eager to demo. Cortana will enable cross-sell recommendations to help sales reps predict which products and services a customer will need, and uses tools like sentiment analysis to check on the likelihood of closing a deal. Meanwhile, the Power BI components of Dynamics 365 align big data and analytics to enable every user to gain their own analytical insights. With Dynamics 365, comprehensible data is always at the user’s fingertips.

It’s Adaptable

In an industry that is constantly evolving, you need a system that can be easily adapted. Dynamics 365 supports existing capabilities that any Dynamics CRM or Dynamics AX user is running today, and has introduced Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow, which are powerful new extension capabilities that work across all the data that’s been stored in Dynamics 365. Specifically, Microsoft Flow automates workflows across applications, while Microsoft AppSource offers SaaS applications that cover a huge range of requirements. To view Edgewater Fullscope’s  AppSource apps for the manufacturing industry, click here.

The new Common Data Model surfaces all the data stored within Dynamics 365 across a set of custom entities that model data across all the different business apps. This feature allows you to seamlessly extend and accelerate all of your business apps as well as all your productivity solutions.

With Dynamics 365, customers can get the job done quickly and effortlessly while adjusting to a changing environment at a moment’s notice. As Satya Nadella said during the reveal of Dynamics 365, “The motivating force behind everything we do and everything we build is to empower our customers to make things and make things happen. Together with our customers and partners, we are reinventing business processes for a world where devices, data, intelligence and connectivity can be everywhere.”

An award-winning Microsoft manufacturing partner with nearly two decades of experience, Edgewater Fullscope can guide you into a move to Microsoft Dynamics 365. Our team has deep manufacturing experience that can help you combat your toughest operational business challenges.

For more information or to request a demo of Microsoft Dynamics 365, call at 770-772-3121 or visit