Plant Management Software

Plant Management Software has become an essential tool for the modern grower. With so many different tools on offer it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. If you are looking to improve your business by investing in new technology then we recommend trying out a free trial of one of our products before making a decision!

In this post, we review the aspects of Plant Management Software, plant management in agriculture, qms software for food industry, and What is the best maintenance software?

Plant Management Software

Plant Management Software is a computer-based system that allows you to track and manage your business processes. This includes everything from repair orders to inventory management, as well as purchasing, sales and production. Plant Management Software can be used by any company that needs to keep track of its manufacturing processes or by businesses using assembly lines for their products.

Plant Management Software

Plant management software is a software system that manages the processes of a plant. It can be used to automate the entire plant or just parts of it. It is used in the manufacturing industry.

What is Plant Management Software?

Plant management software is a software solution that is used to monitor and control the operations of a manufacturing plant. The purpose of plant management software is to help manufacturers improve their productivity, overall efficiency, and profitability by automating processes such as production, quality control, maintenance and energy usage.

Plant management systems can be either web-based or standalone applications that enable users to monitor and control the flow of production data across multiple platforms. For example: order entry, scheduling & capacity planning; machine monitoring; routine maintenance scheduling; safety alarms & shut-down alerts; preventive maintenance tracking (PM); performance trending analysis tools (PTA).

Now that you know what plant management software is and how it works, it’s time to take a look at some of the benefits that this type of software offers.

The first benefit is automation. In addition to being able to monitor the status of your entire fleet, mobile apps allow you to better utilize your drivers’ time by allowing them to perform tasks such as booking orders or taking pictures from their phones. That means less downtime for drivers and more revenue for your company (since they’re not sitting around waiting).

Another benefit of plant management software is its ability to reduce errors in data entry—a major problem in manual systems where multiple people may be entering information about inventory, repairs, or maintenance into different databases. Since all records are managed through one system, there’s less room for error when updating any particular record due to lack of consistency in how those records are entered into multiple places within an organization (or even between partners).

plant management in agriculture

Plant production and management systems brings together plant science disciplines including crop and soil science, horticulture, entomology and plant pathology. This focus area also includes researchers in the departments of biosystems engineering and agricultural economics and rural sociology who work on plant production and management. Key research topics of interest include plant production and protection, cropping systems, adaptability and resiliency, agricultural technology and innovations, and impact of agricultural production systems on the ecosystem.

Interdisciplinary teams

Automation & data-driven decision systems

With agriculture becoming increasingly data-intensive, this research team works to develop models and investigate new technologies that can help farmers make decisions about the best management practices for their crops. Farmers can use technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles, yield monitors, thermal imaging systems and variable rate fertilizer and irrigation equipment to take overhead pictures of their fields, identify plants under heat or water stress, measure their crop yields and fine-tune fertilizer and water applications.

“How do you decide how to use all of this technology? How do you analyze all of this data?”

Biosystems engineering professor Bill Batchelor said the team he leads is developing tools that will help producers analyze data and use the technology. The team’s research includes developing sensors to measure soil properties, generating and utilizing global weather data and a proposed project to investigate technologies that improve the sustainability of growing cotton and peanuts.

Genetics & genomics for improved crop cultivars

This team, led by horticulture associate professor Jay Spiers, includes plant pathologists, plant physiologists, entomologists and breeders who work to develop new and better crop cultivars. Researchers study pathogens and organisms that cause problems in plants and work to breed cultivars that are resistant to or tolerant of disease and insect pests. Spiers conducts plant evaluations to test cultivar characteristics such as fruit quality and yield and also evaluates various cultivars or selections from breeding programs to determine how they perform in different regions of Alabama. Often, the group’s research intersects with human health systems and sustainable ecosystems as well, such as increasing drought tolerance in peanuts and breeding for enhanced nutritional components.

Plant production systems, fertility & plant-soil-microbial interactions

Plant growth starts in the soil, and understanding the microorganisms that break down organic matter to produce vital nutrients in that soil is an important part of plant production systems. This research team, led by soil microbiology professor Yucheng Feng, studies plant-soil-microbial interaction and how that relates to agronomic and horticultural crop and animal production. Feng’s diverse team includes crop and soil scientists, environmental and animal scientists, horticulturalists, entomologists, plant pathologists and ag economists. Research touches on everything from soil health to pest and disease control to forage crops. An example of a current integrated project is a study on how cover crop grazing affects soil health in row crop production systems. Soil, forage and animal scientists are involved in the project.

Healthier soils with higher amounts of microbe-produced natural fertilizer means higher production and lower costs for farmers.

This research team’s ultimate goal is to “increase yield without increasing fertilizer use and pesticide use,” said Feng.

Tactical sciences for biosecurity & plant protection

Pests and pathogens present major challenges to keeping agricultural and landscaping crops healthy and productive. This research team focuses on biosecurity and plant protection to hold those threats in check. Through applied plant sciences, researchers are identifying strategies to prevent plant losses to disease and insects both during production and after harvests. Some team members investigate novel approaches for quarantining regulated pests, such as fire ants, and other is monitoring the spread of the invasive soybean rust pathogen through sentinel soybean plots planted throughout Alabama. Team leader David Held, associate professor of entomology, is collaborating in a multistate study on fighting the crepe myrtle bark scale insect, a pest that is causing serious damage to the South’s crepe myrtle population. Ag economists are also on the team to study the insect’s long-term financial effects on crepe myrtle producers.

qms software for food industry

Food quality and safety are intertwined yet independently complex functions. Both require the implementation of standards that guide companies to target efficiency and effectiveness. A quality management system is a formalized program that helps a company move closer to the quality target. Quality management systems utilize International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and total quality management (TQM) to create processes that generate consistent, safe, and uniform products. 

Food QMS (FQMS) prompts companies to move from the reactivity produced by inspections to proactivity. QMS software collects data and delivers notifications in real-time that motivate immediate attention to correct any deviation or variation from industry standards. Waiting to fix processes after they’ve become non-compliant is costly in terms of both time and money. Companies may schedule regular inspections, but this approach will never be as responsive and agile as implementing FQMS solutions that encourage continuous improvement.

What are the components of QMS?

Quality management systems are an essential part of delivering a quality product to your customers. When companies implement a QMS, customers are more likely to trust and stay loyal to a product and organization, ensuring repeat business because of the consistency that can be accomplished. We all know the feeling when we get food from one of our favorite restaurants with anticipation. We take our first bite and find to our disappointment, that is just doesn’t taste like it usually does. This can be avoided by implementing clear visibility and control over your process. On top of that, financially, QMS solutions benefit a company by causing them to meet or exceed industry regulations, prevent waste, increase efficiency, and even avoid potential fines. 

When determining the QMS approach, a company must weigh various factors to arrive at the cost of quality. While integrating new software and methods does come at a price, the advantages can produce a clear net benefit by:

ISO 9001:2015 is the most commonly-used set of standards in developing a viable QMS and allows companies to create systems tailored to fit their manufacturing processes. The four critical components of FQMS are:

With so much data and high customer expectations, not tracking these key indicators is far too risky. Tracking it all on paper only without a digital component takes hours of the time that busy  QA teams simply don’t have. 

What is the purpose of QMS?

Software systems with an intuitive, comprehensive dashboard and multiple ways to generate data-reliant reports make quality and compliance a tangible and trackable part of a plant’s process. Food QMS solutions differ from traditional management software because they are agile enough to adapt to each food and beverage company’s unique processes. For instance, their features might include:

Benefits of Cloud-Based QMS

Many companies have embraced proactive FQMS approaches in addition to inspections to drive consistency but are attempting to do so on paper. While a paper-based QMS is certainly possible, it limits the company’s reaction time to data interpretation. Managers are also more likely to struggle with some statistical aspects, and misinterpretation and error can occur. However, connectivity can be an issue for many companies. 

One example of how SafetyChain was able to help a company implement a reliable QMS program is Albertson’s transition to cloud-based QMS. Setting and adhering to clear, actionable goals was key to making the transition successful. Whether large or small, more and more companies find that a flexible, cloud-based system is vital to implementing a QMS with company-wide buy-in that will reliably produce results. SafetyChain’s FQMS program performs in spotty WiFi situations or even offline and stores records in the cloud that are easily accessible.

Which Outcomes Can Food QMS Software Help You Achieve?

Food QMS tools allow you to save in many ways:

Software like SafetyChain’s QMS can reduce the risks of recalls, which Food Safety Magazine calls “the biggest threat to profitability.”

Achieve Better Performance with QMS

According to a study by SafetyChain and The Acheson Group, 40% of study participants were dissatisfied with their company’s means of tracking operational performance. QMS software doesn’t just give you the ability to track performance; it also can help you improve it. By increasing visibility, food QMS software gives you the actionable data you need to make informed decisions that align with your company strategy and goals.

What is the best maintenance software?

What is Maintenance Management Software?

Maintenance management software creates work orders for maintenance activities (such as preventive maintenance tasks and predictive maintenance scheduling) which help limit equipment downtime and lengthen the lifespan of assets. A properly implemented system will automate maintenance work and maintenance programs, lower maintenance costs, and provide real-time KPIs and maintenance history for your maintenance team.

The primary reason businesses use maintenance management software is to ensure production levels are never interrupted and that their profitability remains at a consistent level and is not threatened by equipment failure or downtime. Maintenance management systems can increase the reliability of your production facilities, maximize the life of your equipment, and increase the safety of your employees.

Often referred to as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), a properly deployed preventive maintenance software will keep your business proactive rather than reactive with how it approaches maintenance. This is accomplished by tracking and controlling all of your company assets such as equipment used in daily operations or at the facilities where you conduct your business.

Features of Maintenance Management Software

Types of Maintenance Management Software

Maintenance tasks can be broadly broken down based on the type of maintenance being performed, such as:

Maintenance by Industry or Asset

Most of the time, software options will be marketed and sold based on your industry or by the relevant asset/equipment:

The Best Benefits of Maintenance Management Software

Used correctly, maintenance management software can help your company become more profitable than ever before and ensure your business doesn’t lose money on maintenance. Some of the top benefits of maintenance management software include:

Preventive maintenance procedures can keep your assets running at optimal levels with limited downtime for repairs and upkeep. This means equipment can continually generate revenue for the company. A maintenance management software will automatically generate work orders for preventive maintenance tasks, eliminating the need for an employee to manually time and submit work orders. Rather, you can use scheduling modules to automatically generate repair tasks for your staff during non-peak times so your machines can continue to thrive when needed.

Save On Future Expenses

There’s a lot more to this management software than just checklists detailing when and how to do maintenance. Without proper maintenance features put into place, assets will depreciate at a quicker rate and become overused. This can lead to machines breaking down quicker, and puts equipment at a greater risk of malfunction. Predictive maintenance tools can help spot problems before they occur. It also lowers labor expenses normally incurred when a machine becomes faulty.

Catching errors in equipment early and often will lead to less frequent turnover of assets, as well as lower labor costs involved with performing the maintenance. Companies who invest a solid amount of money into their core assets will want to maintain them as long as possible. Spending money on maintenance software with preventive methods now can save you from an exponential amount of repair costs in the future.

Keep Customers and Employees Happy

Customers are happiest when they receive their orders on-time, and are more likely to do repeat business with companies that consistently meet demands. Likewise, employees are happy when they can get through the work-day uninterrupted by equipment breakdowns. Assets and equipment kept in a serviceable condition help you produce quality products your customers can enjoy, without causing delays to employee workflow due to unexpected machine downtime.

Finally, maintenance software provides an easy way to keep records on past and upcoming maintenance work, perfect for compliance reporting and industry-required audits.

What’s the Difference between CMMS Software vs Maintenance Management Software

Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) or maintenance management software: which does your business need? How does the word “computerized” make a difference?

In short, CMMS and maintenance management software will provide you with the same functionalities. The goal of CMMS is to provide you with maintenance management capabilities, such as preventive and predictive features that can help you prolong the life of your assets. Both types of software will provide you with the means to create work orders, record spare parts inventory, scheduling preventive maintenance, and record asset histories. They can streamline your scheduling by using automated notification systems to alert you to upcoming or necessary maintenance.

Another type of similar software is enterprise asset management software (EAM software). This type of solution was created as a type of CMMS software for enterprise-level organizations looking to implement global maintenance initiatives. EAM software differs due to the scope of assets being tracked, as this usually happens across multiple departments and locations and will have a much larger impact on your business when it comes to the manufacturing process, procurement of goods, and even human resources due to how it may affect personnel.

Pricing Guide for Maintenance Management Software

The cost of maintenance management software will range from $29 to $70 per user per month. This price range will give you an entry-level system for less than 3 users. Common capabilities included in these entry-level options include work order management, preventative maintenance, asset management, document management, and reporting. Onboarding costs for these types of systems will vary depending on your provider and the level of services needed, but will usually average between $600 to $2,500 one-time.

Companies that require more advanced capabilities such as maintenance request portals, barcode scanning, KPI dashboards, custom interfaces, and interactive floor plans can expect to spend as high as $400 per user per month, with onboarding costs of a few thousand dollars. These mid-level and enterprise type systems can handle a larger amount of users.

A majority of maintenance management software packages are sold as a subscription (SaaS) and are entirely web-based (SaaS). These options provide smartphone mobile device flexibility with the use of user-friendly mobile apps on iOS and Android devices. There are still a few options which can be sold on-premise with only a one-time licensing fee.

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