SAP and members of the Deloitte Touche Thomatsu consulting group are to collaborate in the development of preconfigured software and service packages targeting midsized food and beverage producers.
While the range of packaged software and services will help food and beverage makers increase their operational efficiency in areas such as waste reduction and batch control, a key focus will be to enable them to meet new levels of product traceability required by the Global Food Safety Initiative and, in particular, new food safety regulations implemented in the US and European Union.
"The US and Europe are requiring much higher levels of traceability," said Wolfgang Peter, director of SAP's consumer product software unit.
"To achieve this, food producers will need new procedures and, in particular, new tools. RFID technology will play a major role on the distribution side."
A new version of mySAP supply change management software, slated for release next month, will extend support for warehouse and logistics processes by incorporating information from RFID tags. The changes build on the earlier release of SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure, a component of its Netweaver integration platform.
Many of the other functions required by food producers already exist in the company's mySAP ERP product and new ones will be added, Peter said.
"With our new alliance, we aim to help midsized companies in the food and beverage industry - quickly and cost-efficiently - implement software systems designed to streamline their operations and meet new regulatory requirements," Peter said.
"We are very aware of their ROI concerns."
John Blau writes for IDG News Service