Alternative feed ingredients and IT

25-11-2010 | |
Bob Luedtke Information Technology

Sound like a strange combination? Think again! According to Watt Publication’s latest survey, over 50% of poultry feed operations are planning to make more use of enzymes and alternative ingredients in the future.

With the grain markets so volatile and ready availability of by-products and other alternative ingredients, many operations are looking at ways of reducing the cost of feed. Some basic questions need to be answered each time you consider purchasing other ingredients:
· Does the ingredient make sense regarding nutrition and palatability?
· How variable is the nutrient content from one shipment or vendor to another?
· What are the real economic impacts of using an alternative ingredient?
· How much should I buy (if any)?
Manually calculating accurate answers to these questions can be an insurmountable task. Manufacturers need to realize that they need to look for better ways of gaining information, not only so they can make informed decisions, but also to realize the strain it otherwise puts on their team’s productivity.
It is time you may need to look at technology to help you get the answers you need. The answer may or may not be in your existing applications, or even something off the shelf, it may take more innovation to configure what you specifically need but technology can help get you there and start saving…but you won’t know unless you start asking and time to start collaborating!
As I wrote in my spring edition of this blog, it is time to break down the barriers between departments in an organization. To accurately determine whether to use alternative ingredients, and at what their value is, these alternative ingredients require coordination between the nutrition and purchasing departments – and leadership needs to have a stake in helping collaboration.
Powerful solutions are required to perform all the necessary calculations in this scenario. Even more important are the business processes surrounding this issue. It is the management of business processes that will ensure that safe nutritious feed is provided to the animals and at the same time reducing the feed cost.
Does your organization have the business processes and solutions in place to take advantage of alternative ingredients? How are you managing this today? What would help you get there?

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