California-based MSA Systems provides traceability solutions for small food processors

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — With the recent passage of legislation that will overhaul the nation’s food safety system and increase restrictions for food processors, one company is looking to help smaller
manufacturers stay competitive with affordable traceability software.

Founded in 1996 and based in San Jose, Calif., MSA Systems provides turnkey field mobility solutions, warehouse management solutions, barcoding and RFID software and hardware, as well as the related wireless infrastructure services. The company now is offering manufacturers its QStock Warehouse California-based MSA Systems provides traceability solutions for small food processors Management System (WMS) that captures, tracks and reports on critical information that takes place in food processing warehouses.

With its monitoring console, QStock provides access to real-time and historic warehouse information that allows financial and warehouse managers to make informed and efficient decisions, explains Kim Wilson, director of business development and sales, MSA Systems. Wilson notes that QStock is the natural extension to QuickBooks, financial software widely used by many smaller processing companies. “Most of our customers have been using QuickBooks over the last several years,” Wilson says. ”QuickBooks is a great accounting system but doesn’t offer the needed visibility to a company’s manufacturing process or the raw materials or finished goods in the warehouse. Qk seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks to create more of an integrated ERP approach at a very cost effective price.”

Qstock allows the QuickBooks financial applications to operate in the same way users have grown to expect and thus there is no training required, she notes. “QStock replaces slow, errorprone paper-based operations with a high-speed and accurate automated
system,” she says.

The system utilizes wireless handheld scanners, bar code printers andother devices to provide real-time updates for inventory, purchase orders, sales orders, receiving, put-away, picking and shipping. Standard barcodes can be scanned and printed using radio frequency technology.

The QStock radio frequency handheld computer scanners allow warehouse managers to efficiently complete daily tasks in far less time than a manual system affords, Wilson adds. “QuickStock will cut costs, increase customer satisfaction and increase margins while offering companies a competitive edge,” she says. “With MSA automation solutions, you can keep products flowing smoothly from the back room to the shelves in a timely, accurate manner.” Wilson notes that in addition to having the ability to integrate seamlessly
with a company’s existing accounting systems, the system also can run in stand-alone mode. She adds that with new food safety regulations taking shape this year, food processors will be required to keep very specific traceability records for their operations. “Many smaller companies would have to buy an expensive system to replace the QuickBook accounting system they were using, but with our software, they can simply integrate it into what they already are using, which really cuts
down the cost,” Wilson says.

She notes other small companies may only use Excel for their accounting records, and with the ability to work as a stand-alone traceability system, Qstock WMS would be a much more cost-effective option than purchasing a larger, more costly software traceability system. “It can be integrated with any financial system,” she says. In addition, many of the larger manufacturers already are using larger, more expensive traceability systems, so
QStock WMS provides smaller processors with a more affordable option and allows them to stay competitive, Wilson adds. “Not only that, but some of the larger retailers like Costco, Lowe’s and Walmart will not even accept products from smaller companies that do have stringent traceability systems and the ability to tag their systems with bar code labels in place, leaving them at a disadvantage to the larger companies that do,” she says.

Wilson notes that MSA Systems is continuously working with its customers to develop solutions that best work for them. “QStock is a very mature product. As more companies come to us and request different features, we will work to add them and the product will continue to evolve,” she says.

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen has 20 years of supply chain experience, from food distribution to manufacturing, to systems management and implementation. His primary focus is helping businesses realize the cost savings directly to their bottom line.

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