Sunflower processing – a profitable, but at the same time complex and labor-intensive activity.
Sunflower is the second most important crop for the Agribusiness in Eastern Eeurope – Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania. For example in recent years over 20% of the arable land in Bulgaria is sown with sunflower. Some several years Bulgaria ranks 2-3rd place in the export of sunflower seeds, but this trend has changed recently due to the fact that local producers have significantly increased processing in the country, and then export finished product – oil, peeled, roasted sunflower and food for birds on a number of international markets, incl. European Union, Turkey and the Middle East.
The processing of sunflower and other cereals is a complex production with several challenges: difficult accounting of fractions, waste and losses during the production, impact of raw material quality on the quantity of finished products, lack of labor and skilled workers in rural areas, where the production in question is concentrated. This greatly complicates the planning of both the demand of raw materials and the volumes of production for sale, and on the other hand requires a large number of employees involved not directly in the production process, but rather administratively. Unfortunately finding and hiring a large number of employees with computer literacy and economic education in rural areas is an almost impossible mission.
N.E.X.T. Agri from Entegra has a complete and specialized solution developed especially for companies engaged in the processing of grain and especially sunflower. The complex challenges inherent in this production have been transformed into routine processes and procedures in N.E.X.T. The system covers all activities from the purchase of raw materials or own production, through processing to the sale and export of finished products, as at each stage N.E.X.T. automates and helps solve management problems.
Purchasing of raw materials
At first stage of the system are the contracts for purchasing of raw materials with all their details such as term, price, quality indicators, etc. The system is tracking the execution of each contract, registering with high level of automation the receipt notes thanks to integration (software connection) with the elctronic auto scale. Quality indicators are entered or “filled in” automatically thanks to connection with the laboratory analysis device, and then the system automatically calculates test wight. Booth the quality indicators and the test weight are key benefits for precise planning of the raw materials needed for production and covering the parameters of every specific order by a customer. The storage stage is also strongly covered from the system, as not a small part of the companies processing sunflower are also engaged in trade and storage of grain. Here the software provides information about the capacity of silos and warehouses, by companies, by quality indicators. There is an option to display temperature, humidity and free capacity in the silos through integration with thermo control systems.
The most important stage – processsing of sunfloer is characterized by a number of specifics that are making the planning and reporting complicated. Accurate fraction accounting is realized using buffer warehouses in N.E.X.T., for better accuracy data is collected using integration with flow scales, and for highest accuracy from portion scales. A quantitative balance is prepared for each production batch, reflecting the efficiency of production in relation to the quality of the input raw material. Production planning, work shift reporting are an integral part of the production module. Specific functionalities according to the type of processing – control of the processes related to calibration, sorting, peeling or roasting of seeds, pressing, cold pressing and refining for oil production. Packaging process management – planning the required quantities of consumables for packaging, labeling, bottling, delivery and reporting of input quantities are the end of the production cycle.
Quality management and control is another important solution in N.E.X.T. The system maintains a software connection with all devices for laboratory analysis and photo (optical) sorting on the market, as the samples are reported regularly on the production line, and the information is “filled” automatically into the software. In case certain indicators have a deviation above the permissible under the contract – a notification is received and the fields are colored red. Quality certificate, analytical certificate, control cards, etc. documents are generated automatically in the system in different languages and meet international certification requirements.
As conclusion, the overall ERP solution N.E.X.T. Agri optimizes all sunflower processing processes, drastically reducing the risk of errors; reduction of data entry time; optimizing the use of human resources in the direction of increasing the production capacity with the same human resources; optimal use of raw materials; loss and waste reduction; precise planning of production resources and raw materials; easy and precise quality management. Finally, the system supports integration with all accounting software, including solutions from Microsoft and SAP.
Some industry leaders have already trusted the N.E.X.T. solution, which has helped them grow and optimize their business without having to hire new employees. In those companies the working day begins and ends with N.E.X.T. Reporting and losses are optimized, and managers and owners see the most important information and reports in real time on their tablet or smartphone.
In addition to the processing of raw materials, it has many additional modules that can be implemented according to the specific needs of each customer, so that he gets the optimal solution according to their requirements.
Other vertical solutions N.E.X.T. Agri: