At some point, you’re probably going to find yourself asking this question: Should I take on the expense of purchasing nutrition analysis software for my business?
There are a lot of factors to take into account, not the least of which is your budget. But, once you do your analysis, you’ll find the benefits far outweigh the cost.
1. Better Accuracy in Quality Control and Data
Accuracy has always been important, but it is becoming increasingly more so. Consumers want to know exactly what is in their food, whether it’s the amount of carbs, possible allergens, organic content, etc. And you are responsible for giving them that information.
Keeping the analysis in-house will help you control the quality assurance process. You’re more familiar with your product than anyone else, so you’ll be able to notice discrepancies others might not.
Questions to ask: Where is the data sourced from? How accurate is the data? How often is the data updated? Is the nutrient data unrounded? Are there any due diligence checks?
2. Improved Flexibility and Access
Things change, and they can change quickly, especially if your company operates within the global marketplace. Having immediate and continual access to the software you need lets you adapt instantly and lets you manage your business narrative while getting your products to market as soon as possible.
Questions to ask: Can I duplicate existing recipes and save them with a new name? How easy is it to modify existing recipes? Can I add my own food and ingredients to the database? How frequently are the program features updated?
3. Better Scaling and Growth Opportunities
Good software will support growth and encourage innovation. A worthwhile software package will allow you to explore unrealized possibilities, to brainstorm new ideas, to imagine “what if” scenarios and more, all while continuing to help you refine your current products.
Questions to ask: What features of this software encourage creativity? Does the software have an API for third-party software integrations? Can I easily mock up new products?
4. Improved Regulatory Compliance
This might be the most important factor that you have to consider. How are you going to comply with the myriad and often changing government regulations?
When preparing nutrition labels, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requests that manufacturers make a good-faith effort to provide accurate label data. According to the nutrition labeling laws in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), “The FDA recognizes and accepts the use of electronic ingredient databases to compute nutritional values for product labels.”
Should you find yourself enduring an FDA audit, the process will be smoother if you have an accurate paper trail and can show the steps you took to comply with regulations. Luckily, with the right compliance software, audit trails can be built into the system, allowing you easy access to know when changes were made, by whom, and why. Plus, high-quality software companies will stay abreast of the changing regulations and will incorporate these changes automatically.
This is so much easier to accomplish if your software acts as a single “source of truth,” where all of your data and processes are stored in one place.
Questions to ask: Is there an audit feature that allows for tracking changes? Can I attach supporting documents? Does this software perform all of the steps I need?
5. Better Communication and Cross-Team Collaboration
High-quality software will let you collaborate with other departments – both in-house and remotely – with role-based access options. Some software will allow you to limit who can change certain features of a label. And with the added benefit of an audit trail, you can easily keep track of team contributions.
Plus, built-in reporting features can make it easy to bring data to management teams or meetings, providing a window into your team’s efficiency and accuracy in creating food labels.
Questions to ask: Can I restrict access and allow editing for specific departments? What reports are available?
6. Cost Savings and Value
Certainly, if you have one or two products, it’s going to be worthwhile for you to outsource analysis and label creation. But, when your product line grows, it’ll be more cost effective to bring the analysis in-house.
Questions to ask: What is the value of the program? What support is available? How will the affect my bottom line?
Before investing in any software for your business, always make sure you have a look at the features in detail so you know it’s the right product to take your business forward.