About Us

Vision For Food is a unique, modular software developed to replace paper control systems for operational and technical control of any food production business in the UK. 

For decades the food industry has accumulated rooms full of paper forms, manually filled out during every shift to record the details of production, quality control and quality assurance, and to evidence the traceability and food safety compliance required by the audit community. Going paperless in food factories hasn’t been possible because the IT industry has struggled to write software capable of delivering the full scope of rigorous data collection with the required flexibility. 

Until now.

20180801_100136 square enhanced - final.jpg
These days almost everyone is familiar with ‘Smart’ touchscreen applications from their everyday life experiences. Vision For Food uses the same technology via Android tablets (or Windows tablets) and fixed line side touchscreen panel PCs, and as a result user acceptance is really good.

We market Vision For Food with the tag line ‘Paperless Data Capture that works just like you want IT to’ because the standard software allows you to handle any production process no matter what type of products you make. You simply ‘design’ the processes and define the CCPs, control points and checks that are required during manufacturing, and then add what responses and actions you want to elicit when certain results are recorded, or tolerances breeched.

Key customers have also helped us understand the importance of being able to relate production recipes directly to the processes set up for each product group. This means that we can directly interface to the production plan, and the associated operational and technical checks are automatically created in Vision For Food for each works order, in order, ready for operators to complete. 
20180801_100136 square enhanced - final.jpg

These days almost everyone is familiar with ‘Smart’ touchscreen applications from their everyday life experiences. Vision For Food uses the same technology via Android tablets (or Windows tablets) and fixed line side touchscreen panel PCs, and as a result user acceptance is really good.

We market Vision For Food with the tag line ‘Paperless Data Capture that works just like you want IT to’ because the standard software allows you to handle any production process no matter what type of products you make. You simply ‘design’ the processes and define the CCPs, control points and checks that are required during manufacturing, and then add what responses and actions you want to elicit when certain results are recorded, or tolerances breeched.

Key customers have also helped us understand the importance of being able to relate production recipes directly to the processes set up for each product group. This means that we can directly interface to the production plan, and the associated operational and technical checks are automatically created in Vision For Food for each works order, in order, ready for operators to complete. 

20180801_100136 square enhanced - final.jpg

These days almost everyone is familiar with ‘Smart’ touchscreen applications from their everyday life experiences. Vision For Food uses the same technology via Android tablets (or Windows tablets) and fixed line side touchscreen panel PCs, and as a result user acceptance is really good.

We market Vision For Food with the tag line ‘Paperless Data Capture that works just like you want IT to’ because the standard software allows you to handle any production process no matter what type of products you make. You simply ‘design’ the processes and define the CCPs, control points and checks that are required during manufacturing, and then add what responses and actions you want to elicit when certain results are recorded, or tolerances breeched.
Key customers have also helped us understand the importance of being able to relate production recipes directly to the processes set up for each product group. This means that we can directly interface to the production plan, and the associated operational and technical checks are automatically created in Vision For Food for each works order, in order, ready for operators to complete. 

Traceability becomes instantaneous as batch quantities and use-by dates are automatically policed as production recipe input volumes are recorded, and the corresponding outputs are generated for both the WIP/intermediate recipes and finished customer product batches being manufactured.

This represents a goldmine for management in terms of identifying opportunities for greater efficiency and continuous improvement. Some Vision For Food customers like Freshcut Foods of Nottingham have dramatically reduced waste and the number of daily shorts and overs. Overall, they gauge that they are annually 1% of turnover better off than they were before Vision For Food.

The recipe module has evolved into a comprehensive tool for rapid recipe development and there is also a secure portal for supplier specification management, which the high street baker Greggs has adopted group wide in the UK. The raw material specification can then prove invaluable when new recipes are developed and existing ones modified, because all data for allergens, additives, and nutrition is automatically rolled up and ingredient declarations are instantly available. Having traceability at the touch of a button and control of material as it is consumed are not the only advantages that the system delivers. The data collected provides visibility across operations as they happen.

What makes Vision For Food different?

In addition, particularly in the fast moving chilled and fresh sectors the number of different products being manufactured every week can be huge, and new production recipes are being developed every week, any IT system needs to be able to handle these volumes and the speed of change, as new products are continually introduced.
Vision For Food was developed from within the food industry by IT professionals working alongside operational and technical management with the clear focus to make the paperless food factory a reality. Vision For Food is a solution to a real problem that shows itself every day to food manufacturers. If the food industry was more like discrete manufacturing in engineering, IT solutions providers would have found a way to remove factory floor paperwork years ago.
For example, if you make washing machines, you always use the same components which don’t have a use-by date, you always assemble them in the same order, you always end up with identical washing machines, and the yield never changes. There is no variability of the process day by day and computer software is much easier to develop if you don’t have to take flexibility into consideration, and traceability is a doddle.
In the food manufacturing world, it is a very different scenario. Production recipes allow for multiple and variable input ingredients, often ingredient substitutions are permitted, and the picture is further complicated by differences between specific customer’s requirements. Batches of raw materials and WIP outputs often have a short life and the order that tasks can be completed can vary according to numerous factors, including the presence of allergens or material availability.
By products and co-products are common, and yields vary, as do waste levels and giveaway. Traceability is much more challenging, and if re-work is involved (for example where pastry products are manufactured) the challenge can be severe. Some of our customers’ operators record around 20,000 check results every day, while thousands of product batches are produced, imagine trying to control all of that using paper!
In addition, particularly in the fast moving chilled and fresh sectors the number of different products being manufactured every week can be huge, and new production recipes are being developed every week, any IT system needs to be able to handle these volumes and the speed of change, as new products are continually introduced.
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Meet Management

The directors of Vision For Food first met in 1998. At the time, Alan Clarke was the Group IT Director of 11 UK food manufacturing sites (all of which used the same ERP system). Alan Blyther owned the Food Solution on behalf of the ERP vendor, and hosted the food industry customer forum which consistently sought IT options to replace the paper-based systems that everyone used. It was recognised that if the data was available digitally, it could provide immediate visibility and better control over production. When the two joined forces in 2007, very little had changed: the food industry was still run on paper, so they decided to do something about it, and Vision For Food was born.

Vision For Food is an application suite authored and supported from Cwmbran in South Wales following Investment from Finance Wales in 2010. The software can replace all of the paper based systems currently employed by the food industry to record in-process traceability, quality control and performance monitoring as well as food safety and health & safety compliance.

Alan Blyther

director

AlanB

Alan has spent more than 30 years introducing IT solutions to the food manufacturing and retail supply chain sectors, following a successful career in retail management. Professionally, his priority is to ensure that all solutions and services add value and maintain the highest possible standards.

Alan regards the consistent delivery of good customer service as key to the success of any business, in the food industry or not. The goal remains for Vision For Food to be adopted as the industry standard for paperless control in the food factory.

Alan Clarke

director

AlanC

Alan has worked within Information Technology for almost 40 years, 20 of those at senior levels in Manufacturing and Food Retail including 10 years as Group I.T. Director of two major multi-site UK food manufacturers and for a significant period he chaired a major ERP provider’s food industry customers’ Special Interest Group.

With a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the IT sector, including hands on management of Software Development, Technical Support and Infrastructure, Alan’s unique experience allows him to see how IT can best be leveraged to provide real value to business.

Alan Blyther

director

AlanB

Alan has spent more than 30 years introducing IT solutions to the food manufacturing and retail supply chain sectors, following a successful career in retail management. Professionally, his priority is to ensure that all solutions and services add value and maintain the highest possible standards.

Alan regards the consistent delivery of good customer service as key to the success of any business, in the food industry or not. The goal remains for Vision For Food to be adopted as the industry standard for paperless control in the food factory.

Alan Clarke

director

AlanC

Alan has worked within Information Technology for almost 40 years, 20 of those at senior levels in Manufacturing and Food Retail including 10 years as Group I.T. Director of two major multi-site UK food manufacturers and for a significant period he chaired a major ERP provider’s food industry customers’ Special Interest Group.

With a thorough knowledge of
all aspects of the IT sector, including hands on management of Software Development, Technical Support and Infrastructure, Alan’s unique experience allows him to see how IT can best be leveraged to provide real value to business.

Alan Blyther

director

AlanB

Alan has spent more than 30 years introducing IT solutions to the food manufacturing and retail supply chain sectors, following a successful career in retail management. Professionally, his priority is to ensure that all solutions and services add value and maintain the highest possible standards.

Alan regards the consistent delivery of good customer service as key to the success of any business, in the food industry or not. The goal remains for Vision For Food to be adopted as the industry standard for paperless control in the food factory.

Alan Clarke

director

AlanC

Alan has worked within Information Technology for almost 40 years, 20 of those at senior levels in Manufacturing and Food Retail including 10 years as Group I.T. Director of two major multi-site UK food manufacturers and for a significant period he chaired a major ERP provider’s food industry customers’ Special Interest Group.

With a thorough knowledge of all aspects of the IT sector, including hands on management of Software Development, Technical Support and Infrastructure, Alan’s unique experience allows him to see how IT can best be leveraged to provide real value to business.

Ed Nitek

 

The management team would like to acknowledge the important contribution made by Ed, who has sadly passed, throughout the development of the Vision For Food system.

As a former Production Director and Technical Director at various major food production businesses Ed’s knowledge and experience was invaluable in ensuring that our software development always considers how the intended operators are to use the applications and reflect the operational environment where they are to be deployed.

Ed Nitek

 

The management team would like to acknowledge the important contribution made by Ed, who has sadly passed, throughout the development of the Vision For Food system.

As a former Production Director and Technical Director at various major food production businesses Ed’s knowledge and experience was invaluable in ensuring that our software development always considers how the intended operators are to use the applications and reflect the operational environment where they are to be deployed.

Ed Nitek

 

The management team would like to acknowledge the important contribution made by Ed, who has sadly passed, throughout the development of the Vision For Food system.

As a former Production Director and Technical Director at various major food production businesses Ed’s knowledge and experience was invaluable in ensuring that our software development always considers how the intended operators are to use the applications and reflect the operational environment where they are to be deployed.