INSTANTLY placing the knowledge of animal nutritionists in the hands of mill managers is the focus of a new addition to the Pennent family of feed optimization solutions: Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets.
On Nov. 18, Feed Management Systems Inc. (FMS) introduced the new knowledge-based tool, which allows feed manufacturers to design and deliver precise diets that optimize an animal group's performance through every growth stage.
"We have found that one of the toughest challenges facing feed manufacturers is the ability to know how to adjust and adapt animal diets on a continuous basis and, at the same time, manage the fluctuating costs of this process," Brad Guyer, FMS global operations portfolio manager, explained.
Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets takes the guesswork out of adjusting feed rations that are tailor-made for each animal group at every growth stage. This personalization also benefits producers by giving them the ability to accurately monitor and manage vast groups of animals and their changing diets through every stage of development.
Guyer told Feedstuffs that this new addition to the Pennent portfolio takes all of the unstructured data available from animal nutritionists and inputs it into a structured database that is fully accessible in a guided, simplified template.
"Listening to customers' feedback, we expanded the Pennent manager solutions to establish feed budgets, capture all the nutritional knowledge from the nutritionists and store it into a structured form for quick recall access," Guyer said.
For example, if a customer needs to adjust a current feed ration by adding a new feed additive, the order entry person can incorporate the change by easily accessing the Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets without contacting a nutritionist directly or sorting through a series of spreadsheets.
Essentially, Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets delivers control of a very complex and dynamic animal feeding process directly to the feed manufacturer. It automates the tedious process of managing feed budgets, formulation modifications for each animal stage, nutrient measures and the inclusion of medications and additives.
"We hope that by applying 'best practices' in mill operations with the most advanced technology, we can replace this 'unknown' with a rich knowledge base that provides confidence to feed manufacturers that they are delivering precisely the feed that an animal group needs at every growth stage and at a cost that is in line with budget," Guyer concluded.
Mill managers utilizing the Pennent Mill Manager Feed Budgets program now have the ability to reduce mistakes that are often associated with stage feeding requirements and increase control of the feed manufacturing process.
As the global industry faces rising ingredient costs, expanding regulatory requirements and consumer food safety concerns, tighter control of the feed manufacturing process is ever more important.
At this time, the Pennent software solution — first introduced in November 2012 — is utilized on a premises basis, and the Feed Budgets tool is not fully mobile yet.
Looking to the future, Guyer explained that in-the-cloud and mobile platforms are at the research and development stage. In-the-cloud deployment is offered in other lines of the company's software solution packages, and he said as customer needs evolve, so will the Feed Budgets feature.