How NOT to Become a Headline
Better compliance management for a safer food supply chain
Headlines about recalls are all too common: salmonella linked to bagged salad; plastic fragments found in yogurt; undeclared allergens identified in baked goods. As a food supply chain operator, the last place you want to see your company’s name is anywhere near negative press like this. It signals to your customers and the end-consumer alike that something was missed; there was a glitch; they’re taking a risk when purchasing a product that you make or handle. It also means that regulators are going to be looking to your food safety team for answers.
There’s no doubt that you have controls in place to avoid contamination and product adulteration in the first place. Tasks like temp checks, sanitization protocols and equipment maintenance schedules are second nature for your team and are part of everything you do. But to operate in today’s fast-paced, time-starved and liability-laden environment, you’ve got to have your vendor documentation under control, too. That’s the only way to truly reduce risk when it comes to the integrity of your brand and the financial impact that a recall could have on your business.
A “What If” Scenario
What if an undeclared allergen has been identified in a product you make using a product from a supplier? In addition to pulling the product and communicating about the error to your customers and consumers, you’ll also need to gather supplier paperwork when determining where things went wrong and who’s responsible for the costs involved.
If your compliance documentation is paper-based and/or stored in multiple systems throughout multiple departments, then you’re leaving too much to chance. After hours or even days of searching, you could find that the documentation you do have is incomplete, outdated…or missing altogether. And that could lead to a whole new set of problems.
An Automated Compliance Management Solution
When your documentation is maintained safely in one place – electronically – regulatory compliance is easier and more effective and audit prep takes less time and gets better results. You can monitor vendors status at a glance and your QA/QC team can get back to doing what they do best – preventing issues in the first place.
Think of it this way: If a document is outdated or doesn’t meet your specifications, someone from your QA/QC team is stuck picking up the phone and calling the vendor or sending emails that often go unanswered. By the time the updated documents are received, someone from your QA/QC team has to print, save and catalogue them in some way so that they’re available for the next audit or recall scenario.
With an automated compliance management solution, documents from Certificates of Insurance to natural and organic certificates to minority owned business certifications are uploaded, scanned for accuracy and adherence to your unique set of standards before they’re safely stored in a secure platform that’s accessible from anywhere.
Top 5 Tips on How NOT to Become a Headline Because of Your Compliance Management Process
You may think you’ve got your bases covered from a food safety perspective, but if your compliance documentation is still paper-based, then you’re leaving the door open to risk. Here are the top 5 ways to avoid being associated with headlines like these.
- Solidify your supplier standards: No two companies are alike. While there are a set of 5-10 compliance documents common to most companies, it’s important for you to define the unique set of standards and document requirements for your company. These are your non-negotiables and help us measure what success means to you.
- Fish where the fish are: As the world’s largest network with more than 110,000 connections throughout the food supply chain, chances are many of your suppliers are already using the ReposiTrak to manage compliance. That makes getting started easier for you.
- Tidy up your tracking: If your brand promise promotes the freshest, cleanest products, ingredients or fair business practices, you could open the door to lawsuits seeking to negate those claims. Protect your brand and finances with proper document tracking to reduce risk.
- Advance your audit prep: When all of your documents are saved in one secure place, you’re always audit-ready. Preparing for internal and third-party audits takes less time and results improve.
- Love your labor force: The ReposiTrak Customer Success Team does the follow-up when documents are flagged by the system as missing or incomplete, so your QA/QC team can go back to managing the safety and quality of your products and protecting your brand.