Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. (AWG) has chosen ReposiTrak for its supplier management compliance efforts. ReposiTrak helps manage regulatory, financial and brand risk associated with issues of safety in the supply chain through a platform that receives, stores and shares documentation, and manages compliance through dashboards and alerts for missing or expired documents.
With the commencement of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), AWG and Shelly Stegner, AWG’s director of food safety, say they needed a tool to more efficiently collect additional corporate and food safety documentation, share agreements like recall covenants, and automate supplier approval programs, as well as to access documentation in one place 24/7 to ensure more effective coverage during a potential FDA inspection or request. AWG now has real-time data access to determine if suppliers are, or are not, meeting requirements.
“Using ReposiTrak is an easy way to keep track and retain all the records that you’ve been trying to manage before. And not only can you keep them, but there are also visual statistics behind the documents, which you don’t have when storing hard copies,” said Stegner.
AWG says it used ReposiTrak’s team of experts to determine how to get started, and identified a series of questions to help them kick off their enhanced compliance campaign, ranging from simple (Do we know who our suppliers are? Are those suppliers active or inactive?) to complex (Do we have the right documentation from them based on their profile?). Once this base information was inputted, AWG was able to run queries against the database to confirm compliance of each supplier for each order.
As critical as compliance with government regulations is, Stegner says she is working to protect the reputations of AWG’s 3,800 independently owned supermarkets in 36 states in the event of a food safety episode not involving AWG delivered goods or products. Plus, she needed to provide the company’s eight full-line wholesale divisions and its subsidiary operations with all appropriate food safety tools and processes to support those retailers.
“We now have an accurate list of suppliers that ReposiTrak has helped us qualify,” said Stegner. “We leveraged their team to follow up and even nag suppliers to correct document and confirmation issues. The process was easier than we thought it was going to be and having everything in one database is helping us make sure nothing slips through the cracks.”
Stegner attributes the success of the project to support from merchandisers and executives, “who have instilled a food safety culture companywide,” and to the cross-functional team that has driven adoption of the program through periodic progress reporting. Merchandisers, in particular, have gotten on board, helping to drive non-responsive food, non-food and seasonal vendors to more effective compliance.