Food Industry: Ensuring Quality and Operational Excellence

Posted by Romeo Elias on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 @ 02:41 PM

 

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Striving for Operational Excellence is nothing new to both leaders and followers in the food industry. Still, given the industry’s unique characteristics, finding a way to accomplish it can be a difficult feat for a company.

Any food industry enterprise often finds itself at the mercy of global commodity markets. Once you account for other difficulties such as high demand variability and low margins, it becomes clear why achieving Operational Excellence is a challenge. However, there are ways to ensure both quality and Operational Excellence in the food industry. Here are the things you should keep in mind:

Optimizing Your Manufacturing Process

You can’t achieve Operational Excellence without having a firm hold on your manufacturing process, and that starts with controlling your data. The only way to optimize the process is through data collection and analysis — the more automated this process is, the better. To this end, do away with paper-based systems and digitize them instead. You’ll feel the positive impact of this change throughout your entire organization. There are plenty of benefits to enjoy, from making it easier to demonstrate compliance with quality standards, to being able to trace your metrics a lot more reliably.

Keeping Up with Compliance Standards

With digitizing your enterprise comes the ability to track your implementation of compliance standards. It is important because it gives you some useful insights into how you can improve the quality of your products. It’s always better to address compliance standards early on, instead of running afoul of them and having to correct course. It keeps customers happy and prevents possible financial consequences.

Becoming Able to Save the Day

In case of an unwanted event related to non-conformance to compliance standards, you need to be able to react quickly. Especially in the food industry, any product can become the victim of a quality issue. It leads to costly recalls and damaged brand reputation. To prevent this, you need to be able to catch compliance issues before they become a huge problem. With automated workflows that can manage compliance issues before they escalate, you can avoid the brunt of the blow.

Learning How You Affect the Environment

Another thing that could become a problem is the sustainability costs. If you wish to have a clear picture of how much your operations cost, you can’t forget to include sustainability costs when measuring your KPI. Once you have the data, you can analyze it to see if it’s possible to improve the efficiency of your manufacturing process by reducing some of the costs. Use sustainability information along with your general production data to truly understand its impact.

Implementing Enterprise Systems

The right tools can be of immense help in your quest to achieve Operational Excellence. Use them to create a lasting foundation for conducting all your processes and improving collaboration while breaking down the silos in your organization. Enterprise systems like ERP and QMS can integrate and synchronize all the systems and methods in your organization to create a single, strong value chain.

Here at Intellect, we have an out of the box eQMS solution that can help you do it. Let go of outdated processes and achieve Operational Excellence by driving success with collected data and automation.

Tags: FDA regulations, food industry, mobile compliance, Compliance, manufacturing

Best Risk Management Practices For The Food Industry

Posted by Romeo Elias on Wed, May 09, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

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To ensure quality and safety, it’s critical for the food industry to manage and track non-conformances that can lead to product defects and disastrous mistakes.

Risk Management tools and practices were specifically developed to protect against these food safety dangers. By leveraging them, the food industry can protect itself from the risk of a lawsuit, accident, deliberate acts, and even acts of nature.

From supply chain to food health, the food industry cannot be entirely free from internal failure or external events that can threaten productivity and safety. However, having risk management practices in place puts you in a better position to protect yourself from the risks your business is exposed to every day.

If you want your food business to be profitable, you need to pay close attention to all the details; this includes everything from ingredients to equipment to your workforce; most importantly, it involves focusing on defining processes and policies. Here are some best practices in risk management:

Identify Responsible Parties

The key to managing risk is to identify all parties that are involved. It’s critical to understand who is accountable for food safety risk, quality, and compliance. 

When it comes to minimizing risks with manufacturing foods, everyone should recognize that it is a responsibility shared across all levels; this involves plant managers, quality, and food safety group, corporate supply chain, operations staff, QA personnel, and your maintenance crew.

Your QA personnel plays a significant role at all stages of production, making them critical to your overall risk management plan. Without diligence in documenting areas of high risk and communicating concerns to relevant stakeholders, risk cannot be mitigated.

Prepare Employees with Thorough and Continuous Training

Your employees handle day-to-day processes; therefore, risks start with your people. To lessen the possibility of devastating situations, your team should be properly trained in equipment handling, customer service, and safety procedures. Ensure they’re across on employee health codes that outline employee hygiene, inspections, regulated equipment, and even which cleaners are acceptable to use on facilities and surfaces.

While equipment may seem self-explanatory, it would surprise you how many times the wrong assumptions on how to operate equipment has led to disastrous accidents. To boost compliance, train employees how to properly handle all equipment. Thoroughly explain safety protocols that include proper handling, storage, and preparation of food items.

Leverage Technology 

Empower staff with food safety software that complements your overall risk management efforts. Visibility, communication, and compliance can all be improved by using the right solutions.

Communication is crucial. Without it, contamination risks may not be addressed immediately. Safety and quality are all put at risk when there is a breakdown in the exchange of information, leading to dangerous consequences.

With the right food safety and risk management software, you can establish a safety plan that meets FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance requirements and optimize operations by standardizing practices and eliminating duplication of documentation. You can increase productivity by automating manual processes that are repetitive and slow down productivity. And because you have access to historical data, you can analyze and predict trends and identify risks.

 

Tags: risks, food industry, Risk Management, regulatory, Regulations, business process