How to Ensure Compliance in Food Manufacturing

Guest Blog from IQMS:  Achieve greater audit and compliance reporting accuracy, and increase food and beverage shop floor productivity by finding new ways to improve and grow.

Ultra Consultants and IQMS offer you an on demand webinar, How to Ensure Compliance in Food Manufacturing, providing lessons learned from teaming with the fastest growing food and beverage manufacturers. Automating auditing and compliance reporting is the future of food and beverage manufacturing as the lessons learned make a direct, positive contribution to product quality.

Consider how the following factors are making auditing and compliance the cornerstone of food and beverage manufacturers’ future growth:

  • Audits increasing every year and compliance reporting are the new normal in food & beverage manufacturing. The typical food and beverage manufacturer performs over 60 audits for customers alone every year, with FDA audit and compliance reporting taking hundreds of hours to complete if they’re not automated. Instead of burning valuable time on manually-based data collection, it’s time to automate auditing and compliance reporting to free up quality management teams to take on the bigger challenges holding food & beverage manufacturers from faster growth.
  • Customer-driven audits are one of the most powerful catalysts driving continuous improvement, contributing to greater customer satisfaction, and ultimately more revenue. It’s time to get over the fear many food and beverage manufacturers have regarding audits and instead see them as coaching feedback of how to improve. Food and beverage manufacturers dominating their industry segments and markets are always looking for ways to improve. They’ve learned that ISO 9001 certification generates an initial sales bump that can be turned into long-term sales acceleration if combined with new products and programs when streamlined with audit and compliance reporting. Food and beverage Manufacturers who attain and stay in compliance with ISO 9001 attain greater employment and sales growth long-term based on the Harvard Business School Working Paper, Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers by David I. Levine and Michael W. Toffel.
  • Quality audits need to become routine for Food & Beverage manufacturers to achieve consistent, solid growth. Getting into a regular cadence of quality audits creates the intelligence and urgency needed to keep improving every aspect of product quality.

Make Quality Audits Routine

Presented below are four reasons why quality audits need to become routine in food & beverage manufacturing:

  1. More accurately tracking major and minor non-conformances by a given food or beverage product, prioritizing them, and what action is needed to resolve each faster. Product quality problems can turn into customer and public relations problems incredibly quick. Completing periodic internal audits to track major and minor non-conformances by product is essential for staying on top of any potential major product non-conformances. Capturing trending data based on noncompliance/corrective action (NC/CA), Corrective Action/Preventative Action (CAPA) and customer requests, then scoring nonconformances using a quality management system can help in defining which quality issue gets addressed first.
  2. Automating audits are indispensable in building a knowledge base capable of tracking and predicting quality performance. An MES designed to capture, aggregate, and provide predictive analytics is invaluable to any food & beverage manufacturer today. The more detailed and robust the data captured in automated audits, the better. With reliable quality data, an MES and Quality Management system can provide insights into points of product and process weakness not visible before. Every new insight discovered adds to the knowledge base available for solving future quality challenges too.
  3. Providing improvement recommendations based on recent audit data to senior executive quality champions get results. Make the most of the time communicating with senior executives and leadership by providing clear recommendations for quality improvement based on actual data. By anchoring recommendations on audit data, the senior execs who are championing quality have what they need to take action. The Harvard Business School study also found that by doing audits regularly, manufacturers learn how to make cost reductions permanent at the process level.
  4. Keep customer-based metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) at the center of audits and track how operations plant-wide are performing versus plan. Often the most valuable audits find where internal disconnects are causing customers lost time, orders, and the potential to generate more revenue on their own. Audits need to track and trend order entry accuracy, warehouse pick accuracy, on-time delivery percentage, orders shipped without damage (% of orders shipped damage-free) and percentage of orders invoiced correctly.

These factors define perfect order performance.

Excelling at perfect order performance is the first step to driving up customer trust and the opportunity to sell to them again.

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