With what feels like daily changes in compliance standards in the food and beverage industry, it’s difficult to stay on top of them all while keeping your customers satisfied. In a study on how standards such as the Food Safety Manufacturing Act (FMSA) have affected manufacturing companies, the Aberdeen Group found that companies fit in one of two groups: The leaders (the top 30 percent) and the followers (the bottom 70 percent). Leaders were found to be at almost perfect levels of compliance with much faster response times to quality issues. Here’s how manufacturers can move from a follower to a leader and ensure they meet the compliance requirements:
Make Quality and Compliance Part of the Process
Although the FSMA was signed into law in 2011, companies are still struggling to comply due to continuously shifting compliance regulations. Being proactive versus reactive will ensure risks are avoided from the beginning. Putting controls in place to respond to any revisions in regulations will save time and money. Transparency in key compliance information will also keep the idea of quality at the forefront of management.
Include Supply Chain as a Strategic Partner
Leaders have responded to meeting compliance standards by extending their compliance programs out into their supply chains. By expanding this quality control across the board, each link can work together to continuously improve in all aspects of the chain. This team effort allows companies the ability to compete in the market at lower prices.
Digitalize or get left behind
Companies with the biggest problems keeping up with compliance standards were those who were working off paper-based systems. Leaders were 74 percent more likely than followers to digitalize their systems, removing inconsistencies in processes and documents needed to prove compliance. Manufacturers should strongly consider moving to centralized best of breed data systems with applications that work interoperability. Keeping these systems up to date and following best practices will allow for the greatest functionality and access to accurate, real-time data.
Amar Kulkarni is vice president M3 at Avaap. Amar works with processors to implement Infor M3, PLM and other Infor software solutions to help them stay current with industry trends, compliance changes and opportunities that impact manufacturing organizations.