Manufacturers in the food industry face a plethora of challenges today in managing their supply chain. Whether you’re running a global operation or working with local suppliers, you want to ensure a high level of quality for your finished product on a tight timeline. However, that task is easier said than done.
As the compliance dates for the Food Safety Modernization Act come into effect, the industry faces stricter regulatory standards than ever before. Manufacturers need to ensure that, not only do their own operations meet all regulatory requirements, but also that the ingredients from their suppliers are meeting safety requirements. If a manufacturer fails to comply, they could face legal action from the FDA or a product recall.
Because consumers have a world of information at their fingertips, a product recall can do irreversible damage to a brand’s reputation. Consumers can easily follow news stories over several weeks as details unfold about an outbreak of foodborne illness, the affected products and the root source, if a specific ingredient caused the incident. If an ingredient used in your product turns out to be carrying a foodborne pathogen, such as Listeria, that could cause serious damage to your brand too.
Additionally, food manufacturers are dealing with increased competition in the industry as the supply chain globalizes. A global supply chain brings price wars for both ingredients and finished products, as well as a need to differentiate yourself in the market. Souring ingredients on a global scale also brings an increased opportunity for food fraud or intentional adulteration from multiple suppliers.
As the supply chain has gone global, consumers have also taken an increased interest in where their food comes from. They are demanding transparency from manufacturers about the supply chain and production process. To provide answers for consumers, as well as proof of regulatory compliance, manufacturers should be effectively gathering and managing their data at every step in the supply chain.
With data pouring in from several different sources in varying formats, it can be an overwhelming task to manage your data. A dedicated employee analyzing multiple spreadsheets and comparing the numbers to verify compliance with safety and quality standards is time-consuming and not always efficient. Instead, manufacturers can implement a data management tool to standardize their data from all their suppliers and create an overall picture of how their supply chain is performing.
Mérieux NutriSciences created the QualMap solution to provide manufacturers with a cloud-based software to manage their supply chain data. Food safety and quality professionals can view at-line data, audit results, testing data, analytics and more on a customizable dashboard within the tool. Interested in learning more about the QualMap software and its benefits for manufacturers? Watch our webinar recording, “How Do You Guarantee Best-In-Class Quality,” to learn how you can gain a better understanding of your supply chain data!
Meet the Author
Social Media Specialist, Mérieux NutriSciences
Paige Krzysko is the Social Media Specialist for Mérieux NutriSciences and, as such, she works with several departments across the organization on their food safety communications. One of her main interests in the food industry is how federal regulations affect food production. She’s worked in communications for five years and earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.