Last month, I published a blog article entitled “The Food Safety Modernization Act: One Year Review
”. In the article, I talked about the profound impact this historic legislature has had on food producers and processors in the past year.
This month, we want to discuss how a food industry-specific ERP system can help make a difference in a recall or alert situation.
Food safety recalls are not predictable - they can happen at the best of times, or the worst of times. At any given moment, food companies must be able to quickly and effectively recall products that have been deemed unsafe for the market. How a company responds to these situations is critical: failure to handle a recall successfully (either voluntary or mandatory) can have serious economic and legal consequences. With the ever increasing levels of press and public backlash associated with Food Safety and Food Recalls, it is becoming even more important for Food companies to have the proper Recall Management processes in place. Unfortunately, few Food companies today are ready to handle a recall, and are putting their company at risk.
This is not to say that all food companies must have end-to-end food safety ERP or recall management systems. In fact, there are more food companies running on spreadsheets and manual paper processes than on industry-specific ERP. However, as these companies grow, as their business processes become more complex, as top retailers become more demanding, and as food safety protocols like GFSI and SQF keep increasing process standards - it will become more difficult for these companies to manage the two key requirements for a good recall process:
- Recall Accuracy - Companies need to be able to respond to recalls intelligently, pulling 100% of the tainted product and 0% of products that pose no danger to consumers.
- Recall Response Times - Companies need to be able to perform recalls and notify clients, vendors, and government agencies in the least amount of time as possible.
So how can food processors solve some of these issues with an industry-specific ERP and recall management system, like MAXFood ERP
A good recall response requires the right mix of business tools, processes, and employee training. The correct tools (like end-to-end ERP and recall management systems) will make it easier for employees to do their job quickly and accurately. They will enforce workflows and controls that ensure the proper business processes are being followed in accordance to FDA, GFSI, SQF, and other regulations and standards. A lot of legacy systems and paper based systems don’t enforce the correct business processes, and therefore make it extremely difficult for companies to perform accurate, timely recalls. Companies using these systems want to adapt best practices and run their business more efficiently - but they don’t have the systems to support those business process changes. And personnel responsible for identifying failures or food contamination need to have a background of education and experience, or a combination thereof, to provide a high level of expertise necessary for the production and distribution of clean and safe food.
MAXFood ERP and its Recall Workbench streamline and automate the recall process, enabling companies to not only perform effective product recalls, but to provide concrete documentation and proof that your company followed all FDA recall procedures. By using MAXFood ERP, companies are given full transparency into the recall process, allowing them to better track the status of a recall, confirm that all of the recalled product was pulled, and quickly notify the customers affected by the recall.
Choosing an industry-specific ERP solution with comprehensive, end-to-end recall management functionality positions a company to plan their entire recall process in advance, to perform mock recalls proactively or at a customer / regulator’s demands, to constantly measure and improve the recall process and, most importantly, to respond rapidly, accurately, and thoroughly if an actual recall is required.
Recalls are expensive - both in terms of product cost and brand / reputation damage. Having the right ERP and recall management system can enable food processors to minimize the costs of a recall, and prevent further damage.