FSMA is Here. How Do You Manage 1,000 Food Suppliers?

The advent of the FSMA in the US means that everyone in your supplier network can expect an inspector to knock at some point, underlining the imperative for supplier accountability to compliance teams. Brand revenue and reputation ride on the outcome.

This means effectively keeping tabs on hundreds, or even thousands, of suppliers. When these locations span the globe, the undertaking borders on the impossible. You can exhaust your compliance teams with year-round travel, visiting and auditing sites, and still not have an actionable picture of the biggest hazards in your supply chain.

Being dependent on the supplier’s version of their FDA performance is a nonstarter. An important report may be stuck in a desk or on the laptop of someone who left the company. Additionally, some suppliers are less than forthcoming about their actual inspection performance. An up-to-the-minute resource to “keep them honest” makes fact-finding more effective. Why shouldn’t your first group of visits be to the “high risk” group of suppliers?

The right data gives you a risk management dashboard with a huge impact on your department’s operations. If you have to visit 10 sites in the next 20 days, now you know which sites to visit first — or omit altogether. Perhaps “good performers” now just get a survey instead of an in-person visit, sparing your travel time for remediating bigger liabilities. Verifiable, one-stop data also gives you leverage for instituting better practices with problem suppliers — which may mean even fewer road trips.

You’ve got to make every day and dollar yield the most organizational assurance possible. That starts with FDA reporting that lets you drill down — by supplier and ingredient — into up-to-the-minute inspection data.

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