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Tesco TFMS / PIU Audits – the Return of Customer Audits


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#1 Simon

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 08:40 AM

I have been reading this thread with interest: Tesco TFMS / PIU Audits

I have also been discussing this week with a colleague who is a customer of Tesco and has been involved with a recent Tesco TFMS / PIU Audit. My colleague also told me other supermarkets are going down this same route. I think this a worrying development. From what I could gather the main difference between a Tesco TFMS / PIU Audit and BRC audit is they are unannounced, more detailed and of course they are carried out by Tesco themselves rather than a third party certification body.

My question is why are Tesco going down this road?

If Tesco are not satisfied with the BRC Standard and the Accreditation / Certification Process they should be demanding that it be improved and not reverting back to the bad old days when everyone in the food industry was subject to multiple audits to customers own standards. It was a bureaucratic nightmare of uncertainty, duplication and added cost for everyone.

The retailers along with the BRC were fundamental in developing a benchmark standard to move away from the above. Fundamentally it was the right thing to do and nothing has happened to change my view.

If unannounced audits are the way let’s go for it. If the TFMS / PIU Audit is tougher then what can BRC learn from it, maybe add a new level to the BRC. Whatever is needed let’s consider it. But please let’s not go full circle - that would be stupid.

What do you think?

Regards,
Simon


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#2 cazyncymru

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 09:11 AM

I have been reading this thread with interest: Tesco TFMS / PIU Audits

I have also been discussing this week with a colleague who is a customer of Tesco and has been involved with a recent Tesco TFMS / PIU Audit. My colleague also told me other supermarkets are going down this same route. I think this a worrying development. From what I could gather the main difference between a Tesco TFMS / PIU Audit and BRC audit is they are unannounced, more detailed and of course they are carried out by Tesco themselves rather than a third party certification body.

My question is why are Tesco going down this road?

If Tesco are not satisfied with the BRC Standard and the Accreditation / Certification Process they should be demanding that it be improved and not reverting back to the bad old days when everyone in the food industry was subject to multiple audits to customers own standards. It was a bureaucratic nightmare of uncertainty, duplication and added cost for everyone.

The retailers along with the BRC were fundamental in developing a benchmark standard to move away from the above. Fundamentally it was the right thing to do and nothing has happened to change my view.

If unannounced audits are the way let’s go for it. If the TFMS / PIU Audit is tougher then what can BRC learn from it, maybe add a new level to the BRC. Whatever is needed let’s consider it. But please let’s not go full circle - that would be stupid.

What do you think?

Regards,
Simon



I think that Tesco et al are keen to do PIU audits as they can generate a (substantial) income from them!

Every little helps! :whistle:

caz
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#3 sskubisnac

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:00 PM

I think that Tesco et al are keen to do PIU audits as they can generate a (substantial) income from them!

Every little helps! :whistle:

caz



There are probably three main reasons :~

1) A not inconsiderable revenue stream from the audits themselves.

2) Brand integrity - Tesco have now become so big they have effectively set themselves up as the most likely multiple to be featured on any Panorama style programs where suppliers are exposed for their poor control.

3) They are setting themselves aside from other retailers as having higher standards than the rest (M&S style)


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#4 Caddyshack

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 12:23 PM

I am sure you all agree, given you can now volunteer for unannounced Audit schemes within your BRC schedule (you pay of course), when issue 6 is published it will include unannounced audits as part of the standard.

Caddyshack


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#5 Simon

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 09:34 AM

How does it work then with Tesco, like how much do they charge for the pleasure?


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#6 sskubisnac

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 10:51 AM

The prospect of having to work in an environment which is constantly expecting an unexpected audit from up to four retailers does not fill me with joy! We will end up in a situation where constant 'audit readiness' is given more focus than the job itself.

:thumbdown:


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#7 SSJB

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 11:25 AM

As I type, I am sat at one of our sites preparing for our next unnnounced Tesco PIU audit - we know it is imminent, we just don't know how imminent. Having been through one at a different ste 2 weeks ago, and the last audits at both these sites 6 months ago, I can confirm they are a horrendous experience!

A long 2 day audit with very strict detailed auditors. We did ok this time round, and the auditor was much more amenable, but 6 months ago we felt like we'd been lined up and shot!

I believe the cost of the prvilege runs to a couple of £k, but I don't deal with the payment side!

It has become apparent that supplier are expected to develop a culture of considering the Tesco TFMS as part of everything they do!


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#8 sskubisnac

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Posted 13 August 2009 - 02:03 PM

I heard of a site where the auditor saw the security guard smoking in the doorway of his security hut. This hut was several hundred yards from any production area and presented no risk to product, yet because after the smoking ban his actions were 'against the law of the land', and it is a Legal and Technical audit, the site automatically received a major and was immediately given amber status.

I was told at a training course that we must walk around our sites 'as if we have cameras fitted in our glasses' and imagine everything we see as it would look on a tv screen! Hardly focused on quality!


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#9 Kamwenji Njuma

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 12:13 PM

Hi
I think it is too unfair to bump into a company and do an audit.It is also psychologically traumatising.
People need time to prepare.As much as things should flow,you never know,something might be at the wrong place.


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#10 Charles.C

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 05:59 AM

Dear All,

Purely out of curiosity, is this travesty a solely UK occurring implementation?. I have noticed that no other (actual) similar experiences are being offered from outside the UK (or Scotland if it is relevant, too mean to pay :smile: ) ?

Can't remember if IFS have this "option" also or, if yes, whether anyone (seller or buyer) is indeed going for it.

GFSI approved ??

Rgds / Charles.C


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#11 sskubisnac

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 03:20 PM

Tesco do carry out TFMS audits of their overseas suppliers, but due to the logistics involved these are announced. Though I've heard that plans are afoot to make these unannounced too.


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#12 Simon

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 06:08 PM

Hi
I think it is too unfair to bump into a company and do an audit.It is also psychologically traumatising.
People need time to prepare.As much as things should flow,you never know,something might be at the wrong place.


That is one of the main points Jeremy. Everything should always be in place, with safe practices operating, organised and clean working environment and the whole food safety management system working effectively. This should be 24/7 365 days of the year. If not why not? If we have to prepare for the audit then something is going wrong. But most people do need to prepare. I think this pressure will drive better standards.

Regards,
Simon
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