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Developing QMS in plants with confidential but not patented recipes

Quality assurance ISO 22000 QMS manufacturer

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#1 Mesha

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 06:39 AM

How can we have QA systems especially raw material receiving, its approval through testing, its issue to production and uploading the BOM for products with confidential raw materials and recipe ? If the total manuacturing has 5 processes then only 1 is confidential, but all many raw materials used in the initial stage are confidential !

 

I thought of coding the raw materials before issue....!!

 

Through this forum I am trying to explore if the experts out there have better suggestions...or if coding is OK then ideas on how to manage them !!! :uhm:

 

Pls share your knowledge & ideas !

 

Thanks in advance. :smile:


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#2 SUSHIL

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:35 AM

Hello Meena,

   Are you talking of ERP system of Manufacturing/Production Modules or Stores /Material request planning Module.Raw material receiving is done by Stores Personnel who ,after receiving contacts the QA Personnel.when QA  Personnel approves the Quality of RM/PM etc then only the   personnel in the stores uploads the quantity,date of mfg/exp in the stores ERP system.so that it is available in material request planning and WIP,WO etc.If unapproved he

sents back the rejected Material through rejected goods ERP module.


Edited by SUSHIL, 01 November 2013 - 08:39 AM.

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#3 Mesha

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 08:48 AM

Hi Sushil,

 

This is a system for normally manufacured product.

 

I am looking for QM ideas in manufacturing plants who would want to keep their raw materials used or method of their addition as "highly confidential" even from the production people. The poduction staff is given the SOP for processing but plant owners do not want them to know the details of the raw material. It is desired to protect the confidentaility at the time of loading of BOM also, as otherwise everyone can make out the consumptions, its ratio from the endproduct quatity.


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:31 AM

Dear meena

 

What is BOM ? Sounds somewhat sensitive. :smile:

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


#5 Mesha

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:37 AM

Oh ! My fault...shouldn't have used specific abbreviations ! :headhurts:

 

BOM is "Bill of Material"


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#6 SUSHIL

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:49 PM

Hello Meena,

    You can make codes of raw material (as normally made in ERP system but omitting actual name) or you can use other names as base (e.g. beverages manufacturer are using as stabilizer base 1 for beverage (omitting names of stabilizer) or as in case of coca cola using flavors which are strictly confidential (using words only natural flavors) ,or in case of mixture of spices in seasonong which are also confidential (used only as word seasonongs).

so can create a item codes as base for beverage or seasonings or flavor (not disclosing raw material in your item codes.)

 

Also similarly you can add same item codes in you BOM .and secondly you can contact your IT consultant who has implemented your ERP modules to give you a password specific BOM so that only authorised personnel can open and modify your BOM.


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#7 Mesha

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:03 AM

Each raw material has a specific code in the system, but the item name is refelecting its actual status because the purchase order is placed on that raw material's name, so... the store receipt is made on that particular item name! How can this be made confidential ?? Even if I recode the material after receiving, at least the whole inventory managing staff is aware of it !!


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#8 Charles.C

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:12 AM

Dear Meena,

 

Interesting post.

 

Indeed, it is quite difficult to order items without specifying their actual nature. Not impossible (eg company x, item x1.1 powder)  but highly likely to cause (undetectable?)  communication errors IMO.

 

You may hv to do a human risk assessment, at least at yr purchasing / receiving stages, and select  "trustable" persons. A similar problem IMEX arises in commercial labs doing analyses of confidential samples, the first stage unit has to completely re-identify the sample but still allow its onward processing to be correctly implemented. Errors do occur. :smile:

 

Sounds like you are seeking a multi-version of a double-blind situation. Possibly over-ambitious. :smile:

 

I deduce you are in a very competitive field. Or are naturally secretive. :biggrin:

 

I have always wondered how Coca-Cola have managed it. If they have, that is.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


#9 SUSHIL

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:34 AM

Hello Meena.

 

       I think you should contact your management and talk to them that material received from supplier should come in coded form (you have to give new codes for this to your supplier and let the supplier put such labels on its raw materials) and that the supplier should keep this information as confidential and should not disclose the ingredients to purchase managers and Add fresh item codes to your purchase order as given to supplier so they may be thinking this as new raw materials in processing .So that from beginning this remains as coded.and export these item codes as your new BOM to your recipes.

 

 

coca-cola manufacturers thier flavors in different locations and combine this natural flavors at a different location and hence no body is able to find out its secret.


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#10 Mesha

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:23 AM

Hi Charles,

 

I am just trying to acheive the organisation's goals :cool: ...that's it !! The situation itself is so unusual (as per my experience) that I really needed brain-storming on this !! :uhm:

 

Hi Sushil,

 

Thanks for your suggestions ! I had the idea of codification from supplier in my mind...but not too sure how to get this done for critical raw materials used in small concentration.  I don't know without patenting the products...how organisations are managing to maintain the cofidentaility for huge commercial products.

 

But anyways, I am really thankful to you for your "assuring" replies..."assuring" in the sense that "what I was thinking" wasn't soooooo unimaginable :lol2:

 

Regards


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#11 MCIAN

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 09:39 AM

Hi there!

 

I once worked with a chemical laboratory with the same concerns. What we did was to give only the required info to concerned staff. 

   - we assigned 1 person to do the coding of the confidential items. This means these items go into a coding room where the original label is removed and changed into codes. The coding has a written procedure to follow and complete records.     

   - the production people as well as stores personnel only know the coded names so the requisition and BOM are also in codes

   - the requisitioned item codes are then translated back by the computer system into the chemical or brand name for purchasing personnel

   - the purchasing personnel have no access to the detailed BOM

 

For one thing, you need a really good documentation of the activities in the coding room since it could be prone to errors if the assigned person is not that meticulous.

 

Regards.

 


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#12 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hi Meena

 

I have worked in situations where we produced product under contract and the formulations were commercially sensitive. In those cases the sensitive raw materials where supplied to us from the customer with very strange and covert sounding coding like X-1045. Coding is one way of doing this but it needs to be backed up with a robust and controlled system of reference and this is can add risk if not carefully managed.

 

Another option is to introduce NDA's, Non-disclosure agreements for any person, auditor who may be exposed to sensitive information however the legal status of these is questionable.

 

Not an easy one.

 

George 


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#13 David Pham

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:14 PM

Hi Meena

 

I have worked in situations where we produced product under contract and the formulations were commercially sensitive. In those cases the sensitive raw materials where supplied to us from the customer with very strange and covert sounding coding like X-1045. Coding is one way of doing this but it needs to be backed up with a robust and controlled system of reference and this is can add risk if not carefully managed.

 

Another option is to introduce NDA's, Non-disclosure agreements for any person, auditor who may be exposed to sensitive information however the legal status of these is questionable.

 

Not an easy one.

 

George 

 

I agree with George on the NDA for anyone working close to the formulation. I would also suggest going to a third party vendor and having a part of the process outsourced, maybe 3 or 4 key ingredients, so that your associates never know the complete formulation.


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#14 David Pham

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

Adding, you should always have raw materials identified as to what they are to avoid any allergen / cross contact concerns.


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