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#26 RG3

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 07:55 PM

Good Job. That's the way it needs to be done. Straight forward. You get a rep point for that one.

 

More than likely they chose SQF over BRC because your biggest client wants them to go SQF. Most standards are chosen that way.


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#27 tery

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 09:46 AM

Go for SQF GAP Audit first, this will give you a good indication where the company stand for certification and allow the management to hear from Auditors all requirements


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#28 Snookie

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:34 PM

I don't know any thing about BRC, it was managements decision to go with SQF and I am not sure what lead them to that choice. 

 

I wrote an email today detailing our current SQF Implementation status, what we still need to accomplish and some of the resources needed. I also requested that we conduct a gap audit, hopefully this will show management how far we still have to go and the expense involved.

 

I doubt I will sleep much tonight, the email was a very straight forward breakdown of each element in module 2 and module 11 of the SQF code, and I think management is used to things being sugar coated and delivered with smiles.

 

You did the right thing which can be terribly hard to do.  Let us know how it comes out. 


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#29 Myusername

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 08:08 PM

This is what we did
1)Set up gap audit, show senior management they have to be there as a proof of management commitment (don't tell them you cant fail a gap audit).

2)Make sure the CB  send their "hardest auditor".

3) Set this audit up for 1 extra day more than they say you need. your gaps will take up audit time and you will run short of time before the auditor gets through the whole code. Also this punishment has to last long enough that you can get every manager and person in a position of authority to get spanked by this guy. Also not getting through the whole code shows you have to many gaps.

4) Fail it hard... I mean like embarrassingly hard, I would go so far as to direct questions to your superiors and help the auditor prove them wrong (try not to rub it in this embarrassment has to be subtle and not seem like your doing) watch their pride break in half. Everybody gets spanked and embarrassed and butt hurt by this guy because their peers are watching, auditor should hold management accountable for the lack of progress.

5)make sure management is there for closing meeting and summary

6) Next day, Hold a meeting, get as many people there from management as possible this is were you start to hand out non-conformances to everybody telling them to fix their f-up, it's their area, their responsible, get at it.

7) throw a $12,000.00 pay by X date bill on the table and say there is your cost of failure plus our time for 5 days and the future of our business. Wanna know how much a recall costs? How about a the cost of a human life? This this is the game we're playing? Ilets get serious.  Is this happening or not?

if not, this is the time to jump ship

8) If you still work their afterwards Go about your business. get your nose in everybody's business and I mean everybody, make your self known and a presence to be revered, approachable and reliable not feared that would be counterproductive. Just remember you have to know how everything is done its not your job to do it sanitation writes sanitation procedures maintenance writes maintenance procedures you just correct and document them.

9)form the culture of food safety at the top and it works its way down.

 

10) make sure your food safety policies get taken seriously in your hr department.Sometimes people need to be let go ex. if you been here 20 years that's great get on the team and stay another 20. If not 30 people are willing to put on a hair net, wash their hand and stuff food in a box. You can go and not do those this else were. The food game has changed and this is the price to play it.


This takes time. BE PATIENT
good luck




 


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#30 KevinB

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 09:40 PM

Cody13,

Have you considered the BRC certification instead of SQF?  

In my opinion, BRC requires less layers of management to gain certification. The standards are similar, however; for a smaller place I would recomend BRC.

NO No No no no!!!  I was SQF trained and then they decided to go BRC,  It requires the same amount of management commitment. As someone else has said you either have the commitment or you do not. I would stick it out and get as much training and experience as possible. i highly recommend what Simon is saying. Participating in the gap audit is invaluable experience an there is little management can do to argue the NC with the plan. I would make your decision to stay or not based on there willingness to correct the NC.

 

Kevin 


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#31 That Guy

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 12:22 PM

This is what we did
1)Set up gap audit, show senior management they have to be there as a proof of management commitment (don't tell them you cant fail a gap audit).

2)Make sure the CB  send their "hardest auditor".

3) Set this audit up for 1 extra day more than they say you need. your gaps will take up audit time and you will run short of time before the auditor gets through the whole code. Also this punishment has to last long enough that you can get every manager and person in a position of authority to get spanked by this guy. Also not getting through the whole code shows you have to many gaps.

4) Fail it hard... I mean like embarrassingly hard, I would go so far as to direct questions to your superiors and help the auditor prove them wrong (try not to rub it in this embarrassment has to be subtle and not seem like your doing) watch their pride break in half. Everybody gets spanked and embarrassed and butt hurt by this guy because their peers are watching, auditor should hold management accountable for the lack of progress.

5)make sure management is there for closing meeting and summary

6) Next day, Hold a meeting, get as many people there from management as possible this is were you start to hand out non-conformances to everybody telling them to fix their f-up, it's their area, their responsible, get at it.

7) throw a $12,000.00 pay by X date bill on the table and say there is your cost of failure plus our time for 5 days and the future of our business. Wanna know how much a recall costs? How about a the cost of a human life? This this is the game we're playing? Ilets get serious.  Is this happening or not?

if not, this is the time to jump ship

8) If you still work their afterwards Go about your business. get your nose in everybody's business and I mean everybody, make your self known and a presence to be revered, approachable and reliable not feared that would be counterproductive. Just remember you have to know how everything is done its not your job to do it sanitation writes sanitation procedures maintenance writes maintenance procedures you just correct and document them.

9)form the culture of food safety at the top and it works its way down.

 

10) make sure your food safety policies get taken seriously in your hr department.Sometimes people need to be let go ex. if you been here 20 years that's great get on the team and stay another 20. If not 30 people are willing to put on a hair net, wash their hand and stuff food in a box. You can go and not do those this else were. The food game has changed and this is the price to play it.


This takes time. BE PATIENT
good luck




 

 

I find this to be very good advice, Thank you.

 

You are correct, the food game has changed; I think this may have a lot to do with my situation. The entire management team has been with the company since the mid 80's and earlier. I think that since we are such a low risk manufacturer and because of the novelty of the product we make, we have been able to remain in the past. Now that it is time to update our programs and processes we have a lot of catching up to do, but management still has a mind set stuck in the 80's and 90's.


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#32 Myusername

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 03:07 PM

I find this to be very good advice, Thank you.

 

You are correct, the food game has changed; I think this may have a lot to do with my situation. The entire management team has been with the company since the mid 80's and earlier. I think that since we are such a low risk manufacturer and because of the novelty of the product we make, we have been able to remain in the past. Now that it is time to update our programs and processes we have a lot of catching up to do, but management still has a mind set stuck in the 80's and 90's.

 

Same here, very low risk product, low risk process. It was hard for them to take it seriously also we are a small crew, maybe 18 people including office, owners, and operations. Our problem wasn't so much the staff but the owners as there is several of them, running several operations in the same are who all think staff were here to do whatever job at any operation, or they can store whatever product they want in the warehouse, or could use our color coded tools to clean up cow manure on their personal farm. It was messy getting every one to adjust.


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#33 amoreau738

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 02:37 PM

Hi,  Document everything, save your emails, plunge ahead and think positive.  It's a tough battle even when you have management support.  Try and get the BRC manual.  I think the latest is issue 6.  It will give you a great audit base for what you need for food safety.  We just passed our BRC Audit and it's not a chore but a great help to get up to speed.  I believe they will even do a preassesment audit to help you out.  There are a lot of resources out there ready to help you.  Good Luck!!!


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#34 maara91

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:22 PM

I don't know any thing about BRC, it was managements decision to go with SQF and I am not sure what lead them to that choice. 

 

I wrote an email today detailing our current SQF Implementation status, what we still need to accomplish and some of the resources needed. I also requested that we conduct a gap audit, hopefully this will show management how far we still have to go and the expense involved.

 

I doubt I will sleep much tonight, the email was a very straight forward breakdown of each element in module 2 and module 11 of the SQF code, and I think management is used to things being sugar coated and delivered with smiles.

I'm attaching the BRC issue 6 master list I made in preparation for my 1st BRC audit. It may be helpful.

Attached Files


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#35 mdean1124

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:53 PM

Cody,

 

I have over 35 years of Quality Management experience.  "Seeing it through" is an exercise in futility. 

 

Your management leadership is incompetent.  They're using the "plaque on the wall" approach to quality.

 

If you even suspect that you'll be made the scapegoat, roll out of there.  In your business, you are liable (financially) for quality issues because you are the senior quality representative.  If the FDA comes in and decides to take people away in cuffs (yes, it happens), you'll be one of them! 

 

No amount of your stomach acid will make that horse drink!  Been there, done that.

 

Good luck in your job search!

Mike


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#36 susan99

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 04:15 PM

I feel your pain and been there done that!  SQF code requires that senior management designate a SQF Practitioner that has the responsibility to oversee the development and implementation of the SQF system. Unfortunately, from experience it doesn't matter if senior management wants the program in place or not, they only implement the SQF program kicking and screaming the whole way. The biggest hurdle is often the chief financial officer. Your goals as the SQF Practitioner are in direct opposition to his goals as chief financial officer and unfortunately both of your jobs are equally as important to the success of the business. 

 

 My suggestion would be to write every program, record every upgrade required, and document every training that is needed. Keep a spreadsheet of what is needed, when the initial request was made and when the item is achieved or implemented. E-mail or provide this list to department heads along with senior management weekly. You will continually need to hound personnel to achieve the goals. Often it is easier to provide each individual with one goal per week or more if your time frame dictates that need. Provide the individual the task, the end result you would like achieved and a time frame for accomplishment. 

 

Yours isn't an easy task, but remember you aren't the first to go through this problem and won't be the last. Organization is your best friend during this time period. Good luck!


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#37 susan99

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 04:15 PM

I feel your pain and been there done that!  SQF code requires that senior management designate a SQF Practitioner that has the responsibility to oversee the development and implementation of the SQF system. Unfortunately, from experience it doesn't matter if senior management wants the program in place or not, they only implement the SQF program kicking and screaming the whole way. The biggest hurdle is often the chief financial officer. Your goals as the SQF Practitioner are in direct opposition to his goals as chief financial officer and unfortunately both of your jobs are equally as important to the success of the business. 

 

 My suggestion would be to write every program, record every upgrade required, and document every training that is needed. Keep a spreadsheet of what is needed, when the initial request was made and when the item is achieved or implemented. E-mail or provide this list to department heads along with senior management weekly. You will continually need to hound personnel to achieve the goals. Often it is easier to provide each individual with one goal per week or more if your time frame dictates that need. Provide the individual the task, the end result you would like achieved and a time frame for accomplishment. 

 

Yours isn't an easy task, but remember you aren't the first to go through this problem and won't be the last. Organization is your best friend during this time period. Good luck!


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#38 CMHeywood

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 09:20 PM

The company where I work has the same problem.  Everybody likes the idea of SQF certification, but everybody thinks somebody else will do it.  I call it the "Star Trek syndrome."  The captain stands up and says "make it so" and sits down, does nothing else and watches the screen.

 

If you have a safety program to protect people, management should understand that everybody needs to be involved in safety activities.  The same is true with food safety:  everybody has a role and activities to do for the food safety program, otherwise there will not be enough evidence to show that the business is really committed to the program.

 

If you look at the Module 2 guidance, it says "management reviews show management's involvement and commitment."  Show that to your upper management and explain that SQF Module 2 requires a lot of involvement by senior management (documented evidence - not stories).  The message is this:  if senior management cannot show written evidence of how they are involved, you probably won't pass your audit.  It won't matter what you do by yourself.  This is not a one-man program.


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#39 bacon

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 01:29 AM

Cody, MBrown042's comment I have certainly experienced (increasing ones income significantly) vs. mdean1124's mention of FDA cuffs (I haven’t seen this, but it does happen how with FSMA's bigger stick). Its a fine balance as the industry is in quite the transition in the US; you just have to weigh it out to see if it is worth it. Just remember, always 'work' for yourself, in the since of gaining the experience (even with the little pay) to take you further. Even if they fail the audit, even if you’re the fall guy; be prepared to be fired (if they are that unreasonable) and move on. But I would say stick it out as MBrown042 said because “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors”.

 

I myself have helped a couple early GFSI benchmark adopters, SQF and BRC. As a consultant it is a bit easier as I advise the consequences and it is their choice. But believe me, when one has departments that are empowered and authorized, incredible things can happen. In one case I saw this happen as the “shackles” of micro-management lifted and the company’s culture changed to become BRC compliant within 30 days! It would have never happened under the previous management/culture. The company you are working for may never get there, but ‘work’ for yourself and you may get there with another company in the future.

 

Cheers and good luck.

-B


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#40 fgjuadi

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 12:46 PM

 Everybody likes the idea of SQF certification, but everybody thinks somebody else will do it. 

This.

 


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#41 Snookie

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Posted 21 November 2014 - 06:42 PM

  Everybody likes the idea of SQF certification, but everybody thinks somebody else will do it.  I call it the "Star Trek syndrome."  The captain stands up and says "make it so" and sits down, does nothing else and watches the screen.

 

Good analogy. 


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#42 MmeMuffin

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 05:56 PM

Hi Cody and all.. The best advice I can give you is to "See It Through". I have been in the same situation that you are in about a year and a half ago. I was with a small food manufacture and that produced bakery items for retail and USDA items for institutions. That company was extremely hard to bring to SQF status but I did it. I had very little managment committment, and most managers in the building did not do the task that I asked of them. I did not have a QA team, it was Me and pretty much me alone. We had a sanitaiton manager that quit right before the audit and a maintenance manager quit 2 months before the audit. The audit was originally scheduled late 2012, and I pushed the audit back 3 times before we finally had the audit it August of 2013. My boss was the president of the company and he told me I have thick skin, because I would have to go through so much drama everyday just to implement one simple task like segregation of allergens. I came to work everyday stressed out and scared for my job becasue my job was on the line if we did not pass the audit. Geeze I can seriously go on and on about how hard it truly was, but at the end of the day I passed the SQF audit level 2 and put that on my resume, and I left that company in CA and relocated to AZ where I pretty much doubled my salary. It will speak volume if you pull this off. You can do it! "When your up agianst the trouble, meet it squarely face to face; lift your chin and set your shoulders , plant your feet and take a brace. When its vain to try to dodge it , Do the best that you can do; You may fail, but you may conquer, SEE IT THROUGH!!!!" By Ernest Albert Guest -- Marvis Brown Friendship is Essential to the Soul!!

So inspirational! I'm in a very similar situation-- so happy to hear that it can be done!


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#43 sqf girl

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Posted 09 December 2014 - 07:52 PM

I too, was in that position, years ago.  I fully understood the magnitude of the commitment of senior management.  I made it known that the President and the Plant Manager would have to undergo SQF Training,just as I did to become the SQF Practitioner.  In this way they were getting to hear all of their requirements from a third party.  They came back from training with a much more open mind and understood that this was not just a certification, but a lifestyle change as far as a food company.  I wrote the plan and all of the records, as well as implementing all of the policies.  It took me about a year and half before we were ready for a mock audit.  We started this process 5 years ago, when our customers first starting requesting GFSI certification.  You can do this.  Set small goals weekly, so that the process does not seem so daunting.  Best wishes to you.


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