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#1 Roger Athlon

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 11:51 AM

Can anyone tell me why does the packaging industry require yet another outside organisation dictating what we should or should not do in our companies? I can't help but feel it is another financial burden on the already beleagered Manufacturering Industry to achieve what? Maybe someone out there could explain.


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#2 Simon

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Posted 14 December 2002 - 02:51 PM

Hello Roger thanks for joining the forum.

If you are a manufacturer of food packaging then I'm sure packaging hygiene is nothing new to you. It's the retailers who have driven this standard; the main reason is that they are required by law to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the food products they sell to you and me. This has meant that hygiene requirements and standards (BRC) have been driven down the supply chain to packaging.

The standard will ensure there is a common auditing standard (benchmark) and so long as the certification bodies apply this consistently we will have a level playing field. Not just within the UK I might add. This must be better than dozens of customers auditing to their own guidelines.

I agree with you totally that certification to the BRC/IoP Packaging Standard is an additional and ongoing cost for the ‘beleaguered manufacturing industry', a cost that nobody is going to pay any extra for.

This said certification to the standard can, in the long term, bring some tangible (£) benefits to your business:

1. It may help you to retain and attract new customers.
2. The standard requires a hazard analysis (can be HACCP but not specified) of the process to be undertaken. You may find that by looking very closely at what you do you may be able to identify some improvements, efficiencies, cost savings etc.
3. To achieve the standard your operation will have to be clean, tidy and well organised. A great method of achieving this is by implementing a five S programme. I will be putting some information on the site in the next week or two on this subject but for now try:

http://www.graphicpr...om/tech/five_s/
http://www.manufactu...ls/skinner.html

Imagine a 3 shift production facility where organisation is bad and an Operator has to spend 20 minutes throughout every shift looking for tools. Over a year this wasted time could cost:

1 shift - 20 minutes
3 shifts (1 hour a day) @ £10 an hour
5 days a week £50 a week
52 weeks a year £2,600 a year

A simple solution to this would be to install shadow boards. This is a board where all tools are kept/hang awaiting use, as soon as you have finished with the tool you are using you must take it back to the shadow board immediately. In other words a place for everything and everything in its place. The cost of installing such a system is small and in this example would easily offset the cost of the standard itself.

This is only one small example there is a lot more to Five S's than this.

At the end of the day it depends whether you see the glass half full or half empty; the standard is here to stay so you may as well embrace it wholeheartedly, you never know it may well be a catalyst for continuous improvement in your organisation.

I presume by your post that you are in the packaging industry. Are you trying to achieve the BRC/IoP standard? If so, how much progress have you made?

Post any question you like on the topic and I will gladly help you if I can. Hopefully in the future when a few more people know about the site and the forum there will be more help on offer.

For more information on the BRC/IoP Packaging Standard http://www.saferpak.com/brc.htm

For more information on HACCP http://www.saferpak.com/haccp.htm

Regards,
Simon


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#3 Roger Athlon

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Posted 17 December 2002 - 09:40 PM

Thanks for a very informative and detailed answer. I know you are theoretically correct but many of us have to work in the real world and yes I do work in the food packaging industry and we are attempting to achieve the BRC standard.
These days many companies are run by accountants who keep a tight rein on the purse strings. Whilst they pay lip service to standards like ISO9000 and the new BRC Standard they will only allow expenditure in cash or time when persuing certification from the relevant body. Once achieved the commitment and drive etc. slows down or disappears altogether. So it is virtually impossible to develop the techniques you suggest in your reply or contained on your website because those of us, in middle management , who support the ideas suggested on your website are constrained by over zelous accountants who are governed by the shortsightedness of monthly budgets and profitability quotas. Has anyone else experienced this type of situation and can anything be done about it.
Sorry to say but this is the true picture of life in the Manufacturing Sector.


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#4 Simon

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Posted 18 December 2002 - 03:42 PM

Hi Roger

A million quality professionals shout - "Me Too!"

Real and demonstrated Senior Management Commitment to 'certificate standards' or indeed quality, historically, has been a rare beast, and I empathise with you completely. It is widely recognised by the quality community that ISO 9000:1994 in general failed to muster senior management commitment and was largely unsuccessful in improving 'quality' within organisations.

I recently read that many third party auditors auditing against ISO 9000:1994 chose to churn out lots of minor, insignificant non-conformities, rather than confronting senior management with serious non-conformities. Understandable really, I mean who likes confrontation (with your customer). But these guys and their employers must accept a large proportion of the blame for failing to implement the requirements of the standard and consequently besmirching the credibility of the standard.

Anyway that's history and although one has to be sceptical, within ISO 9000:2000 there is a lot more emphasis on, and requirements for senior management commitment:

http://www.saferpak....rom_the_top.pdf
ISO from the Top - Jim Wade

http://www.qualitydi...html/iso2k.html
'Redefining Management Responsibility' - Quality Digest

Print both articles off; shove them in the MD's in-tray and run.

It is a bit too early to say whether ISO 9000:2000 has altered the mindset of MD's and forced quality onto the boardroom table. You can have an affect here though - be tuff on yourself, if your auditor is not asking probing questions of your senior management, tell him, or get someone in who will!

Quality Professionals do have to live in the 'real world' and should recognise that there is not an endless pot of money or time in any company. However, no Director (accountant or not) worth his salt could ignore a well thought out, brief and structured report explaining the financial viability of a business improvement initiative.

Quality professionals need to communicate and work with senior management to develop a realistic and viable strategy for quality and improvement within their organisation. If this is not possible and I am acutely aware that it is not in some organisations. You must develop a Rockyesque ability to get up from the canvas with another idea, and take what you can get - or leave!

The BRC/IoP Packaging Standard also has requirements for Senior Management Commitment, (implementation and maintenance of the principles of the standard, policy, management review, assignation of resources) and it is possible for similar problems to endure. However it is a relatively new standard and it would be extremely foolhardy and unfair to discuss The BRC/IoP Packaging Standard in the same terms as ISO 9000.

For a start it is a requirement that the certification bodies evaluating against the standard are formally accredited to the European Standard EN45011. These are the only guys who can audit and certificate against the standard.

Formal accreditation of a certification body can only be granted by a National Accreditation Body; in Great Britain this Body is the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

I'm sure lessons have been learned and they need to have been if the BRC/IoP Packaging Standard is to be successful and credible in the long term. The standard presents an opportunity to all interested parties and who knows in the future some or all of the continuous improvement / proactive requirements of ISO 9000:2000 may be incorporated into the BRC/IoP Packaging Standard and ISO 9000:2000 will become wholly irrelevant to packaging companies and our customers.

Surely that would put a smile on your MD's face.

Regards,
Simon


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Simon Timperley
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