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badolan

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:42 PM

Hi, Just reading your topics and forums has helped me tremendously with creating my HACCP Program. I want to thank you all!:clap: I have a problem and I was hoping possibly someone could give me some insight as to how to make my HACCP Program even better. The problem is my boss/owner is old school and doesn't want to come aboard the new FDA guidelines train. The Plant Manager and Assistants do what they can to make things go smoother, but they can't seem to make him want to be aware of the new guidelines we have to follow. Our HACCP was voluntary at the beginning because some of our customers wanted us to be HACCP certified, which we have been going on 4 years now. Some parts of the program are running smoothly while others are not so smooth. If there is a large change, he doesn't like change and this is all new to him. He will not attend any of the HACCP meetings or training we had in the past. He is well into retiring age, but won't retire anytime soon. This company has been his life and I think he is afraid of losing conrol at some point with all the FDA guidelines we have to follow now. I hope you guys can give me some advice on this?

Thanks,



Simon

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 08:04 PM

I don't think you're going to change the old fella. My question to you is if you have the plant manager, assistants, yourself and I imagine the operators on board what do you need the old fella to do? Do you need his agreement on changes? I would recommend you just cut him out and make the changes yourselves gradually, unless of course you need bundles of cash spending.

By the way you're not on your own.

Regards,
Simon


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Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:15 AM

Hi Badolan,

I agree with the comments made by Simon. You just have to cut the boss out and work with other members of the team. I know it is not easy as each and every company is different in their views and approach. It is also advisable to keep the boss informed of the new wave of changes so that he feels that he needs to delgate the matter to somebody else.


Regards

Ajay


Edited by Dr Ajay Shah, 02 March 2011 - 05:15 AM.

Dr Ajay Shah.,
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCE(FE)
Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


GMO

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 03:50 PM

Ditto, ditto. Sometimes the guy in total charge doesn't really know what's going on and sometimes you can use this to your advantage. He's old school, he ain't going to be taught any new tricks any time soon. I'm sure the production staff have the same issues. Imagine trying to implement 5S or Kanban planning with this guy! You might find some friends in the middle management layer. Just be politically careful how you handle it though. Old knowledge isn't necessarily old hat, it can sometimes be useful so it might be worth the odd "I want to pick your brains" chat and even if it leads to nothing useful to you, it keeps the old chap on side (after all without him none of you would be in work).

Alternatively, if he just doesn't 'get' HACCP, have you tried explaining it through the mode of FMEA? It was what HACCP was developed from originally and it might be a concept he's aware of?



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Zeeshan

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:02 AM

Hi, Just reading your topics and forums has helped me tremendously with creating my HACCP Program. I want to thank you all!:clap: I have a problem and I was hoping possibly someone could give me some insight as to how to make my HACCP Program even better. The problem is my boss/owner is old school and doesn't want to come aboard the new FDA guidelines train. The Plant Manager and Assistants do what they can to make things go smoother, but they can't seem to make him want to be aware of the new guidelines we have to follow. Our HACCP was voluntary at the beginning because some of our customers wanted us to be HACCP certified, which we have been going on 4 years now. Some parts of the program are running smoothly while others are not so smooth. If there is a large change, he doesn't like change and this is all new to him. He will not attend any of the HACCP meetings or training we had in the past. He is well into retiring age, but won't retire anytime soon. This company has been his life and I think he is afraid of losing conrol at some point with all the FDA guidelines we have to follow now. I hope you guys can give me some advice on this?

Thanks,


First of all, I assure you, you are not alone in this world with such a scenario. Golden principles, formulated by me, for encountering such situations are:
1- Never quit or think to quit till last breath or unless you start feeling that top management has decided to get you out of the company. If you quit by yourself, you may get worst situation elsewhere so try to make your present successful instead of dreaming a better situation outside.
2- Never ever promote a situation of high-conflicting nature or open contradiction with guys who are yours' open or hidden opponent. Try to leave or compromise the situation upto acceptable limit.

I do agree with GMO about concerning FMEA concept. Just to add some strategical steps, recommended to be followed.

1- Make a list of tasks of high-priority based on critical factors such as mandatory requirements (legal or of customer) , severe consequences in case of failures, significant monetary loss in case of failures etc.
2- Identify which high-priority tasks need involvement of your boss.
3- Discuss with boss "patiently" those high-priority concerned tasks. Show him the worst picture in case of failure of completing those task sincerely.
4- Keep record of your briefings, reports and minutes of meeting.

Even, if your boss does not take care for the moment, he will somewhat realize soon (most probably after some failures) that you were right. Once he start realizing this, rest of your journey would, hopefully, be relatively easy.

:off_topic:
BTW, if I applied FMEA on my above stated strategy, one of the failure mode is that your boss become more rigid (if he is a stubborn or narrow-minded) and try to get you out of his way. You may heard the story of foolish ostich who when saw a predator hide its face underneath earth and assumed that it was save then. Only history can reveal the true effects of foolish practices and decisions but unfortunately foolish does not like to learn from history.:whistle:


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MQA

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:52 AM

WOW. Wow, wow, wow. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

12 months ago I left a bakery business. The owner was also an oldie (over 70 years). He had built the business from “scratch” back in 1967. (“Scratch” is for another long story).

I joined the business in 2001. Within my first few weeks, I received a phone call from a very important client pretty much saying: “you don’t have food safety in place therefore we are going to get our product from someone else.”

This client was Woolworths supermarkets. I don’t know about the USA, but that is BIG business in Australia. Apparently the person whom left this business in the same role of “Office Manager” left in distress due to issues with the owner. After looking at documentation that was all over the place, with many paper works missing or incomplete, I fathomed the business was trying to obtain food safety for at least two or three years and Woolworths was becoming impatient. The business made many promises they simply couldn’t keep or didn’t bother to keep.

I had a chat with the head manager of Woolworths: explained I just joined the company and requested he give me one month to give him what he needed from us: a successful desk audit of the Woolworths Quality Assurance food safety program. Surprisingly, he allowed us that month.

My background experience was administration. Superannuation to be precise. I worked days and nights had countless chats with specialists and soon had in place an extremely sufficient food safety program. I am leaving out the stress I endured to get that food safety program in place and all the mistakes made along the way to meet the deadline. Generally speaking here (as this was ten years ago), I made the business spend about $5,000 in implementing this food safety program.

Naturally, the owner being old school gave me a very difficult time over this but “allowed” it because he was about to lose his number one client. He complained the whole entire way. And let’s not forget the guilt induced upon me on the money and my time spent on delivering the perfect food safety manual.

Needless to say, we passed with flying colours. The challenge then became in ensuring we had ongoing maintenance of the food safety program. The hardest part of this journey was getting the owner to finally accept the following:

  • You are not permitted to smoke in the food processing areas ESPECIALLY when processing was active (it’s true)
  • All food processors must wear hair nets
  • Completion of integral forms
  • No wood or glass within food processing areas
  • No eating or drinking whilst working
It was a very tough journey. There were many nights I DID go home and cry because it was unnecessarily tough. I am very lucky I had a supportive partner.

Did he eventually come round? No. Did he lose Woolworths? Yes. I left last year, and after I left, food safety was completely dropped from their systems and they no longer have Woolworths and most of the Coles Supermarkets have also dropped the products.

But! Wait! There is hope. In all things I had pushed for food safety and food quality, I did work out there was a way to speak in his terms. MONEY.

For all the little things, I went over his head. For the things that cost money, I created reports and schedules and forecasts and explained through monetary value why things had to be developed a particular way. Sometimes I simply omitted the food safety element and focused purely on sales, distribution and strategy. It was very tough at times, for sure.

The other method I used was threat. :thumbup: I OFTEN reminded him of food poisoning outbursts. Every time there was a situation that occurred, I made sure he knew. In Australia, fines are up to $500,000 to the OWNER for knowingly selling unsafe food. I made sure he was aware of that.

But old school is old school. They believe if you pick up food off the floor, it is still safe to eat. In many ways they are right. But as statistics and reality proves, many times they are wrong. :dunno: For some bizarre reason, they negate to understand when they pick up dropped food from the floor, it is eaten within seconds. If you pack, deliver, sell, wait for the consumer to eventually eat the same dropped product hours or days later, bacterium has developed to toxic levels.

I wish you much luck in this challenge of yours. If you ever wish to discuss further, I am here to chat! If you need more advise rather than a story, I am here to chat! But then again, if you wish to release your frustrations on the matter, I am willing to listen as I have been there.

And by the way, this business I speak of? Three recalls within the nine years I was with them. For bread with a small shelf life of only six days, that’s three too many.

Edited by JAKMQA, 04 March 2011 - 12:00 PM.


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badolan

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:44 PM

Hi All,
Thank you very much for your answers to my question. I have no attention of quitting this job. The other employees and myself have worked too hard to let it all slip away. I do have the Plant Manager and some of the Plant Asst Managers behind me, so all is not lost and they do come to my HACCP and Food Security Meetings so they know what I am up against. I feel bad that the old man won't come aboard and I do try to include him in all I accomplish. We have had 3 annual HACCP audits and passed all 3 with high scores. Each one has been higher than the last. Apparently we are doing something right. With lots of long days and nights and piles of stress. The guilt is definitley a hard thing to deal with sometimes, you feel bad because of having to exchange all the wood in the plant with plastic or stainless steel and he just doesn't get why we can't use these "nothing wrong with" utensils, shelving and brooms, etc.
Hopefully, it will get better! Maybe he will retire, but then again I could have a Micro Manager!:biggrin:



Larry007

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 05:40 PM

I won't spend a long time elaborating on the 5 years of struggle i have had to go through to get us to compliance. I will just add "ditto" to everyone elses comments.

The turning point for our company was a major recall that involved a prodcut a major customer of ours sells. The reason for the recall was an ingredient similar to ours. This of course sent the customer into a panic and began asking us all the tough questions. All of sudden the QA/Food safety stuff was front and center in the company as we assured our customer that the products we supplied were safe.

It has been my experience that it takes a business threatening situation involving the safety of your (or a competitors similar) prodcuts to really get the owner or uppermost manager to "buy-in".

As a result I would recomend doing everything you can to heighten the awareness of potential food safety threats to your particular prodcut (type/class). One of the ways I did that was through subscriptions to FDA and USDA recall notices, as well as Bill Mahler's newsletter. Every time a competitor had a recall or a product that was similar to ours had a recall. I would forward with with an "FYI" to my boss.

Now my compnay enjoys a pretty good balance of Food Safety vs. Production. The age old Qualtiy vs. Quantity that every company struggles with.

Good Luck keep at it even if you feel like you are losing the battle. Your customers are depending on you to make sure their food is safe.



Simon

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 09:33 PM

Hi All,
Thank you very much for your answers to my question. I have no attention of quitting this job. The other employees and myself have worked too hard to let it all slip away. I do have the Plant Manager and some of the Plant Asst Managers behind me, so all is not lost and they do come to my HACCP and Food Security Meetings so they know what I am up against. I feel bad that the old man won't come aboard and I do try to include him in all I accomplish. We have had 3 annual HACCP audits and passed all 3 with high scores. Each one has been higher than the last. Apparently we are doing something right. With lots of long days and nights and piles of stress. The guilt is definitley a hard thing to deal with sometimes, you feel bad because of having to exchange all the wood in the plant with plastic or stainless steel and he just doesn't get why we can't use these "nothing wrong with" utensils, shelving and brooms, etc.
Hopefully, it will get better! Maybe he will retire, but then again I could have a Micro Manager!:biggrin:

Can you correlate any new business won as a result of your improved food safety management, if you can or at least start celebrating and promoting your HACCP results to customers; he just might take a seat on the bus.

Regards
Simon

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