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#1 jenky

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

Good afternoon --

Recently the process by which our team approves new ingredients and vendors was questioned by other members of the organization. We manufacture formulated products for the foodservice industry, but also repackaged commodity-type products which require no formulation or blending of any kind. It is the approval of new vendors for these commodity-type ingredients that is being challenged. Currently, we have a specification in place which outlines the physical, chemical, and microbiological criteria. Additionally, organoleptic evaluation plays a critical role in the evaluation of all potential suppliers of these materials, so our R&D team does a full sensory evaluation first to determine if a new vendor passes or not. If not, then the evaluation goes no further. Our approach has always been to ensure consistency from vendor to vendor, so that any changes we make internally goes unnoticed by our customer.

I am open to reevaluating this process and improving it, but am stuck on how to do so. Does anyone have suggestions or can share how they evaluate new suppliers at their organization? I received a suggestion that we involve members in Sales and Marketing in the decision making process. This would be great if they were located in the same place, but they are all over and it would be very cumbersome and lengthen the approval process. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your help!

Jennifer



#2 AS NUR

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:48 AM

Good afternoon --

Recently the process by which our team approves new ingredients and vendors was questioned by other members of the organization. We manufacture formulated products for the foodservice industry, but also repackaged commodity-type products which require no formulation or blending of any kind. It is the approval of new vendors for these commodity-type ingredients that is being challenged. Currently, we have a specification in place which outlines the physical, chemical, and microbiological criteria. Additionally, organoleptic evaluation plays a critical role in the evaluation of all potential suppliers of these materials, so our R&D team does a full sensory evaluation first to determine if a new vendor passes or not. If not, then the evaluation goes no further. Our approach has always been to ensure consistency from vendor to vendor, so that any changes we make internally goes unnoticed by our customer.

I am open to reevaluating this process and improving it, but am stuck on how to do so. Does anyone have suggestions or can share how they evaluate new suppliers at their organization? I received a suggestion that we involve members in Sales and Marketing in the decision making process. This would be great if they were located in the same place, but they are all over and it would be very cumbersome and lengthen the approval process. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks for your help!

Jennifer


Hi jenifer

In my opinion, we have 4 factors to choose the supplier , they are :

1. Quality : all spesification that you need for products from SUpllier, its including Sensory parameters that you implemented now.

2. Cost : As well as Price of products that supplier offering to you including of Term Of Payment.

3. Delivery : its seem like LedTIme, how fast the supplier can sent the product after your PO.

4. Service : its like After sales Service e.c Training product knowledge, update info for the products ETC.

So from this QCDS you can involve all depatment in your company such as QA, R&D, MArketing, Purchasing etc.

That my opinion hope can help you

Rgds

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#3 SQFconsultant

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:21 PM

Jennifer,


Do you require that your suppliers provide you with copies of recent food safety audits or do you commission an audit (or visit the plant yourself) to be conducted with the report and corrective actions sent to you?


Some of our clients have never requested copies of audits from their suppliers before (nor for that matter visited the supplier themselves) and they find it an eye opening experience in many cases and the basis for continuing or discontinuing purchasing.


Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
 
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
 

 

Serving the New Republic of the United States of America, Costa Rica, Panama & Caribbean Islands

 

 


#4 jenky

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:12 PM

Yes, we do require suppliers to submit food safety audits. The food safety aspect of the evaluation is pretty locked down, so to speak. We have a very robust regulatory compliance team and our guidelines for the compliance and food safety part of the approval process are clear and not up for debate at this time.

My question really has to do with the quality specification, specifically the sensory specification since some deem it subjective. If product A has a flavor specific of "mildly sweet with licorice notes". When approving a new vendor, how do we determine what the range of acceptability is? Obviously, when you are dealing with natural ingredients,there is going to be some natural variation. As I stated, we have always tried to maintain a narrow window to keep consistency in quality for our customers. So, now the question is can open that widen that window? If so, how much and who should be involved in that decision-making process?

Thanks for the comments so far.



#5 Charles.C

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:00 AM

Yes, we do require suppliers to submit food safety audits. The food safety aspect of the evaluation is pretty locked down, so to speak. We have a very robust regulatory compliance team and our guidelines for the compliance and food safety part of the approval process are clear and not up for debate at this time.

My question really has to do with the quality specification, specifically the sensory specification since some deem it subjective. If product A has a flavor specific of "mildly sweet with licorice notes". When approving a new vendor, how do we determine what the range of acceptability is? Obviously, when you are dealing with natural ingredients,there is going to be some natural variation. As I stated, we have always tried to maintain a narrow window to keep consistency in quality for our customers. So, now the question is can open that widen that window? If so, how much and who should be involved in that decision-making process?

Thanks for the comments so far.


Dear Jennifer,

IMEX, it is usually the "grey" areas which are subjective.

You don't yet give any details of yr current sensory procedure. A textbook (attempted) answer to the subjectivity aspect is via standardised statistical routines, eg triangular methods, which are discussed in some detail on this forum. But i expect you know all this already ?

Rgds / Charles.C

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#6 jenky

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 07:36 PM

Ah ... those pesky "grey" areas.

Our current sensory procedure:
1) a new vendor submits a sample for evaluation along with documents (spec, allergen statement, etc)
2) R&D team performs organoleptic evaluation in comparison to current material - pull sample from current material in inventory - compare appearance, color, aroma, flavor, texture.
3) Give a yeah or nay based on how close it is to the current material. R&D always gives descriptors of both the current material and the sample material. We are relying on there expert judgement if there are any differences in material, and if so are the differences significant enough that they would be noticeable to a customer.

I am familar with standard statistical routines, eg. triangle tests. We use such methods on occasion, but do not have the time or resources to put together a panel of 30-60 people for such a test on a regular basis for these evaluations, which occur with some regularity (several per week, or 20-30 per week for several weeks during bid season).

We were contemplating put out a type of chart to decision makers (marketing, sales) with range options for color, key flavor notes, key aroma notes, etc. Compile their choices, establish the range for each product and then that is the "sensory' specification going forward, no more grey area. We could correlate the chart choices to some scientific based analysis, e.g colorimetric analysis, essential oil testing, etc. Obviously, this would take time to put together, but it is a step forward. Is anyone doing anything like this or similar? Anyone doing something else?



#7 Charles.C

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 11:57 AM

Dear Jennifer,

Thks for the detailed comments.

This is obviously a rather specialised/sensitive area of product design so I'm rather surprised that yr OP made no mention of BCP safety-related specifications, ie food grade characteristics. A successful product BCP safety evaluation would also necessitate an audit of the manufacturing facility for some receivers IMEX, regardless of location/certification to relevant standards.

Regarding sensory aspects, to be honest, I'm not too sure what you mean by "formulated product". It sounds much like a perfume component such as a fragrance/essential oil, except for the taste part of course. The evaluation will perhaps also depend on what the compound is being used for (?), ie it's degree of implemented satisfaction.

IMEX grey areas are highly resistant. The frequency of occurrence should (hopefully) be low of course. From memory, other statistical threads here used far less than 30 people. After all, even Fisher's Tea lady only used 8 :smile:

( http://en.wikipedia....ady_Tasting_Tea )

But i agree that the associated workload can be significant, especially when initially setting the system up.

You might get some more useful feedback by nominating a representative compound or type of compound.?

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#8 jenky

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Charles. I agree - maybe if I disclose the type of components we are working with it willl help members understand what we are doing. We are working with spices - so sensory is extremely critical, and quality is very subjective. The food safety aspect of the specification is clear and not subjective at all.

Thanks for the reference to Fisher's Tea Lady. I will look up more info on that.





#9 AS NUR

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:15 AM

dear jenifer..

In your products (spices), sensory is the critical parameters, and the sensory test is very subjective. To make it more objective you should find QUantitaive method. here i suggestfor the methods : GC ( gas Chromatography) can use for aroma & flavor test and Chromameter or Hunter LAB for color. Thats instrument more objective then sensory test.. so you can suggest that method to your team....

rgds

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