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Small business cannot find correct supplier

supplier program

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liuyyaa

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Posted 13 September 2016 - 11:30 PM

Hi everyone,

 

I have a issue with my current situation. I am a QA in a small family owned business. The owner wants to go further for SQF level 2, but we are cannot find correct supplier for our raw materials.

 

We use finished commodity products to do our product. Before the company usually buy from costco or similar places. Now we are working on searching suppliers who can provide us product specifications. However, most of the big suppliers require bulk load order, which is not working with us. For example, one product we only need 10kg for maybe a whole year, but those suppliers require 500kg for minimum order. If we buy the same product from costco or other places we can get the quantity. At the same time, local small suppliers are not supplying the same product, and there is no point to buy from other country or province with such low quantity.

 

Is there any possible solution for that? Any ideas will help. Thanks a lot.

 

Michelle



Gerard H.

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 11:22 AM

Dear Michelle,

 

That's an interesting situation, which you describe: As I understand it well, than:

  • You have not an enormous amount of different raw materials
  • At this moment, you are at the beginning of the need of raw materials specifications

Well in this case, I have an idea for you. I would make my own specifications by:

  • Creating a format with the topics and requirements which specify the raw materials
  • You fill them out for each raw material
  • When your company grows, you can let sign them off by your supplier
  • That's also the case for the 1 or 2 big raw materials you may have already

An auditor will normally understand the situation. The important is that you have specs.

 

I wish you good luck with your project. If you like to discuss further, don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



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Watanka

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Posted 14 September 2016 - 03:57 PM

Michelle,

 

There are two SQF issues involved: (1) 2.3.2 Raw and Packaging Materials; and, (2) 2.4.5 Incoming Goods and Services. 

 

2.3.2.1 Specifications for all raw and packaging materials, including, but not limited to ingredients, additives, hazardous chemicals and processing aids that impact on finished product safety and quality shall be documented and kept current.
This requires you to document specifications for all raw materials used in your product, including those purchased from retailers.  Simply get in contact with the manufacturer of the raw ingredient you purchase at retail and obtain product specs.  Update at least annually as some products may change over time.  SQF requires you to validate the raw materials, which can include your own documented sampling and testing.

 

2.4.5.1 Raw materials, ingredients, packaging materials, and services that impact on finished product safety and quality shall be supplied by an approved supplier.

This requires you to have a documented method in place to review and approve suppliers, including retailers. 

2.4.5.4 The approved supplier program shall be based on the prior performance of a supplier and the risk level of the raw materials ingredients, packaging materials, and services supplied.

This section contains seven criteria for the vendor approval program, which you create, document, implement and maintain.

 

As Gerard points out in his reply, you can create your own documented and validated specifications, and as long as they meet the requirements of the two sections listed above you should be fine.

 

Good luck!



Charles.C

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Posted 15 September 2016 - 03:59 AM

Hi Watanka,

 

Thanks yr SQF info.

 

The actual raw materials/process are unknown and I'm not a SQF user  but I note a few specific SQF details may relate -

 

2.4.5.4  The approved supplier program shall be based on the prior performance of a supplier and the risk level of the raw materials ingredients, packaging materials, and services supplied, and shall contain as a minimum:
i.       Agreed specifications;

iii.     A summary of the food safety and quality controls implemented by the approved supplier;

 

 

IMEX, many customers for a processed, finished product expect to see clause (i) as part of the Processor's Procedure for awarding  "approved supplier"  status for  process input materials.

 

Clause (iii) might necessitate a prior specification to exist  from the ingredient supplier's own POV.

 

IMEX, the "control" element of Clause (i) can be a bone of contention between Production and QA Departments when an ingredient XYZ is suddenly discovered to have "run out" on the  day of Production.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


QATX12

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:22 PM

As your needed volumes are to small to go direct I would suggest you find a distributor to work with.



QATX12

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 12:25 PM

As your needed volumes are too small to go direct I would suggest you find a distributor to work with.



MQA

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Posted 22 September 2016 - 12:59 AM

If you're already purchasing the product, but in small bulk from the supermarket, then why can't you contact the supplier of the raw material to obtain the product specification?  You are still purchasing the same product, therefore should still be able to request the product specification.  We do this ourselves, as not all raw materials are purchased directly from the big cats.  

 

Perhaps even explain to the supplier that your business is small with improvement for growth in the foreseeable future.  

 

Also, all suppliers to a supermarket should be a registered food business with minimal HACCP certification... otherwise they cannot supply product to the supermarkets.  



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Melbourne Quality Assurance | Australia
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liuyyaa

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:14 PM

Thanks to all above reply! Before I thought we cannot purchase from retailer. Now I understand as long as we have records and the specifications, we can get the raw materials from retailers (Costco or so). Is that correct?







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