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#1 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 02:16 PM

I have been trying to implement SQF into a packaging manufacturing plant that has been run for 45 years without any level of comolisnce or accountability. For 7 month's i have written programs, created forms, training, document control systems and we are no closer today than the day I started. My attempts to develop an effective food safety team of departmental managers has bern in vain. Every manager is over committed already. I am now working with our 3rd COO who is questioning mmy knowledge because he has not taken the time to read the code. I have now been tasked to redesign an implementation plan that is realistic and workable with limited rresources both financial and physical. I must present this to the board of directors who are the owners. I have reiterated endlessly tthat Senior Management owns this compliance, but they keep responding with...they don't understand it. I have provided every possible guidance document for every section of modules 2 and 13. I have drafted every SOP and training presentation. The entire sraff is gravely computer illiterate and use me as their personal assistant because they are unable to use the QMS drive I creared to store all SQF documents for their review. I am fighting a losing battle and our timeline is running out. I cannot do this alone. And I certainly cannot do this with a Sr Manager bent on undermining my efforts and presenting me as the incompetent one. My only recourse is to push out timeline for completion to end if 2018 and work on one program at a time through to implementation before moving onto next program. Has anyone had to implement SQF with minimal management day to day involvement?



#2 SQFconsultant

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 03:37 AM

A lot of times in these cases ownership and management need a swift kick in the butt and that unfortunately many times will come from your customer(s) that are the driving force for company to get cwrtified.

Most of our clienta were first exposed to the need to get SQF certified by their own in house sales force.

When one of our new clients Quality Assurance Nanagers was having difficulty getting staff and management on board he went to the sales reps to give him backup as to why they had to get SQF certified.

If you use this approach you may very well find that your sales reps will be the champions to making ownership and managers understand thar if they don't start cooperating they should plan on having $$$ go to other companies that have not only gotten SQF certified but also embraced SQF as a culture for positive change.

May the salesforce be with you!


Kind regards,

 

Glenn Oster
 
 
GOC GROUP / +1.800.793.7042 / Food - Food Packaging - Food Storage/3PL

SQF, BRC & IFS System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants

Serving Small-to-Large Businesses | International Cross-Border Acceptance

Auditor Training | eConsultant | GFCP | 50% Reduction for C-Currencies

http://www.GlennOsterConsulting.com  -- 

 

 

SQF, BRC & IFS System Developments - it's what we do everyday!

https://glennosterco...-development-pr

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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#3 Peaches

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:38 PM

I agree that sales can definitely  help push the need for the certification.  The buy in that it is not only a 'QA' function is a bit more of a challenge. 

 

Have you had a gap assessment audit performed by an outside representative?  Sometimes when it's written by someone else, there is no more arguing the point that support is needed.  Also do you have any colleagues in a similar field that are SQF certified?  Sometimes reaching out to them to see how they have their programs set up could again be another point for your side that you're not crazy, you do know what you're talking about, and support is needed from the top down!  45 years is a lot of old habits to break through - good luck!



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#4 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 01:46 PM

Thank you everyone for your feedback.  I have no contact information for our sales force.  I was being assisted by the VP of Sales who is now unavailable long term due to health problems, so I have no sales support either.  I can only do what I've been doing and suggest that if money and teammates are not provide to me, then I will be forced to implement on my timeline and when we are ready they will be the first to know.



#5 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 13 November 2017 - 10:11 PM

I am now working with our 3rd COO who is questioning mmy knowledge because he has not taken the time to read the code.

 

 

 

This is one of the most frustrating things I encounter in QA, the whole "I don't like the answer so I'll question your expertise". It's infuriating and I feel for you.

 

I agree with Peaches that it can be extremely helpful to have someone outside your company come in to "check your work" and help clarify for management that what you're asking them to do isn't "abnormal", they just haven't experienced it before and frankly just don't see the actual value in it. The same thing often happens for safety culture or six sigma.

 

If you'd like an "outside consultant" to look over some of your materials and help you gain traction by having some of these requirements not come from you specifically, send me an email if you think it would help.


Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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#6 dfreund

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:14 PM

Management must be on board to go anywhere. Start with developing awareness of the risk if Food Safety matters aren't properly controlled.  I expect a few short searches will turn up some horror stories they don't want to be part of. Show how your organization's programs will prevent this and protect the bottom line.

 

Your next battle seems to be getting a team of advocates in your system.  Again this takes training and awareness then recruit their involvement in the solution by changing what they already do not giving them "more".  Celebrate small victories and never pass up an opportunity to thank them.  Simple appreciation goes a long way.  You will soon recognize who you can rely on to help promote initiatives.

 

Stick with your plan to tackle one program at a time.  Otherwise, your efforts look disjointed, people will resist and your credibility is undermined.

 

Awareness-->program development--> train--> recognize and reward attaining a new higher standard.

 

Good luck to you! Solve the people problem and the food safety will fall into place.



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#7 PEACEQUEEN

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 01:25 PM

Thank you everyone for your support.  It has been very frustrating to be writing and communicating vast amounts of information with zero progress.  Like being stuck in the mud.

 

I am starting Lunch and Learn sessions this week with individual departmental managers to address anything they don't understand and prepare them for how these programs will impact their department.  I think one on one with these guys will have more impact than group meetings that end up getting hijacked into completely different topics. 

 

Thank you again!  I don't know what I would do without this forum!

 

Lori



#8 sruggero

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 03:31 PM

I also agree with Peaches.  I was in a similar position.  I found a collegue with many BRC GFSI audits under his belt to do a gap assessment.  He agreed to a fee that was fair and still far less than the professional certifying bodies.  Senior manangement was more open to a gap assessment especially knowing that a deep discount was involved.

Be encouraged.  You're dedication will pay off.  It may mean however, being the tortoise rather than the hare.



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#9 MWidra

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:20 PM

Hang in there, I started working on BRC certification in 2014, and we just completed the audit and passed. It took a lot of effort, but the best drive was from customer insistence that we become GFSI certified. Showing management articles that prove that suppliers with GFSI certification are more acceptable to customers can go a long way.

 

I feel your pain, and wish you the best.

 

Martha


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."  The Muppets


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#10 teaks

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 04:37 PM

Be patient.  It's tough to implement any new program, but SQF is particularly difficult because it's value is not always obvious.

But management commitment is essential, and without it, you will not get where you need to be.

 

I think there are lots of ways, though, to make inroads to implementation.  If you can determine some baseline metrics (customer complaints, scrap, etc.) that you think your improved programs could affect, gather the data and present that to management.  Data can be a powerful persuader.  And I agree with the suggestion for a gap audit - people will often listen to an outside consultant over the in-house expert.  But your credibility will go up when the auditor points out all the same things you've been saying!

 

I started my SQF journey 3 years ago.  Finally got some leadership commitment mid-2016 and just had our desk audit a couple of weeks ago.  In the last 14 months I have seen a huge change in attitude (positive) from both managers and employees in support of this program.

 

As others have said, "Hang in there!"



#11 LKFS

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:11 PM

I agree with the others. Keeping pushing and keep sending information, even if they don't comprehend. They probably envisioned hiring a QA manager that would just do it all and they don't yet understand that everyone needs to be involved in this for success. Eventually someday it'll become common discussion. We've all been there!! You are creating a culture change not just writing procedures. It's going to be a hard battle but it'll be a huge success if it works. I think this is especially hard in packaging environments because you don't have as much regulatory involvement or customer push back as you see in food & bev.

 

You may need to fail to win. Go through the audit, fail, and have them explain to sales why this didn't happen. Be very honest during corrective discussions that a major hold back is leadership. When senior leaders are sitting in the room with the auditor hearing all the gaps, it'll hopefully embarrass them and also sink in if they are good managers. Otherwise, this job may not be a good fit for you long term from an ethical standpoint, if you can't bridge the gap.

 

I once had a mentor tell me more than half of being a good quality manager is learning to 'out-stubborn the stubborn' and with a positive attitude. Super hard.






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