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Tesco Warehouse & Distribution Standard

Tesco warehouse distribution

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#1 hazelde

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 08:57 AM

Hi,

 

I'm new to this forum but I'm wondering is there a specific Tesco standard for Warehouse & distribution? I have the Manufacturing standard. Sister company had a manufacturing audit and we are viewed as a "Service Provider" to them - separate entity, separate BRC Storage & Distribution Certification - but we're connected next door to them. Auditor walked the warehouse and trying to enforce "manufacturing standards". Unsure if there are separate requirements for Tesco S&D as we don't believe the NC's raised are valid for a warehouse environment.

 

Thanks in Advance.



#2 pHruit

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:49 PM

Can't help you on the Tesco front, but that does sound very much like an auditor doing the classic "I'm here to audit against this standard and only this standard".
If you're genuinely a separate site/business (irrespective of proximity) then it seems a bit OTT to extend an audit from your neighbour into your facility.

My response to these NCs would be that the root cause was the client not advising you that they have a standard that applies here, and that your corrective action is therefore to request a copy of the applicable standard(s) to review for potential implementation.

This makes the point that the if they want a specific standard then they need to tell you what it is, and give you chance to fully review it, before they audit against it. If you go through the request process and they still send you the manufacturing standard then again you can challenge them and explain that you're not a manufacturing facility - it may be that they can then agree a sensible position on which parts of the standard can be excluded.

I've been in a not dissimilar position with clients springing requirements on us during an audit. It's usually a large company as they are the most compartmentalised - the auditor will often be completely separate to the department with whom you interact on a daily basis - and thus there is potential for them to be completely unaware that you have not been sent any details about what is expected.

Last year we received our first major NC in years in this type of circumstance. The auditor insisted they couldn't do anything as they were tasked solely to audit to their standard, so we had to accept it on the day, and then challenge it afterwards. They did accept that they were in effect the root cause, and rescinded the NC completely, but it required some odd conversations!



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#3 will.merrill

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 02:18 PM

We narrowly averted a similar situation during a past audit.

The auditor was qualified and undoubtedly skilled in several standards, and mixed up some requirements from one with the requirements for which we were being audited. She wrote them down as NCs in the first day or two, and during the daily recap, I asked for clarification. She cited a requirement from memory on each. Her confident manner caused me to doubt my own knowledge- so I waited and looked up the requirements after she left for the day... the next day, before we got beyond coffee, I asked for clarification on the NCs (which we had no hope of complying with)- "since I was unable to locate the specific requirement" (I explained I was "new to the standard") and she pulled the standard up, perused it for several long minutes before admitting that it wasn't in there and she must have mixed it up with another standard. Correction made, issue resolved. best forgotten. That works with most auditors, except the FDA... some of the FDA auditors are superb, but some are the opposite.

 

If you wait until the audit is done and the report is in your hand, it takes a lot more effort to remedy. BUT, if you are not extremely polite when you point out such a disparity DURING an audit, the auditor might feel threatened and dig in and fight you on everything... your call...



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#4 hazelde

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 02:32 PM

Thank you both for your feedback. The auditor queried me on the use of pens, staples, paper clips etc. in a small Goods intake office. We have never had a NC raised on this, even during our own BRC. We have our risk assessment covering the physical hazards of these items and how there is no risk to the product as all product is fully sealed when it enters our care, Goods In/Out check on integrity of product, etc.

 

What we are wondering now is do we need to remove these items, get in specific pens, etc. or do we have the opportunity to challenge given I can't find anything to support the NC raised and are unwilling somewhat to change what we're doing.

 

Also on questioning me, after I went through what we have in place re risk assessment, etc. they never said anything further about it, didn't mention it was a NC and then 2 days later raise it as a NC in the closing meeting when we were obviously not present to discuss it?



#5 pHruit

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 02:40 PM

Ah yes, some of the retailers go far beyond BRC in this area even for warehousing. We have customers who won't allow any paperclips, staples etc for their delivery paperwork for product going into warehousing facilities.

It does sound like it's possibly been combined with poor audit practice though.

Do you have to respond via your sister company, or direct to the auditor?
It'll possibly be easier if you can talk direct to the customer, but either way I think I'd address it head-on and contact them straight away to ask that they provide details of the applicable warehousing standard (if such a thing exists) ASAP, as without this how can you hope to ensure your facility is compliant?

Once you understand the actual requirements you can then decide whether you actual need to implement changes, whether you just need to beef up your risk assessment, or - in the case that there is no specific defined requirement - whether you simply need to send the existing risk assessment with the NC response in the hope that someone more sane reads it.



#6 ChrisM

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 02:38 PM

Hi,

 

We have a lot of experience with the Tesco Ireland auditors.

 

They normally would not auditor you; they would look for what assessment was used by your sister company to approve you as a supplier; as you are BRC approved that would be it; unless they were a lot of customer complaints that pointed to you.

 

As you have stated that you are next door - if you are on the same site and your employees can freely come and go onto the site that Tesco are auditioning.

 

As it's Tesco i am assuming that you are supplying a food product and there is no way Tesco or BRC come to that allow our warehouse staff have staples, paper clips and none metallic pens. 

 

Regards







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