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Are you still conducting Supplier Audits, if not what else instead?

Audit Supplier Supplier Audit Covid BRC

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#1 robsip66


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Posted 20 October 2020 - 10:10 AM

Hi, could anybody give me some advice on supplier audits. We are a label printer and our BRC audit is in a 8 weeks. Because of lock downs, covid restrictions and furloughs there have been no supplier audits done and a couple of our suppliers are not allowing factory visits. We have taken a the decision to not to allow customer factory visits. We do have supplier performance monitoring from KPI's and have sent questionnaires out to all suppliers and got replies from most. Are people still doing on site supplier audits still happening and if not what are you doing instead? Thanks, Rob.










#2 pHruit


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Posted 20 October 2020 - 11:13 AM

A combination of questionnaire, performance review data, and documenting via concession that the audit period has been extended due to current circumstances should be fine for lower-risk suppliers - certainly it was acceptable for the two BRCs I had this year. (Not for the packaging standard, but the principles should be similar).

You could also look at augmenting this with remote audits too, if there are higher risk sources where you don't feel you can justify an extension of the approval period based on your available data (and in any case it probably looks positive if you'd tried to add a couple of these in) - a combination of document review via information sent beforehand (you can also do it live on-screen, but it's faster if you can review ahead of starting the audit itself) and then live discussion via video link can be useful. To some extent you may also be able to do some factory inspection elements like this, although IMEX how useful this is depends on the person wielding the camera, the quality of 4G/wifi signal across the site etc. 

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#3 SQFconsultant



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Posted 20 October 2020 - 01:43 PM

We did remote audits before  and continue to do them now. 


We had actually started scaling down on-site work for audits, training and consulting about three years ago and reached 0% in November of last year.


I will admit I miss the travel and being there face to face and seeing the facility with my own eyes, however for us it was becoming very difficult to put this kind of stress on ourselves and our consultants - travel can wear one down and being away from family is really not all that good.


It takes a bit of planning and the requirements go on the facility to prepare their docs and upload, transfer, etc and then having them run a video tour as well - but there is nothing like doing an audit in your PJ's on the balcony overlooking for ocean.

Edited by SQFconsultant, 20 October 2020 - 01:48 PM.

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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 Padfoot


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Posted 20 October 2020 - 03:31 PM

We have never done supplier audits in my facility but it is something we have been talking about doing. I'm not exactly sure where to start or what exactly to audit. Is there a specific checklist or criteria to use? would it be just a simple GMP audit?

#5 Bo16


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Posted 21 October 2020 - 01:51 PM

We have postponed international travel for all our employees.  We require vendor and product questionnaires for all suppliers, as well as in-person audits based on risk assessments.  We have been involved in several virtual audits from our customers/regulation bodies and it seems to be working rather well.  I do not think that many of our suppliers will be able to accommodate virtual audits so for now we are postponing and relying on 50 years of experience and long history with most of suppliers as well as some additional product testing upon arrival.

#6 Hoosiersmoker


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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:12 PM

Low risk food packaging manufacturer here. We performed a risk assessment for all vendors taking into account nature of the material and manufacturing processes, ingredients, proximity etc. and found no reason to go further than an annual supplier self-assessment. We send it to all vendors Jan 1 with a Feb 1 due date. As they are received I review each one carefully considering the material(s) they provide us. The only on site audits we ever performed were co-manufacturer audits.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Audit, Supplier, Supplier Audit, Covid, BRC

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