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Sales Company wants our Environmental Monitoring Records on a Weekly Basis

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Tbaker13

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 04:17 PM

Hello, I recently received a request from the sales company that we work exclusively with to share my environmental monitoring results on a weekly basis, as well as to keep an updated registry of my food safety documents on their servers so they can share them with customers/second party audits etc. This request made me feel a little uneasy in terms of document security, legality with sharing of logs and not having any control of who may or may not see the documents. If anybody has any insight on the situation that would be greatly appreciated.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 05 November 2020 - 05:03 PM

Hello,

I recently received a request from the sales company that we work exclusively with to share my environmental monitoring results on a weekly basis, as well as to keep an updated registry of my food safety documents on their servers so they can share them with customers/second party audits etc.

This request made me feel a little uneasy in terms of document security, legality with sharing of logs and not having any control of who may or may not see the documents.

If anybody has any insight on the situation that would be greatly appreciated.

 

I have and would refuse this request for them to house your documentation as  you then have no control on your docs and maintaining control is mandatory.

 

We provide a summary of food safety protocols, programs, etc. that is available to anyone that requests it.

 

As to the requirement for weekly reporting, I am familiar with several clients that have substantial clients and this is built into buyer agreements, I would suggest getting this in writing and then determine if the reason for it is valid.


All the Best,

 

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Without Prejudice,

Glenn Oster.

CONSULTANT

 

https://glennoster.website3.me/

 

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pHruit

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 09:53 AM

I think this falls into the category of choices that are to an extent commercial - if this affects how much business you will/won't get, then you have to decide whether that sales value is worth it to your business.

It's not clear where you're based or the exact scope of the documents that they are wanting you to share, so there may or may not also be implications relating to personal data, and that may be subject to specific legal constraints which preclude sharing irrespective of how much the client wants it. In this case it's probably a simple matter of informing them that regulations prohibit sharing externally.
Otherwise it comes down to a balance of desire to sell vs. reasonableness of the request. The UK is a bit crazy about "transparency" at the moment, so my experience comes down on the side of more sharing because it genuinely is a case of doing it or not working with some very large clients, but even then there are requests at which a line gets drawn.

If you've got GFSI-benchmarked certification of some sort then I'd put together a bundle of your certificate, audit report, process flow diagram, CCP summary, quality/food safety policy, allergen policy etc and call that sufficient. If customers want to specifically request more then you can consider on a case-by-case basis, but I've also found that saying "we don't release that externally, but it can be viewed during an audit" can be quite effective - many customers will suddenly decide that they don't need it after all... And if they do want to audit, you can very reasonably make a decision on whether to accept it based on how much they are actually worth to you.



TimG

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Posted 06 November 2020 - 02:52 PM

I wouldn't put any editable copies out there, but PDF's are usually ok to circulate as long as it doesn't hold proprietary info.

Now, on to the amount of work involved to meet their request, I agree with the above posters that this is a financial decision. I would create as close of an estimate as I could to the $$ involved in the extra workload and then review with your internal team. If you and your team feel the costs are prohibitive, inform the sales company that those costs will have to be rolled over to the customer and either new sales agreements will need to be created, the sales company will have to eat some of the costs, or you can split some of the costs with them. My guess is they were just fishing for a 'hey this would be nice, let's see if they go for it' type of thing.

 

Did they provide you with a $$ figure on how many more sales they could get with this change, or how many sales they would lose if you didn't comply?



Charles.C

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Posted 07 November 2020 - 06:28 AM

I think this falls into the category of choices that are to an extent commercial - if this affects how much business you will/won't get, then you have to decide whether that sales value is worth it to your business.

It's not clear where you're based or the exact scope of the documents that they are wanting you to share, so there may or may not also be implications relating to personal data, and that may be subject to specific legal constraints which preclude sharing irrespective of how much the client wants it. In this case it's probably a simple matter of informing them that regulations prohibit sharing externally.
Otherwise it comes down to a balance of desire to sell vs. reasonableness of the request. The UK is a bit crazy about "transparency" at the moment, so my experience comes down on the side of more sharing because it genuinely is a case of doing it or not working with some very large clients, but even then there are requests at which a line gets drawn.

If you've got GFSI-benchmarked certification of some sort then I'd put together a bundle of your certificate, audit report, process flow diagram, CCP summary, quality/food safety policy, allergen policy etc and call that sufficient. If customers want to specifically request more then you can consider on a case-by-case basis, but I've also found that saying "we don't release that externally, but it can be viewed during an audit" can be quite effective - many customers will suddenly decide that they don't need it after all... And if they do want to audit, you can very reasonably make a decision on whether to accept it based on how much they are actually worth to you.

 

^^^(red) . Due Diligence Rules (and Protects). ;)


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


CMHeywood

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Posted 16 November 2020 - 07:31 PM

You can edit PDF files (using Adobe Acrobat or similar).  You can change almost any type of computer document if you have the right software.  I suggest password protecting documents if you send them as computer files instead of hard documents.



AJL

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 08:31 PM

Our documents are accessible to everybody with a log in to the online quality manual. They are of course protected. It's a good solution. The online manual has become very user friendly.



Charles.C

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 06:15 AM

Our documents are accessible to everybody with a log in to the online quality manual. They are of course protected. It's a good solution. The online manual has become very user friendly.

Hi Annette,

 

Praiseworthy !. I hope your users are equally trustable.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


AJL

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 07:57 PM

It's protected, all the document s are read only- only the document creator can make changes.





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