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Scampi

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 01:52 PM

Ok peeps, looking for some input on my thought process on a massive project

 

Background----I am one of 4 sites across the country producing the exact same finished good using more or less the exact same methods with more or less the exact same customer base using more or less the exact same packaging AND all using the same sanitation chemicals from the same vendor (national contract).  3 of us are SQF and one is BRC.  The 3 SQFP probably have 50 years combined experience and the BRC practitioner is fairly green (thus could use the support)

 

Currently, we all run our own independent food safety program, completely stand alone, we do not discuss audit issues, repeat non conformances, challenges etc.  IMHO, this is crazy and not good practice

 

SO, I got the support of my director to move forward with developing a plan in conjunction that is shared as mush as possible 

 

My general go forward plan is as follows

 

I have compared the code against our regulations and broke them down between what should be a corporate policy and what should be a procedure (that shares nomenclature, but may be slightly different due to location differences)

 

First meeting will be a discussion on exactly where to begin and the document numbering system

 

Everything will be available to all in a shared location

 

Anyone ever undertaken a project similar?  Pitfalls, advice etc


Edited by Scampi, 04 May 2022 - 01:53 PM.

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kingstudruler1

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 05:06 PM

Kinda

 

I was hired by a company that had just purchased three processing facilities.   The plants had little to no quality or food safety programs in place and they were "dumps"  The goal was for them to achieve BRC certification.    We were basically starting from scratch.   As people were not as stuck in their way as much, this may have been easier in some sense than what you are trying to accomplish.   

 

My goal was certainly to have as much uniformity as possible.  There were certainly policies, procedures, forms, etc that were easily adopted by each facility.   However, there did seem to be some legitimate push back on some items as facilities are not 100% the same.   There was also illegitimate push back as well.  There were times when achieving agreement among everyone seemed way to labor intensive and overly time consuming.  Managing the personalities can be challenging.  

 

Part of the "directors" job is find best practices and implement across all platforms(which is hopefully a goal of this project).  They should also be facilitating communication between the plants.   It is unfortunate that they are not doing this.  But, unfortunately somewhat common.    So, good job at being the director.


Edited by kingstudruler1, 04 May 2022 - 05:08 PM.

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Kara S.

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 07:29 PM

I went through something similar a few years ago with a merger. When you begin to create and update these policies - send out a gap assessment to each facility. Even though everything is almost the same - there will be that one plant that has something slightly different and would need a capital investment to comply with what you have written. Its better to write the policy to include the one odd ball plant. Like have a Method A and Method B so you are compliant to your own corporate policies. You could also write in exceptions into the policies if needed. 

 

Then you can compile the gap assessments and determine which plants to focus on and have a game plan for Version 2 of changes to get everyone at best practice. 

 

I would also visit each facility - there were a lot of best practices that reading a plant policy doesnt always show you. 


Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

LinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


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Scampi

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 07:45 PM

 

 

Part of the "directors" job is find best practices and implement across all platforms(which is hopefully a goal of this project).  They should also be facilitating communication between the plants.   It is unfortunate that they are not doing this.  But, unfortunately somewhat common.    So, good job at being the director.

I voluntarily took the lead on this. My director is incredibly busy, wanted this done, but does not have the time, I do and wanted the project work.  We're lucky that all 4 facilities have been GFSI certified for ~10 years, and under previous CFIA regulations, had CFIA inspectors onsite daily so we have always had good systems in place.


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FSQA

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Posted 04 May 2022 - 07:57 PM

This is great that all sites are GFSI certified.

 

However, IMO your biggest challenge will be with people adapting to the centralized/corporate change and mindset.

I would suggest to notice the involvement during the first meet/discussion, it can be a good indicator of the future direction of this change.

Depending on the outcome, it might require some support from the Corporate site (Director) or any one else to which all the 4 sites reports to directly/indirectly.

 

Good luck.



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Posted 05 May 2022 - 07:37 AM

Greetings Scampi,

 

This is a great work, as mentioned before its gonna take a while to get all people "unified" since you don't start from scratch but it is doable. Previous posts cover enough trouble-shooting, so in my experience my only input is to try and establish an online live communication base (cloud is my go-to but a company server also works).

You will find it extremely time saving and helpful to have live feed on anything that happens across all facilities. The simplest example I can give you is let's say you have a google excel for non-conformities from any possible source (audits, internal insp., customer/personnel feedback) with tab for every facility in which managers will fill with all necessary info (what-cause-by whom-correction/corrective actions-responsible-timetable etc etc) and all this can be seen in real-time. You get to make calls/emails/paper(?)/extensive meetings redundant. Making a revision in a document will only require to upload it on the cloud and send a notification to all involved. You can distribute specific authorization/restrictions for changing/viewing a document to everyone, signatures can be replaced by who made the last change in something in a document even to a single spreadsheet cell if they login with their mail credentials! It will really take a wall of text to mention all the benefits and applications of having everything in real-time!

 

Good luck on your project,

Regards!



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QAGB

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Posted 05 May 2022 - 02:40 PM

This is great that all sites are GFSI certified.

 

However, IMO your biggest challenge will be with people adapting to the centralized/corporate change and mindset.

I would suggest to notice the involvement during the first meet/discussion, it can be a good indicator of the future direction of this change.

Depending on the outcome, it might require some support from the Corporate site (Director) or any one else to which all the 4 sites reports to directly/indirectly.

 

Good luck.

 

I agree with FSQA. Luckily OP's company basically has the same product/process between sites, so this makes it easier to create a "corporate level" QMS.

 

However, getting people to buy into this is probably going to be the most challenging aspect. There's always the "we always did it this way" mindset to deal with when implementing this sort of change. Also, should consider if the company has the resources to have the corporate role(s) to manage the overall Quality between sites.

 

My company is trying to do similarly, but we are all engaged in very different activities and only moderately similar products...so this makes it much more complex. We also don't want to pigeonhole any particular portion of our company either. We want them to retain efficiency but also follow high-level guidelines that should be required for any facility...so we have a lot of work to do.



Scampi

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Posted 05 May 2022 - 07:18 PM

It's true, this sort of undertaking is a massive project!  But absolutely worth doing

 

Our push back will be from the production floor, and not the FSQA's which is great-no egos in the room, we are all open to taking the best ideas/practices and adopting those across the board (where possible) with the end goal of being a team of 4 and not a team of 1

 

We do have corporate buy in as well which goes a long, long way

 

Thanks all for the input


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