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FSMS for one business entity with multiple locations

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lizza

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 07:13 AM

Hi all,

Long time lurker here.

 

My company is ISO 22000 certified going on FSSC second audit. We just acquired an FSSC certified production site and now these two becomes one entity (I think, I'm getting confused with Merger & Acquisition stuff). Now the big task is to harmonize the two FSMSs.

The raw materials used in the two sites are similar in nature, end products are different, one dry the other one is liquid. So risk analysis and CCPs are different.

 

How should we approach this? Shall we try to combine FSMS documents what we could or keep the two FSMSs separate? The QA team is now blurred into one and we're still figuring things out.

Is there any experience in this forum? Thank you



Evans X.

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 08:10 AM

Greetings Lizza,

 

There is no easy answer here as the details will be worked out during the merging process, even through trial and error sometimes (hopefully no errors!). The first and most important thing of all though is to decide/figure if the sites are going to be treated as one entity certification wise, meaning one FSSC on a multisite company, or two FSSC certifications one for each site?

You should meet with top management and clear it out, as this will define the level of document merging and your next steps. Combination is easier in the first case, the second case will need more tweeks and you will get better answers/propositions from here depending which will be the go to case.

 

Regards!



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Marloes

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 12:36 PM

Hi Lizza,

 

Welcome to the forum!

I agree  with Evans.

Clear with your top management which approach they want to take towards the acquisition of your second site.
They might want to keep operating separately, or harmonize the systems. They might also take a slow approach and harmonize slowly.

I personally worked at a few multi-site companies. I prefer harmonizing where possible.
It makes it easier for your QA team to help each other out. It is also a smart way to manage resources. You don't need two plants to figure out how to implement the new clause on stakeholder analysis twice (for example), but you can just figure it out once.

Acquisition of a plant is always causing a lot of fuzz, so it might be good for your team to catch a little breather and that they don't have to ''give up'' all the hard work they already put in their HACCP plan. You will always get hard feeling here and there from a merger, even if they are seemingly irrational. So keep on eye on that as well. 

If your senior management wants to merge systems. If possible ask your team which parts of your FSMS for each plant needs the most attention. With a little bit of luck both plants point to overlapping subjects. Having a task force from both plants to tackle these high priority subjects may help in the merger.



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AJL

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Posted 24 August 2022 - 07:33 PM

Oh!! Great one!! I am all on board with what Marloe says.
I will give some input here.we have multiple sites which all have their own certification.
BUT a lot happens on a group level - so we can streamline.
For example you don't need two procedures for 'document control' and two for complaint handling.
You just need one on a group level.
In this way we manage to cut down on a lot of extra paperwork and updates. We also get to share our experience and expertise.
All the raw materials get registered electronically, so if two sites are using the same one- we just add that site to it. So we avoid having to ask the supplier twice for their certs etc. -its all just there.
Does that help at all?
Going electronic/ web based helps SO much here, because then everything can be filtered by production site.
We have disagreements sometimes between the QA teams but the most important is that the group QA manager is good at bringing you together and streamlining. We tend to have a monthly teams meeting and we also do the internal audits at each other's sites.
Am I helping? I hope so 🌞
Oh and it might come down to your certifying body, if they will allow you to do multi site, with one cert. It might be cheaper than way, just one audit, but ultimately it does end up being top management and your certifying body.


Edited by AJL, 24 August 2022 - 07:35 PM.


lizza

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 08:22 AM

Thank you all!

Our QA team will need to advise upper management on how to approach this. It's a lot of documents and I couldn't think clearly.

These are all great input.

 

I will start with harmonizing the "general" FSMS parts and set priorities to the other parts.

The FSSC auditor says we will need a separate certificates since multi-site audit is only applicable for certain categories.

 

Having one site already FSSC-certified definitely helps though  :spoton:



AJL

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Posted 25 August 2022 - 09:03 AM

Good luck!!
I hope you end up with someone who can manage both teams and help you harmonise.
Obviously each site needs it's own HACCP plan etc, but all the supplier management stuff and a lot of other stuff can be harmonised :)
Also, why do 2 food fraud plans if you can do one right? ;)





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