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The Foundations of an Effective Supplier Management System

Posted on April 24, 2018 by Jennifer Kinion

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An effective supplier management system helps food and beverage companies ensure the ingredients and materials they’re receiving are in line with their expectations. By successfully monitoring incoming materials, companies can prevent non-compliant ingredients from going into production. This proactive approach subsequently helps food and beverage manufacturers consistently provide high-quality products to their end users.

While supplier management may look a bit different for each company, there are a few basic foundations every program should encompass:

Operational Efficiency

The ability to efficiently document workflows enables ongoing collaboration across all of your supplier management activities. Manual, labor-intensive processes, on the other hand, can slow down operations and make it easier for managers to miss critical non-conformances. Efficiency can be improved by implementing tools like supplier management software, which features partner portals to automatically deliver key updates to suppliers, as well as monitoring tools to provide a high-level view of supplier compliance program activities.

Real-Time Visibility

In fast-paced food and beverage plants, managers need access to up-to-the-moment data on incoming materials. Real-time visibility provides managers the ability to take swift action to handle non-conforming material as soon as it’s identified. Without real-time data, issues are more difficult to spot, and often aren’t identified until later stages of production – or worse, after products have already left the facility. The real-time data and documentation captured by supplier management solutions gives managers the power to quickly spot and act on problems at the earliest possible point to reduce material loss and risks of recalls.

Actionable Data

Jonathan Blackwood, managing editor of My Tech Decisions explains that food and beverage companies need to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to analyze data they can use to make critical decisions. Once these KPIs are established, companies need a way to track their performance. This is again where software comes in. According to Blackwood, gathering and analyzing data consistently can “save costs, strengthen processes, and generate more revenue than any business has ever had the ability to do before.” Data tracking is especially helpful for monitoring supplier performance, as it can give you both micro- and macro-level insights into how well suppliers are meeting your expectations.

SafetyChain Software is a cloud-based food quality management system that reduces costs, waste, and risk for food companies. Our powerful FSQA platform gives quality and operations managers an easy-to-use tool to automate compliance, safety, and quality programs while providing valuable real-time data to help optimize operations. Learn more at https://safetychain.com.