Monday, October 24, 2011

FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

In order to protect consumers new FDA legislation has been enacted to help align Manufacturers and Distributors with quality control standards similar to what the pharmaceutical industry has done.

Food Distributors and Manufacturers will be required track what products were shipped to their customers.  As will all things government, the threat of penalties lies in the background.

In order to comply with the new act those businesses distributing food products  will need to ensure their computerized systems  have the ability to record and track the lot information, including shelf life, of all products inbound and outbound from their facility.  In the case where a recall occurs this tracking information will enable the ability to know when and where the affected products where shipped.

New Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have the ability to monitor product shelf life so “old” products can be reprocessed, returned or destroyed based on their usability and will not be shipped inadvertently.  This reduces the need to process returns and keep customers happy.  Warehouse staff workloads are minimized, because the Warehouse Management System (WMS) “knows” where the products are located, which makes pulling the affected inventory a more streamlined process.

These controls enable inspectors to have a higher level of confidence when dealing with businesses affected by product recalls.  Other factors that enable an efficient processing of inventory include barcode labeling and scanning, which is integrated into the WMS system.  This in turn can minimize the product recall to only those lots affected and avoid having to collect and return all of a product, because they did not have the ability to track the individual lots.

Tracking, auditing, and reporting are key ingredients to create a defensible position in the case of government regulators.  They are also core components in establishing a trusted relationship with your customers and their customers.  No one can completely prevent a need to recall food products, but you can feel confident that when this happens you have the controls in place to react quickly. 

Contact Dolvin Consulting today to see how we can help you optimize and organize your inventory challenges in today’s fast moving world.  We are here to help.  We have strong industry partnerships that ensure you are getting the best value on your investment.

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