Stay in touch with your vendors: Under mutual agreement auditing schemes, there can be a tendency for the entire audit process to become more removed and distant from a vendor and a company. What gets lost are important things like vendor attitudes about the audit and vendor understanding of what is important to your company and products. Contact your vendor on a regular basis to review progress against any audit findings and to share your interest and concerns. This will ensure that corrective actions required against any non-conformances have actually been accomplished and confirmed as effective.
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The movement by companies towards mutual acceptance of audits and audit protocols for vendor approvals will result in continuous improvements as well as more efficient use of limited resources. Companies that successfully make this transition will benefit from the brand protection that comes from assuring food safety and quality.
Rumpf is a senior technical consultant at Specialized Technology Resources (STR). Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.