The supply chain management system should use a process approach that incorporates the following:
- Identifying key food safety, quality, and logistic requirements;
- Ensuring effective communication of requirements;
- Using SPC to measure conformance to requirements;
- Linking SPC requirements to continuous improvement so suppliers can improve quality and reduce operational costs;
- Using trend analysis to mitigate problems before they occur in the supply chain; and
- Ensuring that the supply chain management process includes a strong accountability system.
A number of professional organizations provide training and assistance to food processors that want to implement management systems. For example, organizations such as the American Society for Quality (ASQ) provide short courses in conducting process audits of management systems. In addition, ASQ offers a number of certifications, including the Certified HACCP Auditor and the Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. By pursuing these certifications, professionals in the food industry can be sure of an understanding of the body of knowledge that is necessary to manage the modern quality and food safety assurance systems.
Surak, Cawley, and Gavoor are all members of the American Society for Quality’s Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Division. Surak is a food safety consultant at Surak and Associates; contact him at (854) 506-2190 or email@example.com. Cawley is vice president of market development at Northwest Analytical, Inc.; contact him at (503) 224-7727 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Gavoor is vice president of the supply chain office products division at Newell Rubbermaid; contact him at email@example.com.