New BRC Global Standards put pressure on auditing
By Richard Montgomery, Sales Director of food software specialist, Systems Integration.
How quickly could you prove that you are compliant?
2019 has definitely been a year of changing methods of auditing, as the new BRC Global Standards put even more pressure on food processors. Now, with expectations of receiving audit ready information also increasing, how fast would you have to move if you only had say 20 minutes to prove to the auditors that you are compliant?
That’s the question that the whole food processing sector now needs to answer, as the demands of auditors get increasingly time-dependent and complex.
With food provenance constantly in the spotlight and front of mind for consumers, reputational damage of failing to be audit ready and worst still, failing an audit, is what keeps many customers I speak to awake at night. To help everyone understand the new BRC Global standards and why they should involve the operations teams in the selection of ERP+ solutions, like the digitisation of QA manuals, I have worked with my colleagues to put together a simple guide below:
Following the publication of BRC Global Standards for Food Safety – Issue 8, I highlighted both the challenges and how SI thinks they can be overcome by taking an ERP+ approach to digitalising the QA processes.
Issue 8 – Key Challenges:
The key challenges that businesses face with the introduction of Issue 8 are:
- Proving compliance
- Document control and better record keeping
- Speed of reporting and a focus on preventative actions including key areas of:
- Traceability / Food Provenance
- Labelling or pack control
- Enhanced monitoring and clarity on high-risk food production zones and sites manufacturing pet food.
- Development of systems for security and food defense.
And for 2020, from February onwards a new standard takes effect. The BRCGS Packaging Materials standard (Issue 6) was published in August 2019. The use of Issue 6 will be mandatory from February for all certification audits.
Digitalising the QA Process
Digitisation of the QA process is equivalent to a virtual bonfire of paperwork and the QA manual. Therefore allowing businesses to take full advantage of an integrated approach to delivering ‘one version of the truth’ in real-time. Every food processing business has different QA requirements. SI’s modular approach and shop-floor data capture integrates to wider food processing systems and hardware to deliver real-time analysis.
In addition to a managed approach to compliance, that eliminates human error and is impossible to bypass or alter, our three steps to QA digitalisation also identify other areas that can enhance overall business performance.
Three steps to QA Digitalisation:
- Analysing the end-to-end QA process, from:
- Data capture – paper-based – manual input or automated.
- Raw material procurement to product delivery.
- Identifying pain points:
- Audit report compilation – multiple inputs, paper and digital interfaces.
- Hardware and software integration.
- Human intervention issues and potential errors.
- Implementing solutions one step at a time:
- SI modular software approach across different industries, tackling one issue at a time.
- One Version of the Truth – Integrated report planning, training and ongoing support to enable customers to analyse, access and proactively make decisions in real-time.
- Solutions that also incorporate alerts for site-specific tasks, from daily checks to monthly and annual testing.
- Software to hardware interfacing to ensure compatibility, with the ability to bring in real-time dashboard technologies.
If you have any questions about being audit ready or how to start a QA digitalisation project with an food ERP+ strategy, feel free to contact me via Linkedin or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, for more information on the new BRC global standards Food Safety – Issue 8, visit: