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The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), was one of the most sweeping reforms of food safety law in decades. FSMA aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to non-conformances, to preventing them. This requires a lot of effort and a commitment from the entire organization as well as the necessary tools to execute.

The food and beverage landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade with increasing regulatory requirements, like FSMA, forcing companies to rethink the way they approach quality and traceability across the enterprise. At the same time, the pressure to keep customers satisfied, while reducing the overall cost of quality, is a continual concern. To be successful, food and beverage manufacturers must stress closed-loop quality, traceability across the value chain, and compliance throughout the process.

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Tighter control, documentation, and tracking of every ingredient and process used throughout the enterprise is now required. Even though FSMA was signed into law back in 2011, companies today are still scrambling and focused on complying with this continually evolving mandate and others like it (HACCP, GFSI, FSIS, etc.). Not far behind compliance is the pressure to ensure high quality and keep customers happy. However, quality has a direct connection with compliance, as the primary goal of these newer mandates is to prevent contaminations and non-conformance before they occur.

To identify best practices in food & beverage manufacturing, Aberdeen used metrics that measure an organization’s ability to respond to pressures around compliance, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and traceability. The metrics clearly indicate the ability of Leaders to deliver compliant products in an efficient manner.

However, followers are not only less efficient and less likely to meet delivery targets, but they also take almost a full day to respond to shipments with quality issues. Without the ability to track and trace shipments quickly, the risk and impact of recalls can be substantial.

A flexible system is needed to stay on top of constantly shifting compliance requirements. Given the changing nature of FSMA, it is no surprise to see that Leaders are ahead in the adoption of central repositories with controls in place to respond to any revisions in the regulations.

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Leaders have extended their compliance programs into their supply chain to improve control over supplier quality and treating them as strategic partners. This focus allows Leaders to not only meet necessary compliance mandates but also offer their products at lower costs, greatly improving their chances for success in a highly competitive industry.

 

To learn more, read the full report.

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