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30 July 2019

Is a Digitalised QMS Required for BRC Issue 8?

By Kayleigh Gee

Within Food and Drink Manufacturing, wrong procedures can result in; stops in production, loss of standards, sub-standard product and possible bacterial outbreaks – and this is just skimming the surface. BRC Issue 8 contains 9 clauses which need to be met, not just relating to the production of food, but also to encourage those within the Food industry to create a Food Safety Culture, with a commitment to continually demonstrating the standard.

The Global Standard shows a commitment from manufacturers that they have a team of fully trained staff, all focused on high quality and following the correct process. To lose an accreditation, is to lose; time, customers, staff and revenue. Of those 9 clauses, I’ve picked out one which is more about manufacturers putting something in place and not the attitude of people who work there.

Clause 3 of the BRC Issue 8 Standard is focused on Food Safety and Quality Management Systems. All layers of this clause link back to having a centralised system which tracks; Document Control, Audits and Findings, Incidents, Raw Materials and Suppliers. Many of these functions are still tracked on spreadsheets by most companies, which works, although it does not allow for scalability - and in this ever-changing climate, you need to be able to adapt quickly.

Daily, I am speaking to people who have reached a tipping point, people who are wasting resource maintaining an inefficient and cumbersome system. Audits can also be missed if the only way to know one is coming up is by trawling through pages of Excel spreadsheets.

Q-Pulse, from Ideagen, will not achieve BRC accreditation for you, but it does give you all the tools you need if your team are willing. Having a digitalised QMS which has been individually tailored to your own needs will increase efficiency within your factory and allow employees to focus on keeping standards high. Q-Pulse keeps all of your records in a centralised database keeping track of any changes (3.3.1), allowing you the peace of mind that all your employees are accessing the most recent releases of documents (3.2.1). The system will also remind you when you have tasks to do.

After a strategic review of your current ways of working, we will spend days with you, on-site, to ensure the system works, building in procedures that match your workflows and setting up your company structure. We can link your audits and documentation back to the accreditations that you are working towards and even back to specific clauses. For example, HACCP, can have all critical control procedures, audits and documentation, directly relating back to Clause 2 of BRC Issue 8.

Within Food and Drinks manufacturing it is essential to have a tailored and efficient Quality Management System to run smoothly. Q-Pulse has over a million users daily, with a company-wide retention rate of 91% of customers across all products at Ideagen.

Please get in touch if you want to find out more.

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