opinion

Why an ERP is essential in meeting BRC Issue 8

By Kevin Bull

- Last updated on GMT

Bull: ‘An ERP system needs to support continual improvement programmes through time-phased audits and reviews with fully-managed corrective actions’
Bull: ‘An ERP system needs to support continual improvement programmes through time-phased audits and reviews with fully-managed corrective actions’
Kevin Bull, product strategy director at Columbus, explains why enterprise resource planning is essential in meeting global standards for food safety.

Issue 8 of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, published in August 2018, doesn’t just cover food hygiene and quality management. It encourages manufacturers to develop a food safety culture and demonstrate a consistent commitment to maintaining high standards.

This is in line with consumers and retailers, who want rigorous quality control and full traceability to ensure accountability should any issue arise. As a result, the Global Standard stipulates close process and quality control, accurate documentation of safety plans and extensive staff training.

Ensuring compliance

The Standard consists of nine sections – and an end-to-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can help manufacturers ensure full compliance with every regulated area.

Issue 8 requires firms to demonstrate commitment to upholding food safety standards. An ERP system needs to support continual improvement programmes through time-phased audits and reviews with fully-managed corrective actions. It should provide an online quality management repository available across the business.

The endgame is that the IT system must be able to show the firm is equipped with tools that validate the system is functioning in support of the quality management system through workflow, alerting, security and transaction logging.

Support from IT

To ensure staff are complying with the latest safety procedures, IT systems need to support a case management tool that helps conduct risk assessments, documents and scores to identify the hazards that may pose a risk to the quality or safety of product integrity. These hazards can then be more effectively managed through procedures communicated to the workforce through shop floor control-screens.

A suitable ERP system should schedule and manage the plant, perform tool and equipment checks, and enforce recorded checklist actions and measurements. It must also be able to manage follow-up and improvement actions.

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