“Love and marriage, love and marriage, goes together like a horse and carriage”, nice little jingle. Let’s change the words and see how it flows for you. “Supplier and Carrier, Supplier and Carrier, goes together like FSMA Sanitary Transportation rule”, huh, that does not work very well. Let’s try “Supplier and Importer, Supplier and Importer, goes together like FSMA Foreign Supplier Verification Rule”. Don’t like this one either, do you?
The simple task of approving a new supplier just requires obtaining a copy of their latest audit certification, verify that there is some level of achievement and then check the approved supplier box next to their name, right? Kind of like getting married based upon seeing someone’s driver’s license.
What if another division or manufacturing location is already using the supplier for the same or a different material? How would you know if you are using the same supplier? Identifying Brokers, Importers or Distributors as the actual supplier for a material versus the actual manufacturer can truly disrupt the management a Supply Chain Quality Program. Your Purchasing department is centric to the financial transactions involving the material which may not reference the manufacturer in their ERP database.
There must be strong business rules for the naming of the suppliers and the usage of the actual address of the location. The address in the database must match the address on the audit report. I know that food processes have been streamlined but I don’t know how they can fit in a Post Office Box address. Also, there must be at least a dozen ways to name a supplier and when you do a search of your database, you will not find the “new supplier” because the searching feature will not find the supplier’s name based upon your entry.
Would all the divisions or manufacturing locations use the same processes to approve the supplier? If not, how can you agree to accept the approved status for a supplier from the other entities? What if one of the other locations have Disapproved the supplier due to material noncompliances, but the other locations still have them as an approved supplier because you do not have visibility to the performance issues.
What if your logistics department has a separate carrier database from the food safety department’s supplier database and your procurement department has their database of the “suppliers” which is different from the food safety department? Does seem a little crazy, but companies love to do the same work two or three times instead of managing one database of information. Who is actually responsible in the company for compliance to FSMA? Procurement? Logistics? Food Safety? Factories? Would be nice if you knew and you could easily see the compliance data.
Do you know who the new supplier’s parents (headquarters) are? Who are their children (manufacturing locations)? Their associations with other companies? Also, good questions for your own future romance.
You must be able to have a strong enough relationship with your suppliers, carriers, and importers to be able to comply with the new FSMA rules. There is an amazing amount of critical communication that must be shared to assure a mutual understanding. It is like a marriage, you both have to participate in the relationship for happiness. So, know who your future partners are really and what other relationships they may have with others.
Supplier Quality management is more than just collecting audit certificates.
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