We used to be hunter-gatherers, but now we’ve become a shopper-tracker society.
We can track most anything these days: package shipments and marathon runners, as well as the geo-location of ships, trains and airplanes on the screens of our mobile phones. We can even see when our ride service car is about to turn the corner and pick us up; technology has become that precise.
Does that same level of exactness we expect as consumers translate into the retail restaurant and grocery business?
With advances in RFID technology and IoT Software, Food Safety Management is coming up to speed. Satellites, smart phones and sensors now connect to form an information supply chain that provides operators with visibility into and confidence in their food supply chains.
Innovations in Food Safety Software enable HACCP Traceability in four main areas:
- Operators can track ingredients from every source throughout your supply chain from the grower’s field to processing plants to the distribution center and straight into your coolers.
- Using digital checklists, you can tell when your food arrived at each stop, monitor temperatures along the way, and ensure your food was properly.
- And because the information collected is digitally with HACCP Compliance Software, you can sort it, report from it, share it and store it without the degradation issues or the bulkiness of paper records.
- Through RFID technology’s temperature-measuring device, you can help reduce food waste and enhance traceability throughout the supply chain.
Compliance also benefits from the “consumerization” of technology.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized system used to identify and assess the risks associated with the different stages of production of a food product, identify critical points and define the optimal management response.
An additional benefit of this level of transparency is creating accountability for suppliers of raw materials and any intermediary products that you include in your recipes.
You can now address in great detail traceability both upstream to suppliers and downstream to customers:
Raw materials (upstream)
- Are you tracking all the raw materials used in a recipe?
- Are you keeping records of each raw material?
- Are you tracking each raw material by the batch code, name of supplier, and date/time of receipt?
Work in progress (upstream)
- Are you tracking and recording rework and stock waste?
- Are you tracking and recording the storage of bulk finished product?
- Are you tracking customer returns?
Finished product (downstream)
This third step applies to when food products are delivered or turned over to your customers and guests. This is especially relevant if you are in the business of grocery pick-up or home delivery.
– Do you have a record of customer contact information?
– Can you track finished food products by batch code?
– Can you track customer complaints and product returns, including the reason?
An investment in traceability technology makes sense on several levels.
Traceability means profitability, and compliance ultimately benefits the customer experience.
If you are able to identify and manage the potential risks in your supply chain and respond with solutions, you are building a sustainable competitive advantage while at the same time demonstrating a commitment to excellence that consumers will associate with your brand.