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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Assessment and Certification Arrangements for Product Safety and Quality Assurance

In the following examples, “suppliers” include manufactures, distributors and sales outlets. Customers” refer to other companies and institutional buyers. Consumers (those who use/eat the food) are not usually in a position to make any assessment and certification arrangements with suppliers or sellers. However, they are expected to examine the products they buy and decide whether or not to continue buying the products.

Does your operation have an arrangement similar to one of these examples A to E? As you read through the list, you may find that some arrangements are better than others. All of the listed arrangements require that operations must comply with all applicable regulatory requirements.
Some companies are already capable of running well but they remain content with learning to walk every year.

Arrangement A
-       Suppliers maintaining annual third party certification program;
-       Occasional customer visits to the suppliers’ facilities;
-       Minimal product inspection and testing by the customers (to minimize costs);
-     Annual third party re-certification costs are accepted as the cost of doing business and shared by both parties.

Arrangement B
-       Suppliers maintaining annual third party certification program;
-       No visits by customers (to eliminate the costs of such visits);
-       Minimal product inspection and testing by the customers (to minimize costs);
-       Annual third party re-certification costs are accepted as the cost of doing business and shared by both parties.

Arrangement C
-       Suppliers attain third party certification only for initial buying decision by the customers;
-       No mandatory requirement for annual re-certification;
-       Customers maintain regular product acceptance inspection and periodic testing with a strict requirement for the suppliers to conduct effective internal audits;
-       Occasional customer visits to the suppliers’ facilities;
-       Anticipated annual savings from no annual re-certification expenses are applied to supply price reduction.

Arrangement D
-       Customers do not care what suppliers do with internal or external audits or certification;
-       Customers maintain regular product acceptance inspection and periodic testing and base their decision to continue to buy on their findings;
-       Occasional customer visits to the suppliers’ facilities;
-       Anticipated savings from no external assessments and certification are applied to supply price reduction.

Arrangement E
-    Operations claiming to be “too small” to care about internal audits, external certification or any related arrangements;
-       Satisfied with “commonsense” monitoring of materials, processes and products;
-       Just content to do business as they have always done with “no customer complaints”

I cannot say that the above list covers all possible arrangements. You probably know about other arrangements that you think may work either for your operation or other operations. The arrangements suggested under SSQA are similar to arrangement C but they have additional elements that ensure greater collaboration for effectiveness, efficiency and cost control. The SSQA suggested arrangement for any operation is customized to the size, scope and nature of the operation. If you wish to learn about the kinds of arrangements suggested under the SSQA concept you may subscribe to receive SSQA Information


1 comment:

  1. I guess all these arrangements can be mixed up also. In my opinion mostly arrangement C is preferred to have at least minimum control on product quality.

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