First FSMA rules in effect July 3. Are you ready?

Earlier this week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the first set of rules under the landmark Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), legislation signed earlier this year which gives the FDA sweeping powers to prevent food safety disasters.

The two new rules, which take effect July 3, are pretty logical preventive measures that, in all fairness, probably should have been implemented a long time ago. The new rules are as follows:

  • Order on Administration Detention of Food: The first new rule gives the FDA the authority to hold food products that may be contaminated or mislabeled. Before now, the administration only had the right to detain food when it had sufficient evidence it was mislabeled or contaminated, thereby presenting a threat to humans or animals. Now if the FDA even suspects contamination or mislabeling, it can detain the product.
  • Rule on Imported Food:  Organizations importing food now have

Milk ain’t oil: EPA sides with common sense

Yes, the line’s been used a hundred times in the past few days, but warrants repeating: U.S. dairy farmers needn’t cry over spilled milk any longer.

Beneath the sound and fury of political arguments over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) right (nay, duty) to regulate greenhouse gases, the agency quietly sided last week with milk producers and finally exempted milk from oil spill control regulations.

The EPA has long required shippers of oil tanks and containers to develop spill control and prevention plans. Problem was, this included dairy farmers, since milk is defined as oil under the Clean Water Act because it contains animal fat (an oil). The regulations were originally designed for Big Oil, not farmers, but it has taken a few years for the agency to exempt dairy from the Act’s requirements. With the final ruling, milk, milk product containers, and milk production equipment are exempt from Clean … Read more...

Planning for the unforeseeable through supplier evaluation

Having the flexibility to identify, contain, and adapt to foreseeable and unforeseeable issues is critical to a comprehensive response plan for quality nonconformances and product recalls. Proactive, responsible companies that implement comprehensive vendor/supplier/contract manufacturer evaluation programs and performance tracking systems as components of an overall quality management system (QMS) will boost preparedness and ensure smooth responses to otherwise devastating product recall scenarios.

Any business — large companies especially — should select contract manufacturers in the same way they select suppliers and other vendors: with thorough research, hand-on inspection and rigorous screening.

A good way to think of it is this: Treat suppliers, vendors and contract manufacturers as if they are your own facilities. Even if they are not providing you with an end-user product, if your company name is going to be on the final product, your customers will view you as responsible and you will be ultimately accountable for … Read more...

The advantage of web-based supplier management

While a supplier management system can be implemented without software, the benefits of establishing a software-based system are numerous and significant. Depending on how comprehensive the solution is, a software-based system can be capable of providing real-time metrics that can be accessed instantly with the click of a button, thus rendering an entire supply chain and vendor base transparent. Some critical features of a comprehensive software-based supplier management system include:

Supplier management and evaluation

The system should be able to register and categorize suppliers by company name, supplier number and performance rating as well as other details in a centralized portal. The system should use this information to schedule, notify, and archive all supplier evaluation activities and results and develop a consistent supplier rating program with customizable surveys.

Risk management and continuous improvement

To avoid quality issues and ensure all elements of the supply chain run at peak performance, the supplier management … Read more...

Recognizing excellence key to boosting supply chain performance

In business, attracting and retaining customers is of paramount importance. Customers need attention, respect, and a whole lotta love.

However, it is important to remember that any business relationship is a two-way street: just as you have customers, you’re probably a customer yourself. Of course you have the right to demand the highest level of product and service quality from every member of your supply chain and vendor base. But it is also important to cultivate lasting and mutually respectful relationships with the suppliers you prize the most.

Performance improvement motivation is a great way to ensure you receive the very best from your suppliers. It can be as simple as rewarding suppliers who exceed expectations (determined by implementing a supplier rating program).

It’s not tough to reward suppliers, but few organizations actually go out of their way to recognize stellar performance. A supplier awards program is not a resource-intensive … Read more...

Encore Presentation of Supplier Management Webinar

Intelex webinar "Tracking Your Way to Optimal Supplier Performance" sparked so much interest that we're going to offer it again on Wednesday, March 10th, 2010! Bevin Lyon, Intelex Executive Account Manager who has helped dozens of organizations implement supplier management software, will return as your host and subject matter expert to deliver valuable information and answer all of your questions related to supplier performance tracking.

A variety of supplier management concerns were discussed and Bevin also talked about what he believes a company's method of supplier performance evaluation should include: cost, delivery, service, quality, compliance, financial, safety, and information protection, all of which he addressed in further detail.

For instance, when evaluating a supplier's service performance, an organization should ask the following questions: has the supplier resolved discrepancies quickly? Has the supplier failed to respond to inquiries and requests? Does the supplier direct an appropriate level of technology towards customer service and process improvements? 

And in terms …

New Eco-Operation Study Sheds Light On Supply Chain Sustainability

Achieving verifiable sustainability throughout the supply and demand chain can be a daunting task for any company, especially for those who have a substantial amount of partners involved from top to bottom. As global product manufacturers are now placing more emphasis on being competitive and environmentally conscious as a result of social, economic and regulatory factors, pressure has mounted for companies to apply a “lean and green” makeover to their product sourcing, logistics, transportation, distribution and operational practices. In order to address the challenges, issues and opportunities associated with this trend, The Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum in partnership with Global Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN) have developed The Acceleration of Eco-Operation initiative. A rich repository of resources and information compiled from industry experts and associations as well as a comprehensive industry survey, The Acceleration of Eco-Operation initiative is aimed at helping improve bottom lines through enhanced trading partner … Read more...

Organizations with Sound Quality Management Are Better Equipped To Weather the Current Economic Downturn

The purpose of a quality management system is to enable continual improvement regardless of market conditions; therefore, organizations that had the foresight and business smarts to have implemented effective quality management systems prior to the current recession have been proactively refining their business processes, minimizing the potential for nonconformance expenses, and enabling complete performance visibility as opposed to implementing last minute reactionary decisions intended to cut costs quickly. Invariably the "quick fix" approach to reducing the bottom line will directly impact product and service quality, which will ultimately have a negative impact on revenue generation.

The article "Prepared for Battle: Defend yourself in any economy with sound quality management" by Peter Grossi in this month's Quality Progress magazine delves much more deeply into the concept that businesses with existing quality management programs are better positioned to adapt during difficult economic conditions. "What organizations need to keep in mind, however, is … Read more...

The ASQ World Conference for Quality and Improvement: May 18-20, 2009

The ASQ World Conference for Quality and Improvement is being held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota from May 18-20, 2009. This year, Intelex will be sending three representatives; Bevin Lyon, Daniel Marcus, and Tomas Kuras. The guys will be available for live demonstrations of our:

  • Quality Management System
  • Nonconformance & Corrective Actions Module
  • Document Control System
  • Training Management System
  • Supplier Performance Tracking Module
  • Audits Management System, and more.

If you’re already using Intelex’s software please stop by for a visit! It’s always great to catch up with clients.… Read more...

Make Your Job Easier with the OpenPass API

Technologies has released its latest software innovation, the Intelex OpenPass
API, a revolutionary application programming interface that will enable its
users to sync and report data between multiple business management systems.

The Intelex
OpenPass API functions as a conduit for seamlessly feeding data between
multiple software programs. This means that Intelex’s environment, quality, and health & safety, and business management Software can now share data with pre-existing
business software applications; thereby, saving time and resources while
maintaining a degree of accuracy that’s difficult to achieve when data is
transmitted manually.

The City of Calgary
and St. Gobain are the first Intelex clients to take advantage of the OpenPass
API.  The City of Calgary used our
OpenPass API to import employee and location data from their pre-existing HR system
into their Intelex System. They also used the OpenPass API to export employee
injury data (i.e., incident number with date …