Most benefits of having security professionals at your business are obvious—a security presence is a crime deterrent, aids in loss prevention, and can provide peace of mind to employees and customers. There may be one, however, that you might have overlooked, but one that is a key factor in differentiating ‘rent-a-cops’ from true security professionals: customer service…
DePaul Industries Blog
It’s a brand new year, the holidays are over, and everyone has just about settled back into the frenzy. So, food packagers—are you prepared for the Food Safety Modernization Act?
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA, or ‘fizzmah’ as you might have heard it mentioned) is intended to give the U.S. Food & Drug Administration increased oversight over food products entering the U.S. each year in order to prevent foodborne illness, which affects 48 million Americans each year. The act contains several new provisions and requirements, including increased inspections, suspensions and detentions of food products and/or facility operations based on suspected adulterations, stringent performance and reporting standards, increased security requirements, and increased product testing—even for co-packaging facilities. Various regulations are already in effect, and many more will come on line this year.
Where do food packagers and plant operators begin to assure that they’re in compliance and ahead of the game, you ask? Here are some helpful action items to check off the list, if you’re not already doing them:
1. Develop and implement a Food Safety Plan.
Create a HAACP (hazard analysis critical control points) plan covering all food safety issues, ingredients, and packaging.
2. Have your product and environmental testing regimens clearly delineated.
Ensure all in-coming ingredients undergo in-processing testing and/or finished goods testing—even if you’re solely a co-packer.
3. Implement corrective actions when needed and document these actions.
Run a root cause analysis on all incidents and ensure that actions taken are documented.
4. Develop and implement a program to verify suppliers.
Require a Certificate of Analysis (C of A) and take steps to ensure suppliers provide products that are safe and in accordance with FDA regulations.
5. Develop and implement a Food Defense Plan.
Identify and evaluate hazards that may be intentionally introduced, and take preventative measures such as involving a security presence at your plant.
It’s that time of year: Time for the largest regional food processing tradeshow in North America to touch down in Portland, Oregon for its 99th year!
The Northwest Food Processors Expo and Conference (EXPO), hosted at the Oregon Convention Center January 14-16, 2013, attracts 3000 industry professionals from around the world. This event is jam-packed with industry-relevant educational sessions, more than 400 exhibitors featuring the latest and greatest in food processing equipment and services, and loads of networking opportunities. Whether you’re a general supervisor, Quality Assurance Manager, or CEO of a food processing or co-packing company, the Expo is full of inspiring sessions that appeal to any type of personnel in the industry.
As you might have guessed, DePaul Industries will be exhibiting our integrated Staffing, Security, and Packaging solutions for the food processing industry at the Expo. Come visit us at Booth 1705 to ask us about these solutions or any number of relevant industry concerns, such as:
• On-boarding, training, and advancement of front-line workers within your business
•The new 2013 Food Safety Modernization Act and how it affects the way you approach security
•Total solutions for your supply chain and co-packing needs
We’d love to invite you to stop by the Expo to see what it can offer you and your business. Visit nwfpa.org/expo2013 and use the promotional code PROCESSORVIP1705 to secure your ticket to the most authoritative and robust processing and packaging expo yet.
Do you sell a service, or a solution? A recent Harvard Business Review article by David Midgley extolled the virtues of providing genuine “solutions” for customers in the B2B marketplace, and made the case that what we’re moving towards is a “solution economy.” In it, B2B companies focus on what they’re best at—whatever solutions they’re able to provide—and rely on the solutions of their suppliers to handle the rest.
This is, essentially, each company leveraging the best elements of outsourcing to handle what isn’t part of their particular “solution” for their business. That may sound like a bunch of jargon, but really, it’s companies figuring out what they do best, and filling in their gaps with the “bests” of other companies. This goes beyond just packaging up different sets of options—it’s not just a “premier” solution package, or “premium” solution package. Those pre-developed options might offer some flexibility, but it isn’t true flexibility. What customers need, want, and deserve is a solution that actually works to solve their business needs. As Midgley points out, “After all, who would not prefer a ‘solution’ to their business problems rather than simply buying services and products?”
Doing all of this well comes from listening to and observing your customers. Really listening. Visiting with them on a regular basis, having “face time”, learning how they prefer to best communicate—and being willing to be truly flexible wherever possible, not just fitting them into a package. We’ve striven for the best in flexible solutions for years here at DePaul Industries, and developed innovative programs like Heart of the Workforce, our VETS FIRST initiative, and several individualized staffing programs all because of customer demand.
How does your company orient itself towards the customer? Share a comment below or tweet one to us @depaulind!
We’re excited to be featured in the April 2012 issue of NISH Workplace magazine for our Administrative Services AbilityOne™ contract at Fort Huachuca Army Base, staffed with 100% U.S. Veterans.
The contract, based in our newest location in Sierra Vista, Arizona, has been thriving since last fall and is especially unique to AbilityOne, as it requires workers with higher-functioning skills for jobs such as administrative assistants, supply and warehouse technicians, and mail couriers—not to mention its 100% U.S. Veteran staff.
AbilityOne is a Federal initiative to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and as such the majority of employees employed under the Administrative Services contract at Fort Huachuca have a documented disability. Of the disabled veterans, DePaul Industries Branch Manager Lenore Derrick says, “They’ve had to change their career path due to a disability, but they come pre-equipped with all of this specialized knowledge, skills, and discipline. In addition, they’re motivated and want to work. Who wouldn’t want a worker like that?”
Government knowledge and specialized military skills are rare and extremely helpful to possess when seeking quality employees to work on a military base, and the transition from active-duty service veterans to administrative work on site makes perfect sense. We’re committed to making hiring veterans as clear of a case across the entire employment spectrum: Through our ‘Vets First’ initiative, DePaul Industries will continue to leverage disabled veterans’ knowledge base for employment efforts across the board—public or private, government or non-governmental.
Click here to read the article, or visit DePaul Staffing to learn more about what we do. Many thanks to NISH, Sarah Patton, and the AbilityOne employees at Fort Huachuca for the great work on the article.