Approved Supplier Management – 10 Top Tips

Keeping up with supplier approval management can be a tricky, time consuming responsibility which puts unwanted pressure on your business.
And, due to greater media interest and the increasingly stringent requirements of retailers, it’s an area that’s attracting even more attention from food safety auditors.
If you struggle to keep on top of supplier approval and meet the growing demands of customers and auditors then this series to tips which we will be publishing weekly is for you.
Featuring top tips and sensible, tried and tested advice, we aim to show you how to comply with best practice and turn what was formerly an administrative pain into a competitive gain.
Common problems and issues often encountered by food businesses when implementing supplier approval management include:

  • A lack of resources in the technical department
  • Difficulty gathering current information from all suppliers
  • An inability  to track the status of all outstanding requirements
  • Information submitted by suppliers  which is incomplete/out of date
  • Irresponsible or unaware agents/traders and distributors
  • Missing information identified by auditors resulting in non-conformances
  • Insufficient raw material specification information

Is your business encountering some or all of these problems?
If so, this series to tips will help you implement best practice and turn supplier approval management into a competitive advantage.
To accomplish this, we recommend that you follow these guidelines:
1.Make  sure your supplier audit questionnaires and product specifications are context specific
2.Use pre-approval questionnaires at the earliest opportunity so any problem suppliers can be indentified from the start and kept out of your supply chain.
3.Have an accurate and up to date record of who your live suppliers are.
4.Reward accredited suppliers with a fast track process.
5.Know what is in the raw material and ensure you understand the supply chain that lies behind it.
6.Understand what activities are carried out at your suppliers’ sites.
7.Review and risk assess responses to self-audit questionnaires.
8.Seek clarification where required
9.Audit your suppliers.
10.Use software solutions to assist with the gathering, assessment and management of all of the information required.
There are barriers to best practice, but they can be overcome – bringing your business a whole raft of time and cost saving benefits.