As everyone in and around the food industry understands, food safety – and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), in particular – are hugely important. But what many struggle with is how to efficiently introduce processes that enhance food safety while maintain efficient operations and profitability.

The need for GFSI compliance

“The Global Food Safety Initiative was established at the beginning of this century, following a number of widely publicized foodborne illness outbreaks that adversely impacted consumer confidence in the industry,” explains Susan Moyers, Ph.D. “The GFSI mission is to provide ‘continuous improvement in food safety management systems to ensure confidence in the delivery of safe food to consumers worldwide.’”

But why does GFSI compliance matter? Well, it comes down to three different groups of benefactors:

  • Supply chain. GFSI compliance leads to a safer overall global supply chain by improving product integrity and mitigating issues related to food safety. It also reduces audit fatigue and improves cost efficiency.
  • Customer. Customers experience fewer foodborne diseases, less frequent product recalls, and higher overall consumer confidence in brands.
  • Government. From the government perspective, GFSI compliance means improved public health, better business compliance with legislation, and advancements in food safety technology.

As you can see, the GFSI isn’t just another thing designed to trip up your organization. Compliance impacts everyone from the supplier to the end consumer. Ultimately, your failure to account for food safety will result in major ramifications.

The role of ERP / business software

Now that you understand the far-reaching benefits of GFSI compliance and that it isn’t just another bureaucratic solution designed to weigh you down, it’s important to focus on the how. How can you enhance GFSI compliance in your own organization for the best? Well, a modern approach begins with adopting the right ERP solution.

Why ERP, you may ask? Well, let’s briefly analyze some of the top benefits to gain a better understanding of why ERP software plays such a positive role in GFSI compliance.

  1. Less paperwork

Let’s be honest, GFSI compliance can be painstaking and complicated if you don’t have the right methods in place for documenting and storing the necessary data. In other words, if you’re still using Excel spreadsheets, Word documents and paper files, you’re filling up desktop folders and filing cabinets quicker than you can blink. With ERP, this is no longer an issue. Everything is stored in one paperless solution, which eliminates time and wasted resources.

  1. Better measurement and reporting

The need for robust reports and up-to-date insights is pressing. If you’re ever audited, you’ll have to provide timely documentation to prove compliance. Without ERP software, this means taking the time to find information, compile reports, and organize those reports for quick access. With ERP software, everything is automated and you can spend more time handling the tasks that really matter.

  1. Streamlined processes

We operate in an automated business world that’s characterized by streamlined processes and hands-off activity. If you’re still approaching GFSI compliance from a manual perspective, then you’re probably falling behind. The great thing about ERP software is that it speeds up slow processes and reallocates human resources to the tasks that require specialized input from employees. This leads to fewer food safety issues and payroll maximization.

  1. Ability for quicker recalls

“The industry average cost of recalls is $10 million in direct costs, as well as brand damage and lost sales,” industry expert Jack Payne notes. “Actual total loss data is seldom available and the scope of the damage can be dependent on how well media attention and public perception is managed.” The sooner you can recall a product after an issue is discovered, the more money you can save – not to mention, you can protect your brand image.

  1. Stronger prevention

While being able to quickly recall a product that doesn’t meet food safety standards is important, it’s much better to prevent the recall in the first place. With an ERP solution, you have much better visibility into your organization and can avoid many of the safety issues that plague large companies. This is perhaps the single greatest benefit of ERP software.

Find out more about the benefits of ERP

Are you interested in learning more about the role of ERP software in the food industry and how it positively impacts food safety, efficiency, and profitability? Check out our software section to see all the features and modules food companies should be looking for from ERP / business software.