Over the past 6 months we’ve seen a substantial increase in food companies actively seeking software solutions for food safety and quality management. Here are three reasons why this is the case.
1) Paperwork is reaching a tipping point
Very few systems in the world are actually linear where things are correlated 1:1. Most systems have an exponential nature and they contain tipping points where at one day the system is fully functioning, but the addition of one more process is enough to break the quality managers back and jam the entire system. Basically we are talking about bottlenecks that emerge out of nowhere.
Current developments relating to the control of food fraud and supply chain management, and unannounced audits are in my mind bringing this tipping point closer for most food companies. Luckily, automation and software can take the pressure off of many of these systems and return everything back to equilibrium.
2) Evolving food safety standards
Keeping up with the evolving legislation is becoming a major burden and with the introduction of the next generation of standards, such as the BRC Issue 7, the requirements and pressures are growing even further. It’s not only that existing regulations get stricter, but that there are completely new categories of requirements being introduced. Software as a Service offers an easy way out of this hamster wheel, as alignment with changing standards can be achieved through automatic updates that are being managed by the software provider.
3) Technology is finally mature
One of the reasons why so many people persist with paper and Excel-based quality management systems still today is that up until very recently any software solutions in the food safety and compliance space have been frankly.. quite poor. After trying out a couple of options most companies have found that available solutions have been cumbersome, they don’t have the necessary scope, they might be difficult to use, and many times they have come from other industries like aerospace or something like that, which means they have really nothing to do with food safety beyond the name of the product.
This is not the case anymore. Companies have really learned their lessons about user friendly design, customer support, as well as designing solutions that are specific to the needs of quality managers and food safety professionals in food businesses. Technology is finally reaching a point where transitioning from your old system to a fully digital solution offers a way to actual process improvement, positive cultural change and cost savings.
What do you think? Is this just marketing talk, or do you agree with these points? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.