Eating our own dog food: How Safefood 360° uses its own Quality Management System to run the business
There’s a famous saying about eating your own dog food. It means that whatever you are selling, you should be able to consume and use yourself. You need to be able to rely on your product.
At Safefood 360°, we can talk about eating dog food in two ways. First, one of our employees used to work as Quality Manager for a pet food factory, and he did have to try the dog food occasionally. But above all, we mean it more earnestly; we use the Safefood 360° software to manage our own business and run our internal quality management system.
Using the software gives us perfect feedback about product quality
Using our software provides us with a first-hand experience of how it feels like when you rely your operations on Safefood 360°. It would be quite remarkable for us to be first boasting to sell the worlds’ most advanced quality management system and then not use it ourselves! Imagine if Samsung executives refused to use their phones or Googlers used Bing? Google is, in fact, famous for gathering user feedback from its employees before releasing new products.
What modules do we use internally?
We host key documents for HR, Marketing and other functions in the Documents module, and the team members get automatically notified whenever there are changes. We conduct our monthly reviews using the Management Review module, track customer project implementations in the Quality Management module using Quality Objectives, and we record quality related variables in the Monitoring module for monthly trending. Reports are automatically scheduled, alerts remind the team members to do things. We use the whole package as far as it would make sense for a software company to do so.
We’ve used the same approach to implementing our quality management system that our most successful customers have taken as well: Start small, make it massively successful and then move on the next thing. We don’t use all modules at once because there’s no point in trying to bite more than you can swallow.
There’s a difference between knowing and understanding
It is only when you use the software yourself, and start completing business critical work in the system, that you start getting a feeling for how your customers will view the system. They trust their sensitive food safety management information in our hands every day. So to understand how they feel it seems like the right thing to run our own business using the same software. You can only relate to people if you can share their perspective.
So there’s a stark difference between being told something like “this module will help you run your audit programs better” and doing it yourself. Only practice will make you better and give you the kind of insights that are necessary if you want to put yourself in the customers shoes and propose practical solutions for them. Solutions that indeed work in everyday life and help them run their food businesses better.
And we even use the cleaning module
On a lighter note, we’ve even started using the cleaning module to keep our coffee machine nice and tidy. You might think it’s silly – but we take coffee very seriously and will do anything to ensure its high quality every day.
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