Passing a second or third-party audit or government inspection is seldom easy, especially when it involves a new standard that your facility has not previously been measured against.
The financial and operational fallout from a failed or poor audit is far reaching and significant.
Consider the costs of shuttering a production line for three days to correct an issue with sanitation or eradicate a cockroach infestation that was found in the motor compartment of a piece of equipment? What if you weren’t able – due to a failed second-party audit – sell your products to key suppliers?
The answers to these questions are what keeps quality assurance and facility managers up at night.
The first step to a successful audit or inspection is preparation. There are no shortcuts to making the grade with auditors or inspectors. Sprague recommends the following tips to prepare your facility for an audit using a new audit standard.
- Get to know your auditors and how they work – Auditors are like teachers because they work on facts and hard evidence. Make sure you can back up everything you tell them, as the punishment for failing to comply is far worse than detention.
- Work as a team when preparing for the audit – Successful audits require a commitment to the quality system from the C-suite to the production line.
- Know the gaps in your facility – Get familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your facility and focus on correcting the vulnerabilities prior to the audit.
- Provide the necessary training – Knowledge is power. Make sure employees have the required training necessary to meet the audit standard your facility is seeking.
- Deliver the goods – It is your responsibility to provide auditors with the necessary documentation to prove your facility is on top of its game.
The day-to-day rigors of managing a processing facility can lead to shortcuts being taken in the name of time and budget. These shortcuts can undo your audit or inspection.
Successfully passing an audit is a process that starts well before an auditor or inspector arrives on your door step. It starts with emphasizing good food safety and pest management practices each and every day. It also means dedicating the proper time, budget and attention to fully support these programs.
A successful audit is about preparation not just for the audit itself, but for the everyday processes that make your facility run.
Have questions on how to best prepare your facility for an upcoming audit or inspection? Our experts can help your quality team with practice audits, risk assessments and developing protocols and pest control programs that lead to a successful audit event.
Call 855-805-0755 or e-mail us
to find out how our innovative pest management and food safety solutions can work for your company.