In the quest for quality food served at the consumer's plate, one of the trends that have swept across the seafood processing industry is Quality Control (QC). In hindsight, Quality Control is a process through which seafood processors seek to improve food quality.
The process involves the following steps to be undertaken:
- Training personnel
- Setting predetermined standards
- Product Testing and analyzing for variations
The key objective of quality control is to achieve standardization at each stage of production especially in an industry like seafood processing where food safety is always in doubt. QC drastically reduces the chance of errors with testing of seafood units to determine which fit the bill in terms of specifications to adhered standards. Testing of raw materials and drawing random samples from manufacturing lines at various stages pave the way to attain quality control.
Some of the challenges seafood processors face today in regard to quality control are as follows:
- Compliance Requirements
With Compliance agencies like the likes of SQF, HACCP, GFSI and FSMA breathing down the necks of seafood processors, quality control is the only means to survive. Ensuring compliance is met at each stage of production is not a choice for seafood processors but a prerequisite which makes Quality control’s worth weight in gold
- Customer Grievances
Accumulating customer grievances are a major hindrance for seafood processors. In this light, food quality and safety is primarily responsible for a number of grievances which not only reduce customer satisfaction but affect the goodwill of the seafood processor, in turn pushing him out of business for good.
- Product Recalls
With no quality control mechanism product recall becomes the new normal as and when standards are not adhered to. This not only results in more investment to cater to the defective stock but also results in unhappy customers. With customer satisfaction and profit being the name of the game, product recalls hurt seafood processors on all fronts.
- Lack of Tracking
Without an effective QC system in play, seafood processors cannot track the batch and lot which is defective. This results in more recalls and eventually slows down production. With rising competition and the quest to attain operational efficiency, lack of Lot Tracking is a dance with the devil.
The only way to cope up with these challenges is via Seafood ERP with an effective QC mechanism. Seafood ERP will bring to the table the following:
1) Lot Tracking
Through seafood ERP defective seafood can be traced back to its batch and lot number hence disposing off the defective stock before it reaches the customer plate. This paves the way for customer satisfaction.
2) Compliance via QC test
With testing happening at every stage of production, seafood ERP with QC mechanism sets tolerance limits at each stage. The seafood processed at each stage has to adhere to benchmarks and if it crosses the tolerance limit it is disposed of. With inspection plans, checklists and QC tests in the ERP system, compliance is at the core of seafood processor's operation
3) Easy Recall
By tracing back the product to its lot and batch product recall is easy and effective. With product hold for quality check and quality control management on smart devices, recall is just a click of a button. This timely recall not only reduces grievances, but also brings in operational efficiency—killing two birds with one stone.
4) Seafood Standardization
Sampling checks throughout the warehouse and production floor alongside quality control dashboard ensure standardization of seafood. The cherry on the cake is a print QC label and certification report from seafood ERP which helps seafood processors differentiate themselves from their competitors.
With a pandemic on the loose food safety and quality has never been under more scrutiny. Having consumer’s health at stake quality control is now the lifeline of the seafood processing industry for any breaches in compliance results in seafood processors going out of business for good. In that regard seafood ERP is now not a choice but a prerequisite to survive and thrive. For if profit via operational efficiency is the name of the game, then quality control via seafood ERP is how seafood processors' win.