Assessing Your Operations Risk: Four Key Steps to Minimize Supply Chain Risk

By Joan Martino

With the increased attention on food safety throughout the supply chain, it’s no wonder that a careful and meaningful risk assessment is part of a food safety management system. Risk may be as simple as the proverbial “if / then” scenario:

If I don’t keep proper temperature control, then the food will spoil. Or, if I by-pass the routine maintenance on the packaging line, then I’ll have more reworked products.

So what if we add a number to that “if /then” scenario? In the first example you might apply a simple cost value to the spoiled food that must get thrown out—and don’t forget the additional production costs for replacing it.If something has a medium or moderate risk level does this mean it is tolerable? In the second scenario, which is more common, the rejected product that the customer has returned is not encountered until sometime down the road and the costs associated must take into account: material waste, labor, lost sales, customer refunds, internal investigations, your performance rating and ultimately a loss of trust in your ability to deliver quality products….what does that cost?

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