SQF Certification and SPC

Greg Matranga
By Greg Matranga | November 8, 2019
Vice President of Global Marketing

Fact checked by Stephen O'Reilly

The first part of our blog series was an overview of the importance of SQF certification. In it, we focused on how name-brand food and beverage manufacturers rely on contract manufacturers to reach their production goals—as well as the cold, hard fact that these brands demand that contractors who work for them must obtain the necessary certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI), one of the most recognized third-party organizations that sets the standards for food safety and quality.
Part two of our series was a detailed discussion of the steps you need to take to get SQF certified. Which leads us to the following: at the heart of SQF certification is statistical process control (SPC). In this, our final blog of this series, we’d like to discuss why SPC is important for gaining certification and to your organization in a general sense. Like Clark Kent, SPC works inconspicuously and tirelessly behind the scenes to keep your company safe. Statistical process control gained from InfinityQS quality management software can be that superhero your company has been looking for.
The challenges of implementing an SQF program

The Challenges of Implementing an SQF Program

To achieve SQF certification, your organization must adhere to a rigorous system of accountability. This means that every aspect of your operation should satisfy the standards put forth by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). To do so requires a robust and highly customizable software solution—like those offered by InfinityQS—a quality management system that permits companies to manage large amounts of data that can be easily accessed, analyzed, and verified in the event of an audit. And the solution must enable cost-effective implementation while offering a clear return on investment.

What is a Statistical Process Control (SPC) Solution?

Statistical process control is a data-driven method that removes the guesswork from quality control. As the industry standard for verifying the safety and quality of manufacturing practices, SPC provides credible insights about products and processes that validate compliance with industry regulations.
All suppliers collect data but many (most) struggle to make good use of all the data they’ve captured. InfinityQS SPC software solutions help suppliers mine valuable insights that enable them to reduce risk, improve consistency, remain compliant, and lower operating costs.
Making statistical quality control work for your organization
To truly make SPC work for your organization, you need a system that keeps all your data in a centralized data repository, like InfinityQS. Why? Because when your data is centralized, it is standardized, accessible from anywhere, and easily aggregated and analyzed.
Aggregating collected data makes all the difference, enabling you to get the “bird’s eye” view of your operations you’re so sorely lacking. Your data experts will thank you, with this new-found ability to really dig into the information available to find where issues lie. They can pull out nuggets of insight into your operations, prioritize plans of action to improve processes, mitigate risks, and make your company more competitive and profitable.

Why Elect to Implement an SPC Solution?

SPC empowers food and beverage companies at every level of the supply chain to preempt, prevent, and (yes) even eliminate costly recall events. With an SPC engine, historical data is well organized and easily accessed. Companies that rely on an SPC solution can readily validate their compliance in the event of an audit.
Further, real-time insights garnered from using SPC help create meaningful opportunities for quality process improvements—including waste reduction and streamlined production. This can boost revenue by lowering production costs, optimizing product quality, reducing scrap and throwaway, and reducing defects. And, in the long run, it protects the brand by mitigating food safety risks and ensuring consistent products.
Use SPC to enable SQF certification.
Many of the world’s largest purveyors of food and beverage products demand the highest level of SQF certification—which requires utilizing SPC. Having an SPC solution in place therefore grants mid- to large-sized suppliers the opportunity to compete on a national or global scale, increasing their market reach and enhancing their own brand.

Which Companies Rely on an SPC Solution?

Some of the most recognizable food and beverage brands in the world have implemented an InfinityQS SPC solution—enabling them to improve production, reduce waste, and deliver on their brand promise of high-quality food and beverage products. InfinityQS ProFicient SPC clients include the following:
Nestle Waters

Nestlé Waters

A substantial player in the bottled water market, Nestlé Waters manages a portfolio of 72 brands in 130 countries, 100 manufacturing sites stretching across the globe. Nestlé Waters implemented InfinityQS’ ProFicient SPC solution in an effort to move away from its old and cumbersome paper-based system of collecting and analyzing data.
Prior to ProFicient, Nestlé Waters’ quality operators had to halt production to gather the necessary data. Nestlé Waters needed a system that would allow them to easily monitor, review, and trend real-time data. Now with ProFicient, Nestlé Waters has real-time visibility into production processes across 26 factories. The ability to track trends with quality data enables the company to make more accurate and timely process improvements.
Snak King

Snak King

Snak King produces food products that provide customers with healthier snack options. The company implemented InfinityQS’ ProFicient SPC solution to combat large variations in product quality. Because of this product inconsistency, Snak King was subject to frequent quality holds and process aborts, resulting in high waste costs.
Snak King needed an SPC system that would provide actionable data that was both easy to use and analyze. With ProFicient, Snak King receives a wide range of data, including customer complaint tracking, incoming receiving tracking, and quality inspections tracking. This has resulted in a 30% improvement in customer complaints and a $1 million reduction of product waste.
Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of premium ice cream products, distributed in over 35 countries. The company has more than 500 employees and 700 scoop shops worldwide. Known for its use of high-quality ingredients—including family-farmed, hormone-free dairy and Certified Humane cage-free eggs—Ben & Jerry’s needed to streamline quality control. They chose to implement InfinityQS’ ProFicient SPC solution.
Before the shift to ProFicient, the company had been using an outdated, cumbersome pen-and-paper system across its three production facilities. The labor required to perform calculations and analysis made this slow and inflexible system very costly. Now, with InfinityQS ProFicient, Ben & Jerry’s can run reports in seconds rather than hours. This has empowered operators to identify opportunities for cost savings, improve production processes, reduce paper use, and deliver a consistently high-quality product.

Get SQF Certified and Put on Your Cape

Food and beverage recall events can be like kryptonite to many suppliers. These events emphasize the need for a food safety management program that meets global standards. When implementing a quality SPC software solution, SQF-certified companies at every level of the supply chain are empowered to save the day. Like superheroes, SQF-certified food and beverage suppliers help prevent recall events from impacting their—as well as their name brand purveyors’—bottom lines.
SPC solutions implemented across the supply chain cut costs, streamline production, mitigate risk, and enable high quality product consistency that global food purveyors and consumers can trust. Cue the superhero music…
Read the white paper: Win More Business with SQF Certification
Read the other blogs in this series:

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