Free Audits, Forms, and Reporting for Covid-19
We are all living through unprecedented circumstances. Navigating COVID-19 has affected the whole world, and we all need to work together to keep the virus from causing more harm, sickness, and death.
I am keenly aware that my friends in the food service, hospitality, and retail industries are feeling the crushing effect of increased risk to their employees and customers, reduced business, and even total business closure with no indication when and if they will be able to reopen.
That’s why we here at RizePoint could not sit by without offering to help each of you navigate COVID-19.
If you don’t already know us, RizePoint has been providing quality management tools to safety and quality professionals for over 23 years in the food, retail, and hospitality industries. We take compliance seriously and work hard to develop technology that simplifies the complexity of quality management. And we drive our improvements to our software with our long-standing belief that a proactive approach is the best approach.
Given our years of experience in quality management, perhaps we, better than others, know the health and well-being of your employees and customers remains your highest priority, especially at this critical time. Our industry experience and history of quality management advancements make us all ideal partners to tackle this outbreak with you.
As my team and I have looked at the current situation, we’ve asked ourselves how we can serve the global community and what role we can play in helping business navigate COVID-19 and mitigate damage caused by this outbreak.
The solution was clear: We are giving away the use of our world-class app for mobile audits, forms, and reports related to managing the process and risks around COVID-19. This free use will last for a year, or longer if needed. There are also no limits on a number of locations or number of COVID-19-related audits during this offer.
Bottom line — We are here to help.
I personally invite you to learn more about this offer by contacting us at email@example.com or by visiting our website at https://rizepoint.com/mobile-auditor-covid-19-free-use/. This is an all-resources-on-deck situation at RizePoint, and my team is standing by to get you started as quickly as possible.
I know that if we all work together, we can help curb the spread of COVID-19 tremendously and make our world a safer place.
Fast Casual: Trends, Challenges
& Best Practices for Compliance Managers
It will be many years before the food industry and consumers
forget the story of Chipotle’s E. coli outbreak in 2016.
We know the external story: Chipotle was a pioneer in the fast
casual market, offering fast, fresh, and locally sourced food. The consumer
demand and response were so great that the company grew very quickly — Chipotle
moved into new markets, grew their customer base, and hired new employees by
And then a massive E. coli outbreak across 11 states nearly
toppled the company and all 2,000 locations. They spent at least $50
million in the first quarter of 2016 alone on a massive marketing
campaign to attempt to win customers back and reverse brand damage.
The internal story at Chipotle boils down to one thing: they weren’t prepared. Their operations
grew faster than their internal planning, so they didn’t have internal disaster
recovery plans, customer communication plans, or variability in their supply
If you’re building, refining, or strengthening internal food
safety and risk mitigation strategies, join Walt Murray, a food
safety and risk expert at PinPoint Services, Dean Wiltse, CEO and
RizePoint, for the live webinar: “Fast Casual:
Trends, Challenges & Best Practices for Compliance Managers,” hosted by
Food Safety Tech on March 26, 2020.
In this the live webinar, you’ll
- Why top-down
Food Safety Culture should be a priority
strategies for mitigating fresh-prepared food safety risks
practices for c-suite to help mitigate risk and meet customer expectations
at the store level
Webinar — “Fast Casual: Trends,
Challenges & Best Practices for Compliance Managers”
When: March 26, 2020, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT
Tips for Finding the Right Software For Your Company
Quality management software may be designed to help you succeed in your complex job, but the task of choosing the right package for your business can be intimidating. The best choice for you and your company is going to depend on your industry, your business goals, the market, and even your individual team. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but don’t let that slow you down. In this article, we’ll give you actionable steps to help you select the very best quality management software vendor for your company.
1. Understand Your Needs
There’s no such thing as “the best quality management software,” only the best quality management software for you — and you can’t know what that is until you understand your specific needs. The first step, then, is to audit your current process and identify any gaps that exist in your quality management systems. Figure out where you need to improve and prioritize these areas.
2. Refer Back to Your Specific Needs, Often
Yes, you read that right: Step two is to refer back to step one. By necessity, quality management software addresses a wide variety of problems, but it’s your specific needs that you have to meet. Don’t get distracted by bells and whistles. Make sure you’re focused on the essentials, remind yourself of the specific gaps you have to fill and look for something that fits your requirements.
3. Consider All Stakeholders
You’re responsible for managing relationships with stakeholders from every level of your organization and beyond. Their happiness (and you do need to keep them happy!) will depend in large part on your ability to provide them with timely information and insight. Keep this in mind when choosing the right quality management software vendor for your business.
4. Ask Around
Quality management is an enormous field—in other words, you’re not alone. Ask your peers, including folks from any professional associations you belong to, about what they use, what problems they’re trying to solve, and whether it does the job well. Next, take your shortlist to vendor review sites. Capterra and G2 offer a treasure trove of information and reviews about quality management software vendors.
5. Request a Demo and Ask Questions
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few contenders, dig a bit deeper. Request demos so you can see for yourself how their products work. Ask to see use cases for organizations that are similar to yours. Your job is to advocate for your business, so come prepared and don’t be afraid to steer the conversation to your specific needs.
In the complex world of quality management software vendors, the key to finding the best software is simplicity. Keep the important things — namely, the needs of your program and its stakeholders — top of mind at all stages of your search. To streamline your evaluation process, download this self-assessment document that we designed to help you narrow down your options and focus on what matters.
RizePoint offers highly flexible and configurable quality management software that empowers people just like you to collect, organize, and manage data around quality assurance and supplier quality management. Click —> here to learn more today.
How Tracking Supplier Quality Affects Your Bottom Line
As a quality professional, you’ve got a lot on your plate. So, it can be tempting to cut corners, especially if a cost-of-quality (COQ) system isn’t on your company’s list of priorities. It may be a challenge to find the time and managerial support to track and measure supplier quality, but it’s worth the effort. Doing so helps you deliver consistent quality with fewer recalls and reduced warranty costs, all of which affects your bottom line.
What Is Cost of Poor Quality?
Perhaps the easiest way to understand the concept of cost of poor quality (COPQ) is to imagine an organization in which all systems, processes, and products are perfect. In this case, there would be no COPQ.
The cost of poor quality represents just one part of the cost-of-quality methodology; the other part is the cost of good quality (COGQ). To calculate your overall COQ, add these two costs together:
Cost of Good Quality (COGQ) + Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ) = Cost of Quality (COQ)
If algebra isn’t your thing, try this truism: You have to spend money to make money. No matter how you approach your COQ, your company will pay. Your task is to decide whether to invest in COQ programs up front or pay a lot more later for recalls or warranty costs.
The good news is that you have the power to reduce the cost of poor quality, while increasing quality in your supplier programs.
(If you’re new to the COQ concept, or simply need a refresher, read more about it here.)
Why Is Tracking Cost of Poor Quality in Supplier Management Important?
In the manufacturing and service industries, studies have shown the cost of poor quality averages anywhere from 15-40% of sales. This can translate into millions of dollars over the course of a year, depending on the size of your business, but it always has a significant impact on your bottom line.
According to experts, reducing COPQ to just 10-15% of sales can transform a marginally successful company into a highly profitable one.
Unfortunately, just one in three organizations track COQ, according to an ASQ study. Even more concerning is the fact that many executives incorrectly believe their company’s COPQ is less than 5%. The reason why is clear: Many don’t understand the benefits of tracking their COQ, which leads them to prioritize investing in other areas.
To maximize your organization’s potential, it’s important to know your COPQ. Understanding this cost will help you accurately evaluate the effectiveness of your quality systems, assess the performance of each vendor, and identify problem areas as well as opportunities for improvement. COPQ is thus an important tool for managing and reducing risk.
How to Assess Your Company’s Cost of Quality
Implementing a COQ system will enable you to measure the impact of quality systems on business performance. Here’s how to get started:
- Reframe Your Approach
If managing your suppliers feels like a burden, it’s time to change your approach. (Or it may be time for an attitude adjustment, as your mother might say.) Stop thinking of tracking as a compliance burden, and start thinking of it as an opportunity to improve your supplier quality.
Working collaboratively to create programs relevant to your production standards not only benefits everyone involved but also helps your suppliers be more invested in quality. The result is better, more consistent quality, which keeps your boss, your suppliers, and your customers happy.
- Track and Measure Supplier Performance
Tracking performance can seem difficult and overly complex, especially if you’re doing it all manually in spreadsheets. But it’s important to remember that any COPQ tracking is better than none. So, start with what you have.
Maybe you have some historical data on supplier performance. Great! Aggregate the data and start looking for trends. You’re certain to stumble across something that needs your attention. Pay special attention to effective processes with positive results that you could incorporate into your programs.
If you’re starting from scratch, don’t despair. You have the opportunity to set benchmarks for supplier performance, which enable you to set realistic goals for improvements to your quality programs year after year.
Tracking supplier performance has an important benefit: It allows you to move toward conditional management (where you use your time and effort where it’s needed most) and away from continual management (where you monitor every supplier, all the time). By putting a bit of trust in your rock-star vendors, you’ll free up time and money to train and assist those who need it.
- Motivate Supplier Accountability
It’s normal to trace a certain amount of quality failure to your suppliers. The best way to manage this and reduce its future impact is to encourage accountability.
One way to do so is through a charge-back program. If you find that, due to your suppliers’ failures, product quality is low and recalls or warranties are high, such a program can hold the appropriate suppliers financially responsible. It also creates an incentive for your suppliers to help you identify and fix the root causes of poor quality.
- Create a Closed-Loop System
Inevitably, things fall through the cracks, but you can mitigate human error by creating a closed-loop system. Simple in concept, this involves three easy steps:
- Find the root cause. When tracking down a quality issue, it’s best to approach the task collaboratively. This will involve suppliers in a positive way, strengthening your management position.
- Create a clear plan and initiate CAPA. When you initiate corrective action, it’s key to have a written process to make expectations crystal clear for suppliers and other stakeholders. Once a problem is fixed, make sure to go back and identify a root cause so the same issues don’t happen repeatedly.
- Update your processes. When you’ve identified root causes during your CAPA process, you’ll need to make sure your quality processes and procedures are up to date to reflect your findings. Examples include updating documentation, upgrading the skill set of an employee, training or certifying suppliers, or making physical adjustments for quality and safety at the supplier location.
In a closed-loop system, your processes are documented and clearly communicated, which can help you align on goals and clarify your expectations with your suppliers. Using this system, you’ll find it easier to close gaps and reduce risk or quality issues. Tracking quality improvements might also help your company’s decision makers understand the importance of COQ initiatives and encourage them to spend a little up front to save a lot down the road.
Companies that fail to track and measure supplier quality are missing out on a great deal of useful information — data that can be harnessed to improve your organization’s overall quality and to reduce costly recalls and warranty claims. While implementing a COQ system can be daunting, it’s a worthwhile project that is sure to improve your bottom line.
RizePoint offers highly flexible and configurable quality management software that empowers people just like you collect, organize, and manage data around quality assurance and supplier quality management. Click —> here to learn more today.
How to Optimize New & Existing Quality Initiatives
As a quality professional, you’re responsible for meeting the needs of a sea of internal and external stakeholders while managing the cost, quality, and timely delivery of supplier products. With so many moving parts, your job can get complicated.
But it doesn’t have to be. By taking a proactive approach to supplier quality management, you can build a strategic plan that effectively streamlines your processes. In other words, it simplifies your life.
Planning around known pain points — everything from an overwhelming inbox to unclear business goals and diverging stakeholder expectations — also helps you develop a system that consistently yields better results. That means you walk away with a more efficient and cost-effective quality program with fewer risks, a higher return on investment in supplier relationships, and better quality products for customers at lower costs.
This article explores the objectives of your role, the daily challenges you face, and actionable steps you can take to optimize your quality initiatives.
Build Better, More Collaborative Supplier Relationships
Your company’s success depends to a large degree on your suppliers. After all, they’re important partners without whom you wouldn’t be in business. For this reason, it’s in your interest to foster collaborative and communicative supplier relationships.
As an SQM professional, you likely complain about communication issues, delays in accessing important documents, and/or a weak supply base. But it’s imperative that you also take your supplier’s pain points into account. Shifting priorities, a lack of standard protocol, and poor communication are among their most persistent difficulties. Unfortunately, these issues contribute to operational interruptions, eroded morale, and lost time and money. By addressing these common supplier complaints, you can make significant progress toward your goal of developing a network of trusted suppliers.
To develop stronger supplier relationships, follow these best practices:
- Adopt a proactive and strategic management style that favors collaboration for better corrective action and seeks to address the root causes of issues.
- Open up lines of communication and train key stakeholders to ensure they’re fully briefed on your organization’s standards.
- When it comes to inspections and assessments, include your suppliers in the process of meeting regulatory requirements.
The stronger your supplier relationships, the fewer risks your organization will face and the happier your customers will be.
Standardize Supplier Quality and Performance Metrics
Without clear goals, your suppliers can’t effectively organize their priorities or make informed business decisions. And when they’re left to guesswork, your program is vulnerable to diminishing quality and disappointed stakeholders.
Establishing clear business goals, in contrast, can help you identify appropriate success metrics against which you can measure supplier performance.
Keep in mind that the key to a collaborative approach is transparency. For this reason, it’s important to produce a manual, which can be shared both internally and with your suppliers, that outlines the responsibilities of each party. This document should include information about key performance indicators as well as the structure of your evaluation process, and can be updated as needed.
Access to such information will reduce confusion, empower your suppliers to act as true business partners, and boost the likelihood of meeting your targets.
Measure and Track the Cost of Poor Supplier Quality
Poor supplier quality certainly has a negative impact on your company. But it’s impossible to measure the exact costs if all you have in hand is anecdotal evidence. If you want real insights that help you improve your supplier quality program, you’ll need to adopt a system that returns usable data.
You can’t track changes without a baseline of data, so a good place to start is using the data from your annual or bi-annual audits. Develop supplier scorecards that, at minimum, measure supplier quality, responsiveness, and delivery performance. To stay on top of your team’s status, make sure you have your suppliers’ most recent quality certifications.
By putting a bit of effort into tracking key data points, you can save yourself a huge headache down the road.
Increase Visibility with Quality Management Software
Identifying and tracking supplier quality data is imperative, but that data is only useful if it’s easy to access and gain insights from. Quality management software, designed to solve this problem, provides you with visibility into key supplier metrics and overall program performance.
If you’re like many supplier quality managers, you know that SQM software exists, but — due to digital dread — you’ve yet to adopt it. While your financial and organizational concerns are legitimate, they’re hurting your business. The thing is, data stored in disparate and incompatible places are difficult to locate and nearly impossible to compare. This outdated operating model not only loses you time and money, but also prevents you from gaining valuable insights that help your company grow.
A bit of upfront planning, paired with careful execution, allows you to gain control over your processes — making them more efficient and effective. Similarly, an investment in SQM software streamlines your operations, including your document management, approvals, onboarding, renewals, and audits — saving you time and money, while providing you with the ability to identify opportunities and spot trends in your wider supply chain.
Choosing to be more strategic and less reactive can save you the headaches that come along with outdated systems and manual processes. With a little help from technology, you can develop a strong supply base and optimize your quality program.
Consider and Align All Stakeholders
Every business has a community of stakeholders. Some, like executive leaders, are internal to your organization, while others, like suppliers and customers, reside outside of your walls. All, by definition, have a stake in your company’s success, which is why every stakeholder deserves attention. Your challenge is to clarify who needs what, when.
To accomplish this goal, you’ll first need to identify all stakeholders and strive to understand what success looks like from their perspectives. A customer, for example, might see success as receiving the right product, at the right time, for a competitive price. In contrast, a regulatory body needs reassurance that you’ve met health and safety obligations, and a manager is concerned with maintaining smooth operations. No matter how disparate their perspectives, each must be addressed.
Think about how you can be accountable to each stakeholder, including how you’ll report back to them. Plan to meet their requirements but make sure they align with your business objectives and program priorities. Managing stakeholders can be confusing, but advance planning and prioritization can make the task easier.
Supplier quality managers have a difficult job. To be successful, you must address the competing needs of stakeholders, while tracking a sea of quality data. Quality management software can help accomplish these goals, but it’s equally important to adopt a proactive and collaborative approach to managing — and systematically improving — your quality program. If you keep these principles in mind will be a step ahead in tackling the complex challenges of this field.
RizePoint offers a supplier quality management solution that helps you mitigate legal risks and better control quality and compliance, so you can spend more time building strategic programs. It’s an easy-to-use, streamlined solution at a price you can afford. Click >> here to learn more today.
Advances in technology have the potential to revolutionize all industries, but especially those dealing with large amounts of data. When managing supplier quality, the benefits are clear: New technologies can simplify, enhance, and streamline organizational processes, resulting in improved business decisions, reduced costs, and minimized risks. As your single source of truth, they also enable you to quickly collect, sort, analyze, and retrieve supplier information — making your job a breeze.
But transitioning from traditional to digital supplier quality management (SQM) is fraught with concerns. While these concerns may be legitimate, “digital dread” — the anxiety sparked by the overwhelming task of transitioning from an existing system to a new, digital one — should never prevent you from making business improvements. Read on to learn how to overcome these issues and improve your SQM processes.
How New Technologies Affect Supplier Quality Management
Supplier quality management involves the collection, organization, and management of an enormous amount of information. When managing supplier quality, you have to track your preferred suppliers as well as all of the products associated with each one, while maintaining up-to-date records, which must be available to overseeing bodies on demand. At the same time, you must keep notes on supplier relationships to ensure they’re strong, healthy, and efficient. It’s a massive job for anyone to take on.
As SQM has developed over time, so too have the methods for tracking supplier information. The reality is that many SQM professionals currently use a system cobbled together with bits of information housed across spreadsheets — in the cloud, email, and even paper files. Even if the person responsible knows exactly where to locate something, the organization is vulnerable since it depends on a single employee. And that’s the best-case scenario.
The reality is that spreadsheets were not designed for strategic use. Matt Davidson, vice president of product and marketing with data analytics company, Locix, pinpoints the problem: “Everyone talks about the importance of data, but the bigger thing is how you get information out of it — how you make sure you’re collecting the right data to make the right decisions.” Collecting data is one thing, but no company can maximize their potential without easy access to the insights derived from it.
How to Overcome Digital Dread
There’s no way around it: If you want to maximize your SQM, you’re going to need better tools. It’s a daunting prospect but the good news is that approaching it strategically can help you achieve a smooth transition:
- Think Incrementally. There are existing cycles within every business, such as times for updating processes or equipment, when there’s an expected low period of activity, or when other changes (like onboarding new employees) are already disrupting everyday operations. If you’re strategic, you can take advantage of these natural breaks to make changes incrementally. Doing so will reduce the financial and operational impact of the change and also prevent the need for organization-wide training. By imagining a roll-out of new technology in phases, you can minimize organizational disruption and anxiety.
- Set Goals. Now that you’ve decided to move forward in phases, it makes sense to set attainable goals for each phase of the roll-out. Not only will this help move your overall project forward, it provides a measure of success so you can stay on top of potential problems. Map out your goals beforehand — and make sure they’re executable. Examples include fewer out-of-stock incidents, faster time-to-market, or less unexpected downtime.
- Build a Priority List. Set out what you want to achieve in each phase of your transition, so you can effectively plan for it. Consider, for example, whether you want to focus on compliance or suppliers relationships first. This will give shape to each step of your strategy.
- Be Transparent About Funding. Cash flow is an issue that cannot be ignored. Rather than avoiding upgrades, which can lead to larger expenses down the road, be strategic and upfront about what you can afford and when. Look into solutions you can implement incrementally. Having your funding sorted will reduce your overall stress and ensure a smooth transition.
Digital dread is understandable but it shouldn’t incapacitate you or your business. Taking a considered, strategic, and incremental approach to improving your SQM systems will reduce organizational stress, resulting in more effective operations.
RizePoint offers a supplier quality management solution that helps you mitigate legal risks and better control quality and compliance, so you can spend more time building strategic programs. It’s an ERP-type solution at a price you can afford. Click —> here to learn more today.