Food safety, traceability and sustainability blog

Supplier Management / Food Safety

Working with Food Suppliers to Support Your Mission

When you’re on a mission for improved food safety and quality, it’s important to make sure every member of your team is on board—from your internal team to your food suppliers. After all, your suppliers’ role in your supply chain is essential to your mission. But how can you make sure everyone is on the same page?

To streamline your process and foster cooperation, start with a well-devised plan and clearly communicate your mission to your suppliers.

Here are four tips to ensure your food suppliers support your mission for food safety and quality.

1. Research Your Options

Before working with any supplier, make sure you do your research so you have as much information as possible about their history and processes. Get references from other retailers and companies that have worked with a supplier. Using this background information, you may be able to tell early on that a certain food supplier isn’t a great fit. With just a little extra research, you can circumnavigate future problems by finding a food supplier that is willing to adapt to your processes and has a history of reliable service.

2. Open Communication

It might sound overly simplified, but open and transparent communication is a must for any relationship in the food industry. After all, you can’t offer consumers the information they crave about your product and processes if your supplier is keeping you in the dark. And you can’t expect a supplier to fulfill your needs if you aren’t open about your expectations.

By keeping your suppliers in the loop on your current and future plans, you’ll not only be able to solidify your relationship, but you can also set a precedent for future goals.

3. Thorough Onboarding

Once you begin working with a food supplier, take the time to thoroughly onboard them with your plans and processes. Having an onboarding system in place can help ease growing pains and work to develop your new food supplier into a trusted partner. For example, if you use specific food industry technology, be sure your suppliers know ahead of time and are adequately trained to use your solution. This will help make communication smoother for all parties involved.

4. Use Food Safety and Traceability Software

Living up to your mission shouldn’t be any more challenging than necessary. By using food traceability software, you can take the guesswork out of your supply chain safety. The right software can also make this process easier on your food suppliers by keeping the information everyone needs right at their fingertips. With the help of food traceability software, you can simplify communication and streamline any problems down the line.

Using these four tips, you can establish a relationship with your food supplier that aligns with your core goals. Armed with that relationship, you can move toward achieving your mission, confident that you have the support of this integral piece of your food supply chain.

Want to learn more about how food traceability software can transform your supply chain process? Check out our free guide, Selling the C-Suite on Supply Chain Traceability Software.

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Posted by Katy Jones on May 4, 2016 8:00:00 AM

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