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Let’s set the stage. You’ve identified gaps in your quality management processes, pinpointed areas for improvement within your quality organization, and recognize that a technological solution is key for elevating the success of your brand’s quality management program. Now, you’re faced with the decision of selecting the right software provider to alleviate your challenges and take your quality incident management strategy to the next level.
Picking the right software solution for your team, as well as for your brand as a whole, can amount to a convoluted, complex process. As a result, it’s important to take your time with the decision, identify priorities and top factors for consideration, and thoughtfully weigh all of your options. As a significant investment that you’ll reference on a daily basis and utilize to collaborate cross-departmentally, it’s important to ensure the software meets your user, security, analytical, accessibility and scalability needs. We’ve made it easy to review some of the indispensable factors to keep in mind as you narrow your search. Here are five key elements to consider when making your quality incident management software decision.
How easy is the software to use?
This question is important to consider from a variety of standpoints, especially if your organization is planning to leverage the quality management solution in question across a range of internal and external users. No one wants to waste extra time navigating confusing interfaces, just as your team doesn’t crave an unnecessarily large or long learning curve. Prioritize an approachable solution with an accessible user interface (UI) and a positive, unwavering user experience (UX). In addition, keep in mind that adaptability and configurability is key.
The FoodLogiQ Connect platform is built with accessibility and ease of use in mind, no matter your role or permissions. From admins to FSQA managers, third party auditors to suppliers, usability has been prioritized throughout the platform at a range of levels, making it easy to log in and get started – without an overwhelming barrier to entry. For example, the Supplier To-Do List is a dynamic list of tasks suppliers need to complete in order to comply with their supply chain partners’ food safety and quality programs. Available on the Supplier Dashboard, the To-Do List updates automatically, reflecting action items that require attention, and simplifying supplier onboarding and ongoing quality management by showing exactly what needs attention and when – directly upon login.
In addition, FoodLogiQ Connect enables major food brands to ensure ongoing quality compliance and reduce quality risk by simplifying bidirectional communication with their suppliers. Kelley Singleton, Senior Manager of Corporate Quality Assurance for Stratas Foods, explains, “It’s very user-friendly and provides us with a checklist so we know exactly what we need to do. Connect is very transparent, making communication between Stratas and our customers as simple as 1-2-3.”
FoodLogiQ Connect also offers approachable, digestible reporting and analytics on supply chain performance, quality incidents, traceability and recall management, among other focal points. Whether consulting your dashboard to get a clear, concise view of supply chain performance, approved suppliers and quality incident details, or diving into audit reports, traceability investigations and withdrawal resolution times – the Connect platform is built to maximize usability and adoption for a more transparent, safe and connected supply chain.
Is the software reliable and secure?
As part of the quality incident management solution selection process, it’s important to evaluate the reliability, dependability and security of software providers you’re considering, in addition to that of any affiliated services. What data management, security and privacy policies are in place, and how do these fit into your data capture, storing and sharing practices? It’s crucial to ensure that the software platform you choose provides not only the level of access, permissioning and data security that your team requires, but that the solution also offers secure methods for data sharing and transfer. Be sure to review each vendor’s information security policy (ISP), analyze role-based access and permissioning capabilities, and familiarize yourself with integration possibilities, such as API functionality, structure and data flow.
Cloud-based, software as a service (SaaS) solutions like FoodLogiQ’s store customer data securely in the cloud, which offers a private, centralized space for data storage and reference. From an organizational security standpoint, FoodLogiQ has repeatedly demonstrated SOC 2 compliance on an annual basis, indicating continual alignment with globally accepted security best practices. SOC 2 compliance is a component of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)’s Service Organization Control reporting platform, and aims to ensure that systems are in place to assure the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy of customer data.
Furthermore, on a licensing level, each FoodLogiQ Connect customer receives their own branded community, a dedicated space for food brands, quality teams and affiliated supply chain partners to collaborate, engage, share and manage supply chain processes. Within this space, invite necessary stakeholders, designate permissions and establish the appropriate levels of role-based access control to instate configurable, tiered access for stakeholders within and outside of your organization. These individuals can conveniently enter the platform utilizing Single Sign-on (SSO) functionality for login authentication and dynamic authorization to configure users’ roles upon entry to the platform.
Can the software grow with you?
Finding a software provider that is able to evolve and adapt in tandem with your company’s growth is extremely significant. As an investment in your quality management program and overall strategy, it’s important to know that the solution you select will be able to scale as you do. In your search, collect information on growth strategies, product roadmaps, expansion patterns and future plans. In addition, analyze configuration capabilities, and consider how you and your team might leverage the solution to tackle future projects and goals.
When implementing a quality incident management software solution, many food organizations adopt a phased approach, beginning with a specific product category, or a subset of suppliers, distributors and/or stores; then, gradually expand into other areas. This strategy is not an uncommon one among FoodLogiQ customers. High configurability, one of the key benefits of the Connect platform, enables our customers to successfully execute this strategy, as well as expand in accordance with their organization’s growth trajectory. In doing so, food businesses can add new requirements, create novel assessments, onboard new suppliers, generate new To-Do’s and further develop quality incident management processes that meet their evolving strategic needs.
A key element to this concurrent growth lies in communication – specifically, user and customer feedback. In addition to engaging in ongoing bidirectional communication with our customers, FoodLogiQ provides dedicated spaces for receiving input and crowdsourcing customer insights. One of these spaces, the Idea Exchange, was created by the FoodLogiQ Product team to gather user wisdom and input on FoodLogiQ Connect. In this setting, users can submit ideas about the Connect platform, including suggestions for changes, improvements or issues, to help inform the Product team as they create, develop and expand.
The latter is an especially valuable informational resource when it comes to product innovation, updates and developments. The FoodLogiQ team works continuously to provide, build and expand a leading, enterprise-level product. As such, the Connect platform is updated consistently, corresponding with quarterly releases, in addition to other frequent improvements. Customers, suppliers and third party users are an essential part of this innovation process, and comprise an indispensable factor in enabling reciprocal scalability.
Does the software reflect industry experience?
You will undoubtedly want to choose a quality incident management software provider that specializes in food and beverage products, and that demonstrates extensive experience within the food industry. This is important for a variety of reasons, from ensuring that data fields are representative of required data capture, to guaranteeing that functionality is designed to mirror your established quality incident processes. In addition, from a Customer Success standpoint, it’s crucial that the staff guiding you through software implementation, onboarding and ongoing strategic consultations demonstrate industry knowledge and an in-depth understanding of your processes. In short, a missing foundation in industry standards and experience can hinder your food safety and quality program’s success.
Founded on a heritage of traceability, FoodLogiQ has developed solutions that meet the increasingly complex global food chain issues and vast web of regulations that face all modern food companies since 2006. The Connect platform, built exclusively for the food industry, is specifically geared towards the unique needs of the food supply chain, and was developed hand-in-hand with input from food safety and supply chain experts. FoodLogiQ has implemented a cattle traceability program in Canada, participated in the FDA’s traceability pilots and helped define the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) standards. And we continue to work with other industry leaders and associations like GS1 and 1WorldSync to help shape the field of food traceability.
On an organizational level, the staff that comprise the cross-departmental FoodLogiQ team bring a wealth of industry experience to the table. Members across teams showcase vast knowledge gained from previous roles in foodservice, CPG and retail grocery companies, in addition to food safety auditing institutions, laboratories and standards organizations such as GS1 US. Their industry expertise in the inner workings of the food supply chain and SaaS functionality is incredibly influential in guiding, advising and ensuring the success of our customers, as well as in driving the industry forward.
Is there a mobile feature?
The fifth key element to consider in your software selection process is that of mobile capacity. Not only does a mobile application provide for the extension of a seamless experience that begins on desktop; it makes data capture, manipulation and issue response incredibly easy and straightforward. This is magnified when the mobile app can function offline.
The concept of establishing a connected supply chain is made much simpler with the availability of mobile functionality – and much of this is due to convenience. The sheer popularity of personal and professional smart devices is a significant benefit, in addition to enabling fast and effective communication, supporting various media types and portability.
Connect users can utilize FoodLogiQ’s mobile app for a variety of applications, such as completing audits and assessments, capturing or resolving quality incidents, and responding to recall events. With offline functionality and rich media capabilities, the app enables swift, efficient data collection, risk mitigation and issue response, regardless of location. It also allows for speedier, smoother quality incident resolution and credit recuperation. Access to the information you need to know – or provide – about your supply chain is at your fingertips.
Making the Decision
There’s no arguing that the introduction of quality incident management technology will elevate the state of your current food quality program through automation, convenience, flexibility and reliability. In weighing your quality incident management solution options, it’s important to perform your due diligence, identify key areas of interest and finite requirements within your quality organization, and evaluate the complete package. Factors such as ease of use, security and reliability, scalability, industry-driven experience and the availability of a mobile application are a great place to start.
As a leading supply chain management, transparency, traceability and recall management solution, FoodLogiQ partners with customers across the food industry to transform their quality incident management programs. To learn more about critical questions to consider during your food safety and quality software buying process, check out our buyer’s guide. And to see FoodLogiQ Connect functionality in action, start a conversation with us.