Is Your Warehouse Ready for FSMA Compliance?

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) shifts the focus of federal regulators, especially the FDA, from reacting to food contamination to preventing it. The first major upgrade to America’s food protection system since the 1930s, FSMA gives the FDA sweeping new powers to regulate how food is grown, imported and stored.

Prompted by the escalation of food-borne illnesses and costly food recalls in recent years, FSMA’s mandate to protect the public will certainly impact food warehouses and food logistics providers.

The initial guidance that President Obama signed into law in 2011 is essentially a blueprint. FSMA requires the FDA to undertake more than a dozen rulemakings and issue over ten guidance documents, as well as an array of reports, plans, notices, and other information. Public comment on revised provisions are still under review, but the comment period closed on December 15, 2014.

Publication of revised guidelines is therefore imminent, and most businesses will be required to be in compliance within one year after publication of the final rule. Now is the time to get ready for the new rules.

FSMA specifically emphasizes the role that warehouse and logistics providers play to keep food safe. All FDA registered facilities, which includes warehouses and distribution centers, will be required to implement preventive controls.

Though the specifics of these controls are not yet spelled out in their entirety, there is no doubt that warehouses and others in the food supply chain will be mandated to provide traceability and recall of goods from raw ingredients to final product. This is essential for compliance with lot traceability requirements to support efficient recalls.

When a recall occurs – and they will – all partners in the food supply chain will need to demonstrate complete visibility and detailed tracking capabilities at the lot level. Is your warehouse management system (WMS) up to the task?

Inability to prove basic FSMA compliance for recall purposes is likely to hurt your business, as retailers and manufacturers will seek warehouses that can provide traceability to support recalls as part of their own FSMA compliance efforts. Beyond that, there could be further repercussions such as FDA fines and sanctions.

Depending on the severity of a violation, penalties could range up to pulling your FDA registration, which would put you out of business. Other FDA enforcement actions could include warning letters and mandatory recalls. Worse than the sanction itself could be the resulting brand and reputational damage to your operation.

If you are currently unable to track and trace any item by lot number, you will need to bring these traceability capabilities online within the next year or so. You will probably need to prove compliance to retailers, manufacturers, and other supply chain partners well before you need to demonstrate it to the FDA.

To learn how a family-owned food manufacturer achieved seamless inventory accuracy to meet the needs of large retailers in only five weeks, while achieving significant cost savings, download our Arthur Schuman case study.

To start a conversation with WMS experts on how to bring lot-level traceability online quickly and cost-effectively, contact Accellos.

 

 

Elevating 3PL Performance to the Next Level

DSC03684The HighJump User Conference in Las Vegas (April 19 -22, 2015) brought together experts to discuss the state of the industry and give partners and customers tools to help their businesses continue to grow and succeed.

In the highly competitive outsourced logistics industry, the battle for retaining existing customers is constantly being fought. Meeting service level agreements (SLAs) based benchmarks requires leveraging all the resources of the organization to deliver optimal performance at every touch point. Staying profitable and attracting new customers is mission critical for growing the business.

A reorganization brings together three pillar applications – HighJump TMS, HighJump DSD, and AccellosOne Enterprise 3PL WMS with the HighJump Essentials suite of standalone applications. This combined solution is a unified platform for end to end strategic and transactional visibility across warehouse, inbound and outbound transportation with direct store delivery.

Joe Couto, Chief Operating Officer, HighJump said “Your enterprises are recognized as top performers in your markets as a result of consistently meeting and exceeding your stakeholders’ (internal and external customers) expectations. We enable lifecycle management of the various facets of your multi-client operations and we thank you for empowering your teams with our dependable, scalable and configurable technology to accomplish this feat of excellence consistently.”

HighJump Announces Upcoming Release of the HighJump One Platform

HighJump, a global provider of supply chain management software, today announced the upcoming release of the HighJump One Platform, a next generation solution platform built upon the technologically advanced solutions currently available from HighJump and Accellos.  The HighJump One Platform is an HTML5 centric application platform, providing the foundation upon which HighJump’s solutions will be delivered.  The company expects to begin shipments in the latter part of the third quarter of 2015.

The HighJump One Platform provides broad support for browsers and devices, delivers a common experience across HighJump’s product lines, and serves as an internet scale model for future acquisitions and organic software investments.  

Read the full press release. 

Dan Baker Addresses ProphesySeries Group on Driver Retention

Dan Baker

“The question is not ‘how do we recruit more drivers’, it is how do we build the kind of company that drivers want to work for.”

Dan Baker, Trucking Senior Statesman, addressed the ProphesySeries group at Elevate 2015 this morning on the subject of Driver Retention. Using real-life scenarios, highlighting generational differences, and a quick wit that had the group laughing; Baker illustrated the importance of relationship building and a family-based environment within a successful trucking company.

He pointed out 4 items that Company Owners should keep in mind:

  1. The bigger you get, the further you get from the guy who got you there.
  2. The more things you pay attention to, the less attention you pay to each one.
  3. The first thing you think about, tends to be the last thing you just heard.
  4. The more time that you repeat a function, the less important it becomes to you.

He went on to highlight the importance of trucking company owners keeping their ears open with the goal of learning and helping their drivers to feel genuinely valued. “What you need to hear is a lot more important than what you need to say, said Baker. “Feel the pulse of your business. Learn to hear between the lines.”

Elevate 2015 Kicks Off!

Elevate1We kicked off our annual user conference, Elevate 2015, last night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. In addition to many networking opportunities and fun entertainment, the conference offers hundreds of educational sessions for our customers.

  • Product-focused sessions to help customers take full advantage of their solutions.
  • Customer case study sessions featuring customers sharing how they’ve elevated their businesses.
  • Partner-led sessions feature industry trends and best practices.
  • Product-planning sessions provide a unique opportunity for you to gain insights and give feedback into planned developments for your software.

 The conference kicked off Sunday evening with a poolside cocktail reception, giving the over 150 HighJump employees in at Elevate the opportunity to welcome hundreds of customers.

 

This morning, attendees saw a lineup of keynote speakers that included:

  • Mike Cornel, HighJump CEO
  • Ross Elliot, HighJump Chief Strategy Office
  • Kate Vitasek, author, educator and business consultantMike Cornell 

PROFITsystems Releases Integration with Retail Traffic Counter, DoorCounts

DC-HDoorCounts ScreenshotPROFITsystems, a leading provider of solutions for home furnishings retailers, today announced a new integration with retail traffic counter, DoorCounts. Traffic count data will now be synched into the company’s retail management software, RETAILvantage, to help retailers analyze advertising return on investment, retail store traffic flow, and sales close ratio.

“Our best-performing clients watch their store traffic very closely. RETAILvantage provides traffic reports by day and hour to help them staff effectively as well as inform opportunities to train the sales team and increase sales. Our new integration with DoorCounts will help those furniture retailers leveraging both systems to look at traffic and sales data side by side and make more informed business decisions,” said Janice Johnson, RETAILvantageProduct Manager.

Read the full press release

 

6 Ways to Reduce the Cost of the New DIM Rates

The new FedEx and UPS dimensional (DIM) rates that just went into effect probably add up to the single biggest rate increase ever for many shippers—on the order of 25%. Both these carriers now impose dimensional weight pricing on all Ground packages, not just those measuring three cubic feet or greater.

The driver for this change has been the exponential growth in B2C shipments, which is impacting carriers’ pickup and delivery networks. Both FedEx and UPS have been capturing the dimensions of shipments in transit, and they’ve found that many are packed in relatively large, lightweight boxes. Thus their trucks, planes, delivery vans, etc. are filling up while still well below their weight limits.

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How 3PLs Can Manage Customers without Losing Their Sanity

In a recent article for Logistics Viewpoints, our own Chuck Fuerst discusses how a flexible warehouse management system (WMS) creates a competitive advantage for 3PLs by helping them manage and overcome fierce pricing pressures and the continuous need to offer more complex services.

On-boarding new customers in days (not months), managing a multitude of expectations (while staying profitable) and offering extended services (with an infrastructure than can adapt to change) are three ways in which a 3PL can leverage a WMS to get ahead of the competition.

Read the entire article “How a WMS Helps 3PLs Stand Out in a Multi-Channel Marketplace” at Logistics Viewpoints.

PROFITsystems Releases Custom Report Builder and Over 90 Enhancements

PROFITsystems, a leading provider of solutions for home furnishings retailers, today announced the release of new capabilities to its Retail Inventory and Point of Sale Management software, RETAILvantage. Over 90 new features and enhancements have been added to the system as a result of regular visits to client locations, proactive customer inquiries, and feedback collected from PROFITsystems performance groups’ members during bi-annual meetings.

“Having the largest customer base in the industry (over 800 home furnishings retailers) has helped us tremendously in understanding various business models and the needs that come with how each retailer operates,” said Janice Johnson, RETAILvantage Product Manager.  “We were very excited to kick off our advisory board last year and are now in the process of rolling out UserVoice, a new tool that enables our family of retailers to voice their feedback.”

Read the full press release. 

3 Questions that Define the Future of Distribution in Today’s Consumer-Driven Supply Chain

Today’s eCommerce and mCommerce applications give consumers an unprecedented amount of information to make purchasing decisions, as well as new fulfillment options (like purchase online and pickup in store). Using her smartphone a shopper can quickly compare and contrast competitive products, narrow down selection criteria, and make purchasing decisions—all without speaking to a sales representative or setting foot in a retail storefront.

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