To say that COVID-19 has strained the global and domestic supply chain is an understatement. Not only has the pandemic created challenges in the tracking and managing of the supply chain, but the addition of substitute/alternative suppliers has also put food safety and quality at greater risk. In today’s strained supply chain environment, it is critical to educate your clients on the importance of recognizing potential triggers that should raise concerns in ensuring the delivery of safe products. These triggers can include:
- Ingredients that may have been exposed to or sourced from an area where COVID-19 was detected or that are suspected of having been improperly or inefficiently managed.
- Questionable conditions in which products or goods are received (e.g., dirty or unlocked shipping trailers, activities that may appear out of the ordinary or suspicious in nature).
- Suppliers that suddenly employ a high number of temporary workers and are suspected of not vetting them properly.
- Sourcing of low-availability ingredients through third- or even fourth-party suppliers.
- Steep pricing fluctuations in certain products and ingredients.
Supplier/Vendor Assessment Surveys
A simple way your clients can mitigate increased risks and better manage their supply chain is by conducting supplier/vendor assessment surveys. These assessments are used by companies to collect information from current and prospective suppliers to ensure that vendors meet specific social and environmental criteria that are vital to the company.
Even when temporary and last-minute suppliers are used, an assessment should be conducted and signed contracts should be drawn up to outline vendor roles and responsibilities, specify service and safety requirements, and state how vendors are expected to perform when providing services.
Supplier/vendor assessment surveys can be a vital tool in:
- Creating a flexible way to adapt to and meet the individual needs of businesses and suppliers.
- Tracking risks, to keep businesses informed and enable them to deploy resources to areas that are at greater risk.
- Capturing and analyzing geographical, historical, quality control, and safety information.
Companies should strive to maintain regular communication with all suppliers. Doing so can help identify potential risk triggers and keep companies informed of possible shortages or other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We understand you and your clients may have questions regarding food safety and food recalls during the pandemic. At Worldwide Facilities, we are committed to staying informed and providing the resources that our retail brokers need during this challenging time.