Posted April 28, 2016 / By admin / 0 Comment

3 Tips for Cold Supply Chain Quality Assurance

Manufacturers devote months, maybe even years, to product development. Don’t let that hard work go to waste by having a faulty supply chain. Preserve the quality of your products while getting them from Point A to Point B with the following tips:

Keep a watchful eye on your cold chain

Any supply chain, never mind the more volatile cold chain, should not be something that you set and forget. Consider your cold supply chain a constant work in progress. Can you trim down the time it takes to get from the warehouse to the retailer? Is all that extra packaging necessary to preserve the integrity of the product or did you over-engineer it?

Today’s cold chain technology allows you to have a real-time bird’s eye view on your products, which enables you to track products’ movement through your cold chain and keep an eye on their temperatures. This is extremely helpful during emergency situations, such as a reefer trailer breaking down mid-shipment. Another bonus of this data collection is that your team can spot weaknesses in the system by spotting certain trends. Perhaps they notice that the temperature always fluctuates when the product is on the loading dock. Consider renegotiating your shipment arrival times with the retailer or research better packaging options.

Train your staff

Companies never invest enough time in training their staff and this can lead to some costly consequences. We promise that taking the time to educate your staff on cold chain best practices and regulations will make your cold chain more effective and efficient. Why is training so important? Ask yourself this: How will your staff know what to do or look for if they don’t know the regulations? Consider having an annual training day to catch everyone up to speed on the new regulations. Does your company lack the internal resources and know-how? Contract an external agency that is an expert in the field to host the workshop. Other options include having your team attend a conference or watch a webinar. Your team should have a solid understanding of the following topics:

  • Industry guidelines
  • State and country specific regulations
  • Inspection guidelines
  • Documentation and auditing rules

Consider Good Distribution Practices (GDP)

Manufacturers have complete control over the quality of their products throughout the production process, but once the product is in transit, their control weakens. To ensure that products get to consumers in top-notch quality, many businesses have adopted Good Distribution Practices (GDP). Consider GDP to be an extension of Good Manufacturing Practices (GDP). It’s essentially a quality control system that follows the product (mainly pharmaceuticals) through each stage of the supply chain. GDP takes the lead from organizations such as the World Health Organization and lays down rules for many aspects of the supply chain, including:

  • Equipment
  • Personnel
  • Documentation
  • Operations
  • Storage

How can you ensure the quality of your cold chain? Call Bar Code Direct’s in-house hold cold chain experts to schedule a consultation today.