Restaurants – and other businesses along the food supply chain – must carefully ensure that their suppliers are all delivering safe, high-quality products. This effort can be challenging in the best of times, but it’s even more difficult during the ongoing pandemic. The restaurant industry has faced unprecedented disruption over the past year and a half, with pandemic-related shutdowns, new COVID protocols, disruptions to the supply chain, product shortages, a human capital crisis, and huge financial losses. Even when they’re running short-staffed, though, restaurants must prioritize safety and quality initiatives.
A challenging, but critical, effort
Managing supplier quality and safety has historically been difficult for many restaurants. Approving new suppliers is a common area of nonconformance, with numerous organizations struggling to manage the chaos. The pandemic, of course, exacerbated these challenges, as many restaurants had to pivot to new suppliers among COVID-related shortages and disruptions.
Supplier certification is critical for businesses of all sizes. This effort requires looking carefully at every vendor supplying your restaurant with product and determining whether they’re delivering supplies that are consistently good quality and that meet established specifications. Documenting data for each supplier shows whether the product varies in quality over time and helps you spot any potential noncompliance issues or risks. This process helps verify that you’re using consistently reliable, best-in-class, safety-conscious vendors. Looking at safety and quality data helps you make informed decisions about which suppliers to work with, and cease working with any supplier that is not performing to required safety and quality standards.
Manual systems are ineffective
The challenge is how to collect, store and assess the data in a way that’s easy to analyze so you can spot trends and nonconformances. Collecting data from multiple vendors on a continuous basis involves dealing with an enormous amount of information that can be overwhelming to manage.
Many restaurants struggle with this initiative because they’re using manual systems, storing critical information in filing cabinets, or inputting data into Excel documents. These manual approaches are time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to access and analyze. Since restaurants work with a variety of suppliers for produce, seafood, meat, dairy, frozen foods, etc., they need to accurately track safety, compliance, and certification information for each supplier and each delivery, which is a tremendous amount of data to oversee. It can be hard to put your fingers on certifications when needed and keep track of details, including important certification deadlines for each vendor.
Restaurant owners and managers want to streamline processes so they can spend less time searching for documents in emails, won’t need to update multiple spreadsheets, and can reduce data entry for a more efficient experience.
Complex, expensive solutions are unfeasible for many
Compounding the problem is the inaccessibility of sophisticated and affordable solutions for all but the largest companies with the biggest budgets. Traditional supplier certification software targets big companies with an enterprise price tag of at least $100K, a 12-month onboarding cycle, and a long, lethargic sales cycle. Meanwhile, smaller organizations often struggle with data management capabilities because they have limited resources.
Small and mid-sized businesses have been eager to adopt tech solutions to help manage supplier quality and safety, but many can’t afford these enterprise software platforms. Until now.
Accessible, affordable solutions for everyone
Today, more affordable, attainable, innovative solutions are disrupting traditional market software, allowing small to medium sized businesses to simplify the supplier certification and maintenance process. This helps the “little guys” show they’re compliant with fewer resources, allowing them to better compete with bigger companies.
Digital solutions help restaurants (and other food businesses) more effectively and accurately manage critical information about its suppliers. The new solutions allow companies to:
- Gather, organize, and manage supplier documentation and information in a centralized location.
- Quickly and accurately collect, review, and approve documentation, without requiring significant time or resources.
- Keep supplier certification up to date.
- Track status and deadlines
- Reduce time-consuming administrative tasks.
- Decrease risk and ensure compliance.
- Utilize simple, user-friendly tools to boost transparency.
- See task and certification status for all suppliers or drill down to view by supplier, location, and material.
- Reap the benefits of digital tools at an affordable price point.
- Improve your food safety assurance and operational efficiencies to maximize compliance and increase profitability.
More simplified, reasonably priced software solutions will help businesses of any size afford the needed transparency across the supply chain. These new game-changing, yet user-friendly, solutions are revolutionizing a software market previously dominated by complexity.
Dallas Henderson, a 25-year veteran of the service industry, is an Account Manager at RizePoint. RizePoint is disrupting traditional market software with their innovative, new product platform Ignite™ Supplier Certification Management, which helps small to medium sized businesses simplify the supplier certification and maintenance process. To discuss RizePoint’s solutions, please contact Dallas at firstname.lastname@example.org.