What Does it Really Take to be a Quality Manager?

Food Quality & Safety

First in, last out. These are the general hours of good quality managers. They are hands on, always moving, constantly improving machines who aren’t interested in anything but surpassing their own intense quality standards. But what happens when their standards aren’t good enough for the customers?

The days of 1,000 page binders of procedure and control are still with us, yet online supplier profiles, online corrective action reports, and online database management are now part of the job. This is all while interfacing with suppliers, certification providers, and customers while preparing for what seems to be the daunting task of yet another audit of some kind. This, in a nutshell is what it takes to be a quality manager in the coming year. Does it ever get easier? No.

In order to supply big box stores, we need to obtain an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification, but which one? We need to get certified from a reputable certification body (CB), but which one? Sometimes a specific customer requires a certificate from a specific CB, which yet again forces multiple audits.

Consider the barrage of audits equivalent to a steady stream of guests funneling through your house. It would get a little tiring whether expected or not.

Today, most quality managers and food safety managers are working with consulting firms while simultaneously improving their internal teams. Continuous improvement for internal auditors and lead auditors doesn’t just stop at the latest GFSI or ISO training. It often includes Lean, Six Sigma Yellow, Green, and/or Black Belt certification. Understanding and implementation of Kaizen certification is also necessary, all while running a line which frequently consists of two to three shifts per day, six or seven days a week.


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