4 Ways Your Food Safety Program Can Create a Positive ROI
By iFoodDS Team
September 29, 2021
Food safety is a critical component of any fresh food business. We must have programs in place that keep our consumers safe. Such programs are typically thought of as a necessary cost, but you should be thinking of them in the same terms as any other investment. That means tracking the costs and business impact. Once you have the right solution in place to manage data, and operating procedures that support a strong food safety culture, you can ultimately increase your profits.
Have you ever tried to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your food safety program? You should have some idea of the net return to inform your future budgeting decisions. Otherwise, it will merely be seen as a cost. Here are some ways your food safety program can cut costs, become a strategic business asset, and ultimately create a positive ROI for your business.
1. Proactive Data Analysis
Your food safety program generates a lot of data each day. Are you actively analyzing it, or merely filing it away? Looking at your food safety data regularly can help you notice issues sooner and identify trends that can be used to make informed business decisions. When you have the right technology solution in place to properly track inspection data, and the right dashboards at your fingertips, you’ll save time in having to manually pull numbers and will have everything visible in real-time. Plus, data can allow you to benchmark and set goals, giving you the ability to more accurately measure ROI.
Here is an example of how data analysis can save costs. One of iFoodDS’s customers had an issue with apples on a specific line. They looked at the data on their online dashboard, realized that water temperature was causing the problem, and promptly fixed the issue. If their records were all on paper, they would have had to shut down the entire line and go through the data manually, wasting valuable production time. This would have translated to huge costs.
2. Improved Risk Management
Your food safety program also plays a major role in risk management. When there is open communication amongst your team about food safety, they’ll be more inclined to speak up when they see something. The people on the floor or in the field typically notice problems first. If they feel comfortable alerting supervisors to issues, you can avoid a bigger problem later by capturing their feedback. Review existing data that supports their concern, or gather new data to further investigate, and take action right away. Preventing or addressing these issues early on will save you money and give you additional food safety data you might find beneficial later on.
A single recall can cost millions of dollars in discarded food, lost sales, litigation, settlements, and fines. Lost consumer trust and bad publicity are hard to measure in exact dollar amounts, but equally damaging. When you have a strong food safety program in place, you will be able to identify risks more quickly, stopping them from becoming an issue. This means an overall increase in the assurance of product safety. The right solution allows you to consistently monitor your inspection data and notice trends that may impact your business. This, in turn, helps you avoid costly recalls, keep your consumers safe, and protect your brand.
3. Reduction in Time and Labor Investment
With the right tools, you can transform your food safety program into an efficient operation that reduces time and labor costs. Audits are a major area where you can save a lot of time with your food safety program. Companies that remain prepared for an audit will be able to navigate the process quickly and successfully, freeing up valuable time.
Routine data collection is another task that can be more efficient with the right food safety program. There are many technology solutions, like software and computer programs, that help you accomplish this. A major benefit of food safety software is the amount of time it frees up for your employees during audits and other routine tasks. The less time you spend on collecting and organizing your food safety data, the more time you and your team will have to spend on other food safety-related tasks.
Think about how many hours you spend just going around to pick up the paperwork from one or more locations, then having to come back and enter it into a spreadsheet – or even worse, filing it in a box never to be looked at again until you are audited. Technology can save you hours in your day. For example, Safeway Fresh Foods noted that once they implemented the iFoodDS Food Safety Manger solution, their time reviewing documents each day was reduced by half.
4. Smarter Resource Allocation
Your food safety program is likely a major cost for your organization, but it can be a smart investment with the right planning. Regularly audit your program to see if your budget is being used in the best way. Record every cost, from employee compensation down to the supplies you use to log inspection results. Then analyze the data to see where there are opportunities to cut unnecessary costs or invest in new solutions that will improve efficiency.
Consider this scenario. A food processor with several locations uses paper records for data collection. The paper recording method costs the company thousands of dollars each year. Think of all the paper and binders the typical processor goes through, plus the storage space needed, not to mention the cost of traveling between multiple facilities to collect the data. The processor completes an analysis of their food safety budget and realizes that investing in software makes more sense. Although the software will require an investment up front, it will save them money in the long run by eliminating many of their current costs. It will also reduce their environmental impact.
As a real-world example, one of iFoodDS’ own customers, DNO Produce, saved $2,000 per month in costs just by reducing their paperwork with our Food Safety Manager solution. They also improved their process efficiency, which led to less product being thrown away after sitting around too long. This saved them an additional $2,000 each month.
Going digital is also better for the environment and less cumbersome for your team. Paper can be dropped and get wet or dirty, or get lost in transit. It also takes more time to gather all of the data together in one place, so you won’t instantly see the full picture.
Learn More About iFoodDS’ Food Safety Software
iFoodDS provides a completely automated food safety solution for growers, packers, processors, and distributors. We tailor our software solution to your unique operating procedures so it seamlessly integrates with, and optimizes, existing food safety processes. Our software is available on both desktop and as an application on mobile devices, making it easy for every member of your team to log in and update or access food safety data. You don’t even need internet or data access in your facility or fields. The updates save offline and then sync the changes the next time the devices are online.
To learn more about our food safety software, request a personalized product demo today.