Customer Success Stories
Safeway Fresh Foods
September 3, 2021
September 3, 2021
Safeway Fresh Foods, a processor in Vineland, NJ, has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, but with this growth came the realization that their current FSQA processes were preventing them from meeting the standards of efficiency and safety that they held themselves to. “We were always a day behind,” says Alexandra Cuevas, FSQA Supervisor for Safeway. Dissatisfied with the FSQA software they were currently using and wanting to move closer towards meeting their goal of going paperless, Safeway chose to partner with iFoodDS. Since working with iFoodDS, Safeway has transformed its FSQA operations and seen significant improvements throughout the department, including:
“[Before using iFoodDS] we were always a day behind.”
– Alex Cuevas
Cost savings from less paper and a decrease in the percentage of paper vs. digital forms.
A reduction in time spent reviewing daily documents, especially pre-shipment reviews.
A decrease in product weight discrepancies and fewer product temperature failures.
Food safety has always been important to Safeway, but new management put an even greater emphasis on fostering a food safety culture throughout the company. At the same time, Safeway’s FSQA department was looking for a way to simplify and improve its daily processes, but they also needed to get up and running quickly. Safeway decided to partner with iFoodDS because of its data analytics offerings, user-friendly interface, efficient and helpful customer success team, and easy documentation review process.
Safeway traditionally used paper to manage their FSQA records. They reported that their documentation coordinator spent 10-12 hours each day manually entering data into and reviewing documents. This process was not only time-consuming but caught Safeway in a continual cycle of trying to catch up to next day’s paperwork. Consequently, Safeway employees had little time left to spend on other major projects.
Safeway also encountered challenges with filling out specific FSQA forms. They wanted to be timelier with their pre-shipment reviews and be able to complete them in real time. They also wanted greater visibility into their product weight and temperature logs, as they were experiencing some errors and failures. When errors would arise or Safeway needed assistance, they were met with slow response times from their previous software system.
Safeway joined the iFoodDS family in September 2020 and quickly moved their FSQA department onto the iFoodDS food safety platform. An iFoodDS Customer Success Manager, dedicated to helping Safeway’s team onboard to the platform, guided them through their unique solution.
Shortly after implementing the product, Safeway started to experience savings in time and cost, became more efficient in their documentation review process, had the opportunity to reevaluate what data was important to them as well as reevaluate their current FSQA forms, and gained greater confidence in their FSQA operations.
A digitized food safety solution has given Safeway valuable time back to continue working on new projects. This includes developing a robust customer complaint program, doing more root cause analysis, and implementing a supplier vendor approval program. FSQA supervisors also have more time to train new employees on key processes and have greater availability to answer employee questions.
Safeway reported working with the iFoodDS Customer Success and Support Teams to be one of the best parts of their overall experience. Not only are support requests completed quickly, but any updates or additions to the system are thoroughly explained before going into effect.
“iFoodDS has cut down on the amount of time spent on reviewing documents, cut down on the amount of paper used, and also has helped us develop new processes with not just our department but throughout the facility.”
“The one-on-one interaction with the iFoodDS support team is absolutely phenomenal. When we don’t understand something, [they] will break it down for us so we understand it better. [They] never do anything until we’re completely 100% on board. You don’t really find that anywhere else.”
– Steve Mendoza
Once Safeway partnered with iFoodDS, they reported improvements throughout their FSQA operations:
Document Coordinators went from spending 10-12 hours/day reviewing documents to 5-6 hours/day.
The FSQA department went from having 0% to 80% of their forms completely digital.
Eliminated double recording of food safety information.
With the majority of Safeway’s food safety data now stored in a cloud-based platform, Safeway also reported that the auditing process has become smoother and more efficient.
Alongside an easier audit process, Safeway has already noticed positive trends in monitoring overweight and underweight products, as well as product temperature. They now have the necessary tools to identify overfills and underfills more quickly, and they know when they need to adjust their temperature requirements.
iFoodDS also helped Safeway enhance their FSQA program by giving them greater visibility into the value of the data they were collecting. While they were reevaluating their forms, Safeway even realized that they were sometimes double recording food safety information, and they were able to eliminate unnecessary forms.
“Pulling the documentation is a lot easier now. Instead of the document coordinator spending up to an hour retrieving the paperwork request from the auditor, it now only takes a few minutes to filter the dates through the system.”
– Steve Mendoza
Safeway already has plans to continue growing their relationship with iFoodDS and will be bringing other departments on board, including their Marketing, Maintenance, and Labor departments, as well as their blueberry operation. They are also planning on partnering with iFoodDS to create a vendor management program.
Safeway has always strived to deliver consistently high-quality and safe products to their customers. They attribute much of their success to great leadership, and it is precisely this leadership that has made food safety a priority throughout the company. iFoodDS is excited to grow its relationship with Safeway and help them meet their goals of going completely paperless, using data to continuously improve operations, and fostering a food safety culture throughout the company.
Safeway Fresh Foods LLC offers salads, fruits, sandwiches, snacks, meats and cheeses and vegetables. The company is located in Vineland, NJ. Our products are always fresh and our top priority is to provide our customers with the highest quality and safest food possible.
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