The heightened panic at the beginning of the UK stretch of COVID19 meant that consumer spending reached an all-time high. Supermarket spending rose by 14.3% as people bought ingredients for home cooking and bulk bought essential items such as toilet roll.
The sudden increase in demand meant that every part of the food supply chain had to shift focus, and become more operationally driven, to make sure that orders were fulfilled, and retailers could meet consumer demand.
During this time, many quality assurance employees that would normally be responsible for preparing sites for audits have been furloughed or made redundant. Alongside this, technical managers have been required to work from home and COVID19 restrictions have meant that auditors haven’t been out and about.
While video audits were carried out, the pandemic meant that both parties experienced limitations and barriers when it came to both preparation and execution.
The resulting scenario meant that maintaining the site to be always ‘audit ready’ hasn’t been a focus. It is fair to say that food manufacturers while having to focus on volume and numbers, may not have been able to keep up with the strictest of standards that are usually adhered to?
And if so, can we blame them? The UK’s food and FMCG manufacturers have been facing enormous pressure, and teams have had to dramatically increase production to cater to the needs of the nation.
Now that restrictions are now easing and auditors are making their way back on site, audits are becoming a priority once again.
For many food and FMCG manufacturing businesses, this means that there is a backlog of audits and much work to be caught up on, swiftly. It seems that now is the time to create an audit strategy that can cope with the demands of 2020.
The lack of spotlight on QA and technical over the last three months means that once a gap analysis has been completed, manufacturers are faced with starting the arduous task of preparing for audits as well as keeping up with the increased volume and getting site ready for audits.
It is likely that departments, and technical managers, will feel overwhelmed.
As the pressure mounts to be ‘audit ready’, it makes sense to now start assembling the team you need to pass the looming audits, such as interim quality managers.
It would be best if you had the people in place that can pull together and make sure that not only the preliminary work is done but can also help you to ensure best practice is implemented and adhered to for the long-term.
If you need assistance finding the right people for your business as the audit process begins once again, we can help you. The Sterling Choice team have relationships with experienced and capable candidates that will give you the confidence and skillset your business needs right now.
To learn more about the talent pool we can access, contact the team on 01733 391515 or get in touch here.
After taking a couple of years out on the beach in Spain I came back to England and began a career in recruiting at The Sterling Choice. I now cover the South and West Midlands for Qualit...