Interview by Holly Henschen, Contributor
Q. What are the leading types of food and
beverage processing solutions that manufacturers seek
to safeguard their operations and increase efficiency?
A. Food manufacturers are focused on a couple key areas to
ensure they are maintaining efficient operations and producing safe
food for customers. The first is ensuring that their employees, facilities and processes are safe and compliant. Many manufacturers are
asking distributors to help in conducting safety assessments and recommending solutions in order to ensure regulatory compliance.
The second main focus comes with ensuring their operations
are as productive as possible. One of the most popular solutions in
recent years is inventory management, which typically involves a
partnership between a manufacturer and distributor to identify the
most efficient solution to store and replenish inventory, while reducing the waste from slow-moving and inactive inventory. Additional
productivity solutions include expanding preventive and predicative
maintenance strategies, focusing on continuous improvement initiatives such as 5S and color-coding programs, and investing in sustainable solutions to save important resources like energy and water.
Q. How can food manufacturers best assess
possible risks and inefficiencies in their facility?
A. The best way to
determine potential risks in a
facility is through a comprehensive hazard assessment, in
which every step of production is evaluated. The assessor should be looking for any
potential hazards, including
head, eye and face, respiratory, hearing, body, hand and foot.
Minimizing safety risks is extremely important in food manufacturing. If an employee does get hurt, it can result in a number of
inefficiencies including lost work time, workers’ compensation costs
and high insurance costs. Grainger’s safety team provides an online
checklist to use as a resource in conducting a safety assessment:
Q. How can distributors help food manufacturers
identify solutions to these risks and inefficiencies?
A. Distributors provide a fresh eye and outside perspective in
helping food manufacturers identify risks and potential solutions.
Grainger categorizes food safety solutions in three key areas.
With Sean Foran, Senior Brand Strategy Manager, and Elizabeth
Bernhardt, Technical Product Support Specialist, of Grainger.
Food Manufacturing spoke with a pair of experts from Grainger to
discuss the latest distribution trends and how they impact food
manufacturing. They teamed up to provide the following answers.