ISO compliance is essential to maintaining high levels of food safety and quality. Trying to manage the ISO compliance process manually—with paper files or Excel spreadsheets—is an expensive, time-consuming, error-prone process. Manual systems make it difficult to spot noncompliance issues, track certification paperwork, and get real-time visibility across an enterprise. Technology can be a game-changer when it comes to achieving and maintaining ISO compliance.
SaaS-based quality and audit software can automate ISO compliance-related tasks, making it easier as well as more efficient and accurate to track quality metrics, document corrective actions, and generate reports. Additionally, this software can save time and costs, while reducing the risk of errors. It also provides real-time visibility into the compliance process, allowing organizations to quickly identify and address any issues that may arise, ensuring that they stay compliant.
Tech Trends to Watch
While technology has already elevated ISO compliance dramatically, there are some exciting trends we are watching that have the potential to significantly improve the process:
- The rise of automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving increased adoption of technology solutions for ISO compliance and quality management.
- The use of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more prevalent in ISO compliance, as companies look for ways to improve the accuracy and efficiency of their compliance efforts.
- Consumer demand for transparency and sustainability is driving increased attention to ISO compliance and quality management. This will continue to intensify in the coming months and years.
Recently, we have seen large companies adopting technology to improve their quality and safety initiatives. Some notable examples include consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, who implemented a comprehensive quality management system that incorporates ISO standards. P&G has worked hard to achieve ISO certification across many of its global operations, vowing to operate responsibly, build and maintain public trust in their products, and meet (or exceed) all legislative and regulatory safety requirements.
Similarly, Swiss fragrance and flavor manufacturer Givaudan has implemented a digital quality management system to automate quality data collection and analysis, helping the organization achieve compliance with ISO standards and improve product quality. They have developed a structured system to identify, assess, respond to, and mitigate risks to protect the company’s products and assets. They also vow to improve compliance with proper corporate governance guidelines and to follow all applicable laws and regulations. Hopefully, we’ll see more organizations following their lead.
The Benefits of Adopting Tech Solutions
There are many benefits to adopting new technologies to achieve ISO compliance. These include:
- Automating essential tasks. Tech tools make it much easier to track metrics, document corrective actions, and generate reports, compared to manual methods. They also improve accuracy, allowing you to save time, money, and hassle. The more efficient, streamlined process lets you work smarter, not harder.
- Reducing risk. Tech tools can help organizations increase their safety processes and protocols, achieve ISO compliance, and reduce the risk of food safety breaches that could cause major legal, financial, and reputational damage. Maximizing safety—and minimizing risks—can help boost key performance indicators (KPIs), including sales and profits, as well as customer loyalty, retention, and referrals.
- Centralizing data. Many food businesses have overflowing file cabinets in their back offices, and they’d be hard-pressed to find a specific document quickly for an auditor. It’s far more effective and efficient to organize these documents through a tech solution that provides centralized, organized data and reports. This way, you’ll always have quick, easy access to information at your fingertips, allowing you to instantly track, manage, and find the various components of ISO standards—including certification documents, audit information, and operational records. This can save significant time (and frustration) over paper file systems.
- Boosting visibility and transparency. Tech tools provide real-time visibility as well as a wider, deeper, more comprehensive view of your whole enterprise—or drill down by location. With access to real-time data, your organization can quickly identify (and fix) any noncompliance issues that may arise, allowing you to stay compliant. It also answers customers’ and investors’ calls for more transparent information about your business practices.
- Boosting ROI. Companies may worry about the cost of purchasing tech tools—especially during our current economic uncertainty—but this is one of the smartest investments that your organization can make. Investing in modern technology solutions will save you money in the long run. Tech tools provide a huge ROI, by helping companies cut costs through energy efficiency, prevention of food safety breaches, and elevation of customer confidence, loyalty, and sales. Becoming ISP certified can also result in other lucrative benefits, such as attracting new investors, and helping to recruit and retain employees.
- Reinforcing key messages to priority populations. Since ISO is widely considered the global gold standard, when you become ISO certified, you’re demonstrating that you prioritize safety, quality, consistency, and compliance, and that you’ve followed guidelines to provide consistently high-quality products and services. Being ISO certified demonstrates to key audiences, including your customers, investors, employees, and other stakeholders, that you’re investing the time, money, and energy into running as safely, effectively, and ethically as possible, and that protecting them remains your top priority.
Technology can make a dramatic difference in achieving ISO compliance, transforming the process from the manual methods that organizations have used for years. By automating the necessary tasks, you’ll save time, identify (and fix) areas of noncompliance, reduce errors and headaches, boost efficiency, increase visibility, and centralize data. Now is the time to ditch your paper certifications and overflowing file cabinets and embrace a smarter, easier, more efficient way of working.