Digitalization takes place in almost all sectors. Paperwork is being replaced by digital systems. This offers many advantages and possibilities, also for the food industry. What could these advantages and possibilities be?
A handbook contains, among other things, procedures, work instructions and registration forms. The handbook is usually printed. As a result, keeping a handbook up-to-date is a time-consuming job. A few advantages of a digital handbook:
• The latest version of the handbook documents is always available;
• On a worldwide basis, employees have easy access to the handbook documents;
• An online system is transparent;
• No more documents that you forget to print.
Registration forms can get lost or end up in the wrong place in the company. The digital completion of registrations is simple, for instance by placing a tablet in the production area. The completed forms are combined and are easy to find.
Risk analyses (part of the HACCP system) are often drawn up in Excel and printed out. Disadvantages of working in Excel:
• It is time-consuming;
• Work is often carried out with many and/or difficult formulas;
• Errors are easily made;
• It cannot result in an orderly whole, due to the considerable amount of information;
• If amendments have to be made, they are time-consuming.
By digitalizing the HACCP system, many steps of the risk analysis can be automated. This results in an orderly, less error-prone and less time-consuming method of work.
Plans are often drawn up in Word or Excel. A plan must be kept up-to-date, so that there is an overview of what activities have been carried out and when. This can be done on the basis of a printed or digital version. With a digital system, it is possible for example to make a personal plan for each employee. Employees can see who has or has not carried out the tasks, which could result in positive competition.
In an improvement plan, it is noted what improvements are necessary and by whom and when they will be carried out. This document is often drawn up in Excel, with the disadvantage that the plan becomes disorderly. Digitalizing the Improvement plan has many advantages. Just as with a planning, it is possible to allocate tasks to specific employees, so that every employee sees what must be done and when. Employees can be linked to particular tasks and keep the to-do list up-to-date when a task has been carried out.
In short: the paperwork for food companies can also be digitalized. This digitalization step results in many advantages, such as time saving, clarity and the reduction of human error. There are suitable systems for every company.