As with anything electronic, upgrades are a necessary part of life. We just completed a major update of our IT infrastructure, servers and software. While the computers and associated software are supported by the various developers and engineers, the ancillary systems have individualized technical experts to integrate them with the overall platform that is being deployed.
One such expert was here recently working on the door access system. We have RFID badges that get you into the facility and then your fingerprint is needed to get you to the production area. Your handprint is necessary for the time clock and a camera records your movements. The technician asked if all of this was because we were worried about someone stealing product. My answer was “Not at all. If you want to steal a bag of #2 potatoes worth $7.00 I merely want to watch. Go ahead, take it and carry it out.”
The issue of food security is very simple, yet the implementation is complex. We only want people who are known to us and trained by us to be near to the food products that we handle. We have an excellent workforce; back in the day if employee X was sick, she sent her cousin in to work in her place. The cousin would pick up employee X’s timecard and punch the clock. We would have a warm body on the production floor, yet we had no clue what the emergency contact details were for that individual or any specific knowledge of food safety training that she may or may not have ever received anywhere.
Today’s processes insure that we know and can verify all of these details before anyone gets to the production floor. We have a wall where every employee’s picture hangs as well as an ID badge issued to each individual. Cars in the parking lot are required to have a permit. We watch things like Fort Knox in an effort to protect our customers and their brands. We aren’t going to let anyone take that control away from us. Go ahead, just try…