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Approved Supplier Porgramme - Part 5

Kevin Stretton - Monday, October 17, 2016

Fundamental concepts – Part 5

This week we continue using the theme connected with performance specifications in your role as a supplier to clients. More specifically, we start looking at labelling requirements & finished product specifications.

Product Specification & Labeling:

• Have we got the correct safety data sheets (SDS) or technical data sheets (TDS) which can be supplied to the client?

• Have we supplied the client with an operating manual and do these instructions include safe disposal at the end of the product’s life cycle? This applies to equipment as well as chemicals that may be sold as part of the technical support in a contract.

• Prior to full hand-over & sign off by the client have we provided training for the client’s employees? This is particularly important where environmental health & safety criteria may be involved.

• Do we use a hand-over & sign off agreement with the client and does this document clearly specify your willingness to provide the special quality of service that makes your organisation stand out from its competitors?

• Have we completed final checks on the product to ensure it meets legislative requirements?

• Is the product correctly labelled for compliance with any transportation requirements & standards?

Driverless Car Safety

Kevin Stretton - Monday, October 10, 2016

Google are designing & testing a pedestrian trap that is an adherent ('sticky') surface material placed on the bonnets of driverless cars.

This is designed to 'capture' a pedestrian who's been hit by a vehicle and then prevent the person from rolling off into the path of other vehicles.

A protective layer which breaks upon being impacted by a pedestrian covers the front section of the vehicle & minimises other debris from adhering to & fouling the safety feature.

This is just one of the many areas in the automotive sector where research & development is forging ahead.

We suppose the only questions that remain are:-

• If this amount of money can be invested in auto sector development why can’t similar (and often lesser amounts) be invested in isolated, safe cycling networks that would provide people with cost effective, healthy transport?

• As the number of cleaner, driverless electric vehicles increases & air pollution is reduced, will it mean your travel time between points A & B becomes more efficient?

• So have we really been that innovative?

• Or have we simply invented something that ‘appears’ innovative?

Google's self-driving car

Google's sticky bonnet

Driverless car features

Approved Supplier Programmes - Part 3

Kevin Stretton - Monday, October 10, 2016

Fundamental concepts – Part 3


As we’ve observed in the food sector having confidence in the supply chain which provides your organisation with raw materials is critical.


The same concepts apply for many other industry sectors where critical control points exist in supply chains & organisations cannot afford failures.


Raw Material Specifications:


    Consider those cases where a client’s specifications need equipment &/or materials and you can only source components from interstate or overseas suppliers.
  • •  How much control do you have?
  • •  What are the levels of quality?
  • •  Do you need rigorous specifications to ensure you do not have errors and upset your client?
  • •  Do you have high quality records for traceability?
  • •  What sort of relationship do you have with your raw material suppliers?
  • •  How much effort, finance & time are you investing in quality inspections & are there better    alternatives?
  • •  How much of the quality control checking are you sharing with your suppliers?
  • •  Do you and your suppliers of raw materials understand each other’s needs and requirements?
  • •  Have we completed checks against legislative requirements to ensure they are achieved & the    organisation is compliant?

Achieving compliance with personal protective equipment (PPE) – Part 2

Kevin Stretton - Friday, October 07, 2016
Demonstrating the company’s commitment to safety requires action and discussion which is led by management and yet involves employees at every step.

Communicating with employees about safety commitment & compliance

Allowing employees to make some decisions about their equipment, and ensuring it is as comfortable, familiar and personal as possible is preferable to cornering difficult employees and demanding they wear PPE or face disciplinary action.

Proper training and demonstrations of equipment, combined with a realistic understanding of behaviours, can help control many objections to requirements for achieving compliance.

Connecting employee awards to overall safety and themes such as PPE reinforces the idea that the equipment is part of a uniform approach used by the company to improve safety performance.

Small items such as embroidered patches, key rings, pins, stickers and tags can be purchased with simple, universal messages or custom made with company logos and phrases.

PPE can now also be easily personalised with names & role titles which creates a portable display or experience. This approach won’t suit all types of PPE and must never interfere with correct function. However, the approach reinforces “this is my equipment, this is my job, and I’m good at it”.

Food in Brief #13 - Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 2)

Shelley Inkster - Friday, October 07, 2016
Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 2)

Seafood consumption is increasing world-wide. Almost all of the global growth in consumption is being met by aquaculture.

One of a number of large agribusiness projects planned to go ahead is the Sea Dragon Project, a $1.45-billion project proposed for Legune Station, on the border of the Northern Territory and Western Australia and sitting on the northern coastline.

WA Company ‘Seafarms Group’ is looking to develop a land-based prawn aquaculture project on the property which the Government says could employ 1,600 full-time staff.

Although there may be an increase in local employment, this will make little contribution to the manufacturing sector as like other large agribusinesses the greater percentage of raw food products are sent overseas.

Sea Dragon Project

Let’s hope that as these & other organisations develop, evolve and mature, investment is made in establishing diverse & vertically integrated operations.

An example follows:-

Vertical integration

Some content extracted from ‘Investment in Food Manufacturing Needed’
Food Australia Magazine (AIFST) December 2015 / January 2016
By John Hine

Approved Supplier Programme - Part 2

Kevin Stretton - Friday, October 07, 2016
Fundamental concepts – Part 2


There are several major categories that can be considered as useful checks for establishing an approved suppliers’ programme.


These categories can also become useful checks for internal operations where your organisation is a supplier.


  1. 1.  Product &/or service development / innovation
  2. 2.  Evaluation & monitoring
  3. 3.  Raw Material Specifications
  4. 4.  Manufacturing & Service Specifications
  5. 5.  Product Specification & Labelling


Product &/or service development / innovation:


  • •  Irrespective of whether your company is certified to Australian or international standards there    are legal obligations regarding design of products & services.
  • • These legal obligations must be identified and integrated into your design criteria & specifications.

  • •  This extends to the legal obligations of your suppliers.
  • •  In addition to equipment build / construction, are there any service specifications that need to be included in the

        design phases?


    Evaluation & monitoring:


      •  Your clients may request you to occasionally submit evidence and responses to questionnaires that provide them     with a ‘picture’ of your organisation’s level of compliance and management maturity.
    • •  These questionnaires often include important areas such as the extent & type of insurance     protection and procedural documentation for employee training.


    Therefore your organisation needs to: 


    • •  Respond honestly to these questions; and
    • •  Progressively develop your management systems such that each improvement is seen, perceived & interpreted     by the client from  one questionnaire to the next.
    • •  Adopt a similar approach with your suppliers.

    Achieving compliance with personal protective equipment (PPE) – Part 1

    Kevin Stretton - Monday, October 03, 2016
    Achieving compliance is a major obstacle for employees using PPE.

    Whether the PPE is supplied simply to achieve legal compliance or is being genuinely provided as the last resort within the hierarchy of control, safety practitioners always struggle with encouraging compliance.

    Resistance occurs for many reasons and there are many practical ways to approach the problem.

    In this and subsequent articles we’ll take a look at some of the contributing factors to this resistance and strategies that can help manage the problem.

    Correct fitting = correct function

    There is a simple rule for using PPE; fit means function.

    If equipment is too big or too small, it won’t be as effective. If employees find their PPE uncomfortable, they’ll either “forget” to put it on, wear it incorrectly, or be irritable and inefficient while wearing it.

    Making sure you’ve consulted & engaged with employees during the early stages of sourcing PPE will assist with your team understanding why it’s needed, how to correctly fit the equipment and maintain it.

    Problems concerned with size may not be connected to the whole product, but in components such as strap length, location of closures, or in how & where it is worn.

    During the process of sourcing PPE provide employees with enough time to be able to try on various sizes & types of PPE.

    Don’t forget PPE manufacturers are required to make products which match either international or Australian Standards, so they are qualified to offer solutions that won’t compromise the PPE’s effectiveness. Additionally, most suppliers of PPE are willing to provide information & training to your employees as part of an overall service package.

    So when these strategies are combined with correct fit testing your organisation can maximise the investment in helping employees understand their responsibilities.

    Food in Brief #12 - Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 1)

    Shelley Inkster - Monday, October 03, 2016
    Investment in food manufacturing needed (Part 1)

    The recent State of the Industry Report for the Australian Food & Grocery Council noted there has been a spectacular surge in processed food and beverage exports, up 28 per cent on last year and a near doubling of the trade surplus for food and beverages. Unfortunately, the increase is not bringing about a much needed increase in manufacturing.

    ‘The jump in food and beverage exports is the result of significant demand in Asia meeting the capacity in the Australian food and beverage manufacturing sector. But while exports have surged employment and investment have been falling. The surge in exports have largely utilised existing capacity in food and beverage manufacturing and a new phase of investment is required to avoid capacity constraints and position Australia for growth over the longer term.’

    However, like the horticulture, mining & viticultural sectors are we going to witness a rapid increase in the production of raw materials compounded by minimal growth in secondary and tertiary value added processing?

    What will happen with the next citrus fruit or wine grape glut?

    Will we witness again the removal of valuable primary infrastructure such as fruit trees?

    How much longer can we go on exporting the greater percentage of our fresh primary produce without adding value and working to halt the decline in manufacturing?

    State of the Industry 2015 Report

    Some content extracted from ‘Investment in Food Manufacturing Needed’
    Food Australia Magazine (AIFST) December 2015 / January 2016
    By John Hine

    Nature vs Nurture (Part 7) - Energy Storage

    Shelley Inkster - Monday, October 03, 2016

    Maximising the capture & storage of energy remains the challenge.

    In an effort to reduce expensive capital and continued investment in the maintenance of energy grids, research and development continues in the area of energy storage solutions all around the world.


    Solar Choice - New Technologies


    On the Australian front, there is encouraging news for home owners. SA Power Networks wants to recruit 100 homeowners in Salisbury, the Northern suburbs of Adelaide, for a subsidised trial involving home power storage batteries.

    For some homes:-
    “Eligible customers will need to use a minimum of 4,000 kilowatt (kW) hours of annual grid electricity — or 2500KWh a year on solar panels — and be connected to one of the powerlines being targeted in the trial.” They are looking at whether solar batteries will help avoid investment in the network infrastructure and thus help contain long-term cost for consumers.


    Subsidised power storage batteries in Adelaide

    Approved Supplier Programmes

    Kevin Stretton - Monday, October 03, 2016

    Fundamental concepts – Part 1


    In an increasingly complex relationship clients are demanding more from their suppliers and it often feels as though your organisation is the ‘meat in the sandwich’.


    The recent scandals in European food supply chains are a good example.

    So how do you stay on top of these supply chain pressures?


    Some important concepts to remember include suppliers being one of many in a long supply chain and a mistake by one of your suppliers can cost you losses in:       


    1. 1.  Client reputation & satisfaction
    2. 2.  Money
    3. 3.  Time


    Therefore it’s as important for you to be clearly specifying your requirements, developing sound relationships with and investing time in your suppliers.


    Our next set of articles will provide brief guidelines to assist you with understanding what can be done to formalise your system and minimise the risks associated with client & supplier relationships. 


    For example identify what:-


    1. 1.  Your clients will be looking for in supplier compliance
    2. 2.  You can do to improve relationships with your suppliers