Category Archives: Newsletters

2017 Letter from the President of Remco Products

As we look forward to the rest of 2017, I am excited about the future of Remco. 2016 was a banner year for Remco and we are reinvesting in our business to ensure the continued success of our customers. This year Remco has already added four new staff positions that directly support our customers. We added an additional business development manager, an account manager, a new market development manager, and a product manager. In 2017, we also plan to add two additional business development managers and an education and technical support manager. All of these new positions strengthen the level of support that we can provide our customers and further my goal of making Remco a trusted partner in food manufacturing sanitation programs.

With the growth in Remco’s staffing levels, we are also growing the physical space of our offices. We are currently in the midst of a construction and renovation project that will add new conference rooms and a large new meeting room, and revamp existing offices. The total project will effectively double the amount of usable office space at our facility and provide improved opportunities for on-site food safety trainings and presentations.

Thank you for your continued business and we look forward to helping in your success.

Regards,
Mike Garrison

Product Selection Guides

Remco now offers product selection guides to help you and your customers pick the most effective products for your needs. Each guide contains specifications for all the variations of the product it features, along with information about brush fibers, hygienic design, and the available color selection.

Product guides are available for:

We also have industry-specific guides that highlight the most frequently purchased items from some of our more popular customer industries. Guides are currently available for:

We may add more product guides and industry-specific guides in the future, as well. If there is a guide that would particularly be of help to your company or your industry, don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service department (cs@remcoproducts.com) to let us know. Our customer service representatives can answer any questions you may have in the meantime.

Selling Your Organization on Color Coding

Color coding benefits everyone from the company CEO to individual workers. Selling your organization on color coding is as easy as learning what appeals to each position, and presenting the benefits. Whether you’re a plant safety officer or a salesperson at a distribution company, here’s what you need to know to gain organizational buy-in.

Plant Owners – Minimize risk and product waste

Plant owners carry the responsibility of running a safe processing facility on their shoulders. Color coding can increase the safety of day-to-day operations, somewhat lessening that burden. In the event of charges being carried against a facility, owners/operators must provide a due diligence defense if their product causes illness or death. Color coding is a proven, standard method to prevent cross contamination and is widely accepted by standards organizations. BRC v.7 (2015) requires BRC registered companies to use either color coding or tools that are “visually distinctive” in high-risk areas. Color coding is a significant step towards being able to show auditors that a company is doing their part to minimize risk and promote food safety.
If color coding is helpful in minimizing the chances of cross contamination, it’s essential to minimizing the impact of a foreign body recall due to a piece of a tool breaking off and contaminating the product. If zoning is done by areas, or even shifts, the color of the chipped tool or plastic glove can pinpoint where (and possibly when) the contamination happened, which results in less product needing to be pulled off of shelves.

Middle Management – Simplify training and pinpoint issues

Color coded tool stations can significantly reduce the amount of time that must be spent training each employee. Instead of a complicated system where certain tools are only left certain places, the stations are immediately obvious to even the newest employees. Food processing facilities typically see a high amount of turnover, making brevity in training time even more valuable. Simplify the entire process by having total color tools for different purposes.

Tool stations also promote a culture of responsibility since it’s easy to see if someone didn’t bother to put a tool back in the right place. Having a place for each tool, and having each tool be zoned keeps the factory running smoothly and safely. If a tool is missing, finding it is as simple as asking the shift workers it’s color coded to. Retraining is also easier if it’s immediately apparent when an employee is using the wrong tool for a job.

Employees – Uncomplicate HACCP regulations

Training represents time and money to company executives. To employees, it’s time they’re not working toward production goals. Most workers appreciate a streamlined process that doesn’t require them to remember which station they went to for a tool. Color coded stations also means brooms aren’t propped against walls and buckets aren’t sitting in random places, all waiting to trip an employee who’s not paying enough attention.

Investing in a fully color coded system shows a commitment to food safety that won’t go unnoticed by employees. The shift of a company culture to one that deeply cares about the safety of its products will help employees feel good about their work, which, in turn, can make them better workers.

Getting organizational buy-in is a necessary part of adding color-coding to a company. Without it, the process may not be implemented correctly, if at all. However, once color coding becomes part of the corporate culture, it can streamline operations and training, as well as reduce risk.

Benefits of Corporate Standardization

Corporate standardization is an effective tool for streamlining sanitation programs across multiple production facilities. Over the past several months, Remco has been working with several large food manufactures to implement standardization programs. Throughout the process, Remco and end users identified a number of benefits to the program. The biggest benefit… simplified processes.

Hygiene programs tend to work best when simplicity is the primary consideration. Here are some of the top simplifiers of Remco’s corporate standardization plans:

  • Procurement

    Standardizing tools means spending less of your valuable time searching for compliant products when adding a new tool or replacing existing tools. Standardizing with a single supplier means managing fewer P.Os. and SKUs in the procurement process.

  • Audits (internal/external)

    Internal and external auditors will see one consistent process with understandable documentation for across multiple locations.

  • Best Practices

    Consolidate knowledge across multiple facilities, building collaboration and improving quality.

  • Training Cost Savings

    Enables a corporate-wide training department while limiting the time and money spent developing ad hoc programs at individual locations

  • Employee Mobility

    Move labor force between facilities without jeopardizing the understanding of your food safety program

In addition to simplifying processes, corporate standardization can benefit end users in several additional areas. Remco assist in equipment selection, visual management, tool documentation, and program implementation.

Equipment selection can be a challenging part of the standardization process. There are multiple suppliers selling many tools of varying quality. But, if you are implementing a color-coding plan, HACCP compliance requires more than simply having brushes and tools of the same color. We take into consideration requirements that tools be food safe, hygienically designed and purpose built.

Visual management is another area where we have been able to help end-users. Color-coding programs, proper signage, and appropriate labeling are all issues we consider.

One of the most important aspects a corporate standardization program is the documentation supporting tool compliance with the FDA’s 21 CFR guidance. Remco has documentation ready for every piece of compliant equipment that we supply. We often provide detailed and well-organized sets of documentation to end users.

Finally, when it comes to implementing standardization programs, we have found great success in offering wide-ranging flexibility to end users. We keep a ready stock of items in our warehouse that can be shipped directly to end users. This allows our distributors to quickly fulfill large stocking orders without routing shipments through their shipping centers. In short, this means quicker turnaround times and fewer partial shipments.

If you have questions about corporate standardization, please contact Rob Middendorf
rmiddendorf@remcoproducts.com

Growing Importance of Hygienic Design

Hygienic design of tools and equipment is essential for improving food safety in production facilities, and many people within the industry are arriving at this consensus together. The challenges facing those responsible for food safety are seemingly endless, and companies shouldn’t have to worry about compounding risks with poorly designed cleaning tools.

This past summer I had the privilege of witnessing the consensus building surrounding hygienic design at two different conferences. In March, the 3-A Sanitary Standards Group tackle the challenges of hygienic and sanitary design of equipment. With the ever-increasing complexity and volume of food production, sanitation is becoming more and more daunting. Currently, the standards created by 3-A apply primarily to large equipment, but the organization also recognizes the potential benefits of applying standards to things like hand tools.

In August, I attended the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) annual conference. The IAFP conference has grown significantly in size and influence over the last few years. Much like 3-A members, IAFP members were talking about hygienic design throughout several Professional Development Groups and across many general sessions.

Deb Smith, Vikan’s Global Hygiene Specialist, spoke to the Food Sanitation and Hygiene PDG on the science of hygienic design applied to cleaning tools. Her talk garnered great interest among attendees both inside and outside the group. It’s obvious the industry is recognizing the importance of hygienic design throughout the cleaning process. Deb is also presenting a webinar covering the same topic on October 6th. You can register here: http://info.foodprocessing.com/1610_remco_webcast_mnt. If you can’t make the live event, your registration will allow you to view an on-demand version for up to one year.

At Remco, our goal is simplifying the challenges faced by food safety professionals. We do this by collaborating with Vikan on many levels. In addition to supplying a full line of hygienic material handling and cleaning tools, we also providing webinars, white papers, training, and consulting. Through these practices, I believe we advance hygienic design and simplify your challenges.

Training & Development

Over the last quarter, Remco’s Training and Development team provided cost-free technical support and training to several distributors and end-users. Our training included helping distributors identify opportunities and sell solutions that meet the challenges of HACCP. We also trained end-users on the proper care and maintenance of tools, and the principles of hygienic design.

In April, we attended the Conference for Food Protection held in Boise, Id. One of the overarching themes of the conference was the influence of consumers on the food industry. Consumers are pushing food safety at retail and introducing new challenges. These challenges include the anti-processing movement, reducing food waste, limiting produce related outbreaks, detecting biofilms, and the changing mindset of employees. Stay tuned for future newsletters, articles, and whitepapers from Remco as we continue to keep abreast of these trends.

Also in April, we attended the Food Safety Summit in Chicago, Ill. At the conference, Mike Taylor, deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, gave his final talk before leaving the FDA. Taylor discussed his view on the industry’s progress toward FSMA compliance, and made a point to express his gratitude and appreciation of all the people responsible for championing food safety. Taylor believes the hardest part of implementation is still to come, as the industry moves toward complying with operational requirements. Another key takeaway of the conference came from Joe Corby, the executive director of AFDO. Corby encouraged consumers and industry to make sure legislators continue to fund food safety efforts so the movement maintains momentum.

The members of Remco’s Training and Development team are looking forward to interfacing with distributors and end-users over the next few months. The industry has many new challenges to discuss, and Remco has many potential solutions to share. If you or your company needs additional support, contact us. We are eager to help.

From the Sales Desk

First, thank you for helping us get off to a strong start in 2016. We value every business relationship and we know our growth is dependent on building strong partnerships with end users and distributors. We promise to continue offering the highest levels of service, support, and products that have made you turn to us for your sanitation and material handling needs over the years.

One exciting example of our commitment to the market is our internal continuing education program. Last year every member of our business development team received his HACCP certification. This year we are working toward additional certifications in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Additionally, several members of our support staff are working through various food-safety training programs. We view continuing education as a critical function for staying up to date on the needs of the industry and providing the expertise you need.

Remco is also excited for the continued expansion of our sales team. Over the last quarter, we added additional sales staff to better support our strategic partners and build new relationships with others. As we grow, we are making conscious efforts to continue our high level of service and support.

With another busy show season approaching, we are excited to see many familiar and some new faces. Please let us know if you will be attending any of these upcoming events.

  • • IAFP 2016 – 7/31/16 – 8/3/16 at Booth #920
  • • ISSA Interclean 2016 – 10/26/16-10/28/16 at Booth #3154
  • • IPPE 2017 – 1/31/17 – 2/2/17

If you would like to schedule a face-to-face meeting while attending one of these shows, please contact Rob Middendorf at rmiddendorf@remcoproducts.com or Dustin Milstead at dmilstead@remcoproducts.com.

Challenges

Every business and market has challenges, if they did not, businesses would never fail. The trick for each of us is identifying those impediments and determining how they will affect our companies and markets.

FSMA was created to help overcome the many challenges faced by the food industry, but with its creation comes even greater obstacles.

While there are obvious challenges to the food industry like recalls, foodborne illness, and hygienic design, solutions are not always so obvious.

The products Remco offers are part of the solution. Our challenge is determining what else we can do to help you overcome your challenges. Whether you are a seller trying to connect your customers to the best solutions, or a food producer trying to determine how to most effectively create and implement a color coding plan, our goal is getting you not only the products you need but the support as well.

Thank you for your business and we look forward to continued success.

Regards,

Mike Garrison
President Remco Products

Newsletter – Q1, 2016