HACCP Software Explained - Part 1

Posted by Matthew Littlefield on Tue, Jan 31, 2012

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With the recent Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) putting Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) front and center, many companies are trying to understand what HACCP Software is and how it relates to other more familiar types of software like Enterprise Quality Management Software (EQMS), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and more.

To best understand what HACCP Software is; it is important to first understand what HACCP is itself.

The Theory Behind HACCP

HACCP was first developed by NASA engineers to improve finished product quality and reduce the total cost of quality for components being manufactured and assembled in the space program. In these early days, it quickly became apparent that it would be impossible to perform detailed finished product testing on every piece of equipment and component involved in the production of large complex programs.

HACCP Software

To save on the time, expense, and shortcomings of finished product testing, a new approach was developed. Engineers decided that the production process itself would be monitored, not every finished product. Through statistical analysis, engineers determined the critical control points in the production process that correlated to acceptable finished product quality. Essentially,  the engineers were able to find verifiable early indicators in the production process that could guarantee if a certain range was adhered to for the indicator, the finished product was also within specification

In this way, it was only necessary to monitor the critical control points not every finished product. As long as the critical control points were on spec it was assumed the finished products were on spec too. With this reasoning, finished product testing was no longer used to identify good or bad products, but rather just to verify that finished products were in specification as they should be. This allowed for a much reduced sampling plan to achieve the same level of certainty in finished product quality

In our next post we will examine the specific capabilities delivered by HACCP Software and what types of vendor are best positioned to deliver these capabilities.

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Categories: Enterprise Quality Management System (EQMS), Cost of Quality (CoQ), Food Safety / HACCP