Bret Zaher is the manager of operations for the Americas for AIB International.

Do you ever wish for another set of eyes to identify gaps in your systems? How about another brain, solely committed to thinking about those tasks you don’t have time for? Maybe a second set of hands to get it all done? Though it sounds like science fiction, it is entirely possible. 

I recently had the opportunity to work onsite with a customer that was three months behind on their Master Cleaning Schedule. The current labor shortage echoing across the industry had left them unable to staff key positions, making the schedule difficult to maintain.

Though the current staff was working as hard as they could, their processes were inefficient and key items were being missed, which risked compromising food safety and product quality. Fortunately, they knew to call in expertise. 

For those unfamiliar, an operation’s Master Cleaning Schedule details every aspect of what should be cleaned, when that work should be done and who is responsible for doing so.

In this case, cleaning was often delayed because supplies and chemicals had run out, or the necessary equipment was broken and awaiting repair.

While these seem like simple fixes, the right expertise had not been onsite to see the issues, think about how to address them and establish best practices to avoid them in the future. 

Working in partnership with the bakery, we were able to establish best practices like automated re-order points for supplies and cleaning chemicals, ensuring their availability in the future. Additionally, by establishing monthly preventive maintenance, critical machines were more likely to remain operational and available when necessary.

I also provided their team with training on the appropriate use of those chemicals and equipment, setting them up for future success. 

By partnering with the right expertise, a second set of eyes is not so far-fetched.