Why Icicle is the Crucial Ingredient for Modern Quality Assurance
In today’s commercial and regulatory environment, your Quality Assurance department needs the power to be the backbone of your products’ success. Icicle provides a full suite of quality assurance tools that are integrated with production, procurement, logistics, laboratory management, and more so your QA Manager can always gather, analyze, and distribute information to auditors, inspectors, and customers with minimal effort.
Investing in your QA department isn’t just safer and better – it helps you achieve the level of quality you need to secure advanced certifications like SQF and the big customers who require them. Icicle is unparalleled in its ability to model the way your company actually works and adapt to your specific needs so that each individual process is successfully monitored, from farm to fork.
The Basics of Compliance: Automatically Generate Certificate of Analysis
Icicle helps you specify quality parameters for your products, measure them during production, and easily generate CoAs to confirm that quality standards are met.
- Before Production: The first step to quality control and quality assurance is to set parameters for your products. Icicle allows you to create pass/fail (Boolean) quality, numeric specifications to ensure that measured values are within critical and operational ranges, and process specifications to handle specs that include subjective attributes such as “is the color between dark and medium blue?”
- During Production: Icicle utilizes comprehensive automation to ensure that those parameters are met during production, alerting your quality assurance and production managers if there is a problem before or as it occurs, rather than hours too late.
- After Production: Certificates of analysis are automatically generated, confirming quality standards have been met. Proper documentation earns quality certifications, and Icicle documents it all for you.
5 Premium Features to Help You Control and Maintain Food Quality
“If you have a system [Icicle] that alerts you right away to quality concerns, you really can’t put a price tag on it because it makes all the difference for your company.”–Christopher Foster, Food Safety and Quality Coordinator for Ontario Pride Eggs
Remaining competitive means improving quality, and improvement means change. Icicle makes quality assurance changes painless with features that help test, monitor, and analyze quality measures so you can see what does and does not work.
#1: Automatic Mass Balance Calculations
Automatic mass balance calculations allow you to trace recalled products, ingredients, materials, and packaging throughout the production process, identifying every precursor and finished product that may be affected and showing exactly where each affected item is presently located along with the quantities that need to be retrieved for rework or disposal – all in just seconds. Want to wow your auditors? Give them the answers they need before they finish asking their question, like Paul from P&S Frozen Foods discovered.
#2: QA Dashboard
Time is money, especially when it comes to your QA team. Icicle’s QA dashboard frees up quality assurance time that would be spent compiling data from binders, spreadsheets, or disparate software programs into quality trend reports so that your team can focus on their true mission: improving quality.
Icicle’s QA dashboard is automatically populated with performance indicators including test results, corrective actions, root cause analysis, and preventative measures so that the QA team and company leadership can review a concise report as often as they want. QA can set quality control parameters and the QA dashboard will measure changes over time and clearly outline positive and negative trends. With Icicle crunching the data, your QA team can focus on real-time production and planning for the future, all without sacrificing valuable trending updates.
#3: Supplier Management (or Vendor Management)
Tracking supplier certifications (or vendor certifications) can be a complex and taxing business – and mistakes can cost you. Icicle’s supplier management feature tracks all your suppliers in one, simple location and updates you if your supplier’s certifications have expired, giving you the heads-up you need to pull their ingredients before they can ruin your product. Any changes that are made to any certification are automatically updated everywhere else, so you can provide up-to-date reports upon demand.
For companies looking to expand their business, automated supplier management is essential for any QA department. Food companies like FreeYumm, an allergen-free food processor, use Icicle’s supplier management to stay on top of supplier certification with less labour, more precision, and full confidence. With Icicle’s help, FreeYumm easily achieved their SQF certification and was able to leverage their high level of quality and safety to expand to new markets:
“Once we decided we wanted to expand out-of-province and into the US, we realized we needed a robust tracking system and that it just wasn’t going to be possible without software.”–Terry Goulah, Vice President of Operations and co-founder of FreeYumm
#4: Smart Inventory Management
Icicle utilizes GS1 barcodes to track inventory, maximizing shelf life and minimizing waste by tracking expiration dates and supplier certifications with just a quick scan. Along with automatic mass balance calculations, Icicle’s inventory management is determined to help you get the most out of your inventory and save you money without compromising quality.
#5: Laboratory Management
Knowledgeable Icicle staff can help you build a customized Icicle’s laboratory management plan for your facility to make sure you don’t miss any tumors. Get way ahead of recalls: the testing lab can upload results into Icicle, providing you with the information you need to avoid dangerous recalls immediately. Results of tests automatically populate in the QA dashboard to show you trends over time, so you can see if the changes are working and tweak quality measures accordingly.
Icicle Improves Food Quality
With its holistic approach, utilizing real-time traceability to stay on top of problems rather than simply document them, Icicle is the answer to improving food quality. If your current food production management technology isn’t capable of setting detailed parameters, monitoring them via automation, testing for quality, and putting the data toward pain-free analysis of your product’s quality all in one central hub, it doesn’t have the legs to take you through the next decade. With all these capabilities and more, Icicle is the high-tech quality catapult your company needs.
“At the stage we were at when we implemented Icicle, I don’t think we would have passed SQF audit with the score we did and that would have lost us millions of dollars in business.”– Paul Tolnai, Operations Manager for P&S Frozen Foods
If you want your company to grow over the next ten years, you need a system that understands the challenges of quality and safety. The future of food is quality, and the future of quality is automation. The best automation for food production is Icicle. Consumers expect the best, why wouldn’t you choose the best automation to produce it?