There area many global standards for excellence in production quality but no other carries the same level of authority and regard as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) standard. The focus of the BRC standard is to create a higher level of consistency, clarity and safety for consumers. The Areas the BRC covers include food safety, product packaging, storage and distribution. For suppliers in particular, attaining BRC accreditation and becoming a certified BRC supplier is highly valuable.
The BRC itself was developed when the British Retailers Association and the British Consortium merged in 1992. The first edition of the Food Technical Standard and Protocol for Food Suppliers was published by the BRC in 1998. While it was originally only intended for use in Britainit has subsequently been adopted worldwide as a global standard of quality in food supply.
Since then the BRC has gone on to develop standards in many different areas that relate particularly to suppliers. As well as food safety, areas in which standards set out by the BRC have come to be particularly important are consumer products, storage, distribution, packaging and packaging materials.
The BRC label is not just important for the supplier to have but it is important for the retailer and ultimately the consumer to be able to recognise that the product they are selling or consuming has met appropriate standards of quality, established by the BRC. It not only creates confidence in the quality of the products or goods being supplied but it also establishes trust and reassurance in business relationships.
Where a company attains the certification of BRC supplier it provides a fast track to confidence for the retailer. A company may have to start out small and gain the trust of their clients over years of providing consistent quality goods. When a retailer sees that the supplier is a BRC supplier they can be confident in relying a lot more on the supplier’s services from the beginning. This allows business to run more smoothly and efficiently.
Dedication to Quality
For Automatic Plastics quality is key to being a successful product supplier. For over four decades Automatic Plastics have been manufacturing and supplying plastic goods to a range of industries. Over those years they have developed a number of long lasting business relationships, some of which have lasted for more than a quarter of a century. The primary industries supplied by Automatic Plastics are the pharmaceutical and automotive industries. Both of these industries require very high standards of consistency and quality.
Building these long lasting relationships requires an ongoing dedication to maintaining the high standards required of the industries they supply. Attaining the BRC suppliers certification is a particularly important goal for Automatic Plastics as it will establish in very concrete terms that commitment to high standards of quality.
One of the ways in which APL works to maintain these high levels of quality is through the special appointment of a Quality Manager. This Quality Manager works closely with a team made up of specialists from different parts of the business. Working with this team the Quality Manager oversees a number of quality control processes that have been established in the company.
One of these processes is the Product Part Approval Process. This is a well established control system for mould development. Another process is the implementation of SPC to verify key dimensions and CPK analysis which is implemented where required. Function fit tests are also carried out to ensure mated components are properly formed and functioning.
Some of the international quality standards that Automatic Plastics have already attained in their drive to maintain higher quality levels include:
- TS-16949 Automotive Standard
- ISO 9002/EN 29002 International Quality System
- QS-9000 Accreditation
APL do not only focus on quality of their products but also on the effectiveness and potential of their staff. Ongoing staff development is carried out with the Excellence Through People training courses. Excellence Through People is a training framework that is nationally recognised and provides a continuous investment in employees. Performance is enhanced across the board and more effective management strategies can be developed as a result.
Working with the BRC to attain certification as a BRC supplier is yet another step on Automatic Plastic’s ongoing journey to excellence in plastic product supply.
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