Bio Suisse Increases Efficiency with Ecert's Supply Chain Monitor
Since March 2017, Bio Suisse handles the import checks for all goods intended to be distributed under the Bud label (Marke Knospe) fully electronically—with the Supply Chain Monitor in Ecert. Previously all batch controls were performed manually, which at times caused unpleasant delays. With the now electronic checks Bio Suisse achieved not only reduced workloads for all involved parties but also increased security for both consumers and retailers.
The Entire Supply Chain Is Certified – Even for Imported Products
Under the Bud label (Marke Knospe) Bio Suisse—Switzerland's leading private-sector organic organization founded in 1981—established an extremely high quality standard for organic products in Switzerland. The Bio Suisse standard by far exceeds the current legal requirements in many aspects and applies to the entire supply chain. The Bud thus stands for organic products of highest quality and integrity, which is also true for imported products.
Imported products are only allowed for trade under the Bud label if firstly Switzerland's domestic supply is insufficient and secondly the entire supply chain is known and each stage in the supply chain is verified to be compliant with Bio Suisse's strict regulations. Before March 2017, all batch controls were performed manually, which not only was laborious but also used to cause considerable delays from time to time.
Quick, Easy, and Safe – the Electronic Batch Control in the Supply Chain Monitor
Bio Suisse was well aware of this issue and actively sought a solution which could speed up the verification process and reduce the workload for all involved parties. At the same time, security for both consumers and retailers should be increased too. Since March 2017, Bio Suisse thus performs all batch controls fully electronically—with the Supply Chain Monitor (SCM) module in Ecert, one of the world's leading solutions for audit and certification management.
With the Supply Chain Monitor online platform, exporters are now able to directly enter all data related to batches imported into Switzerland. The respective importer is notified as soon as a transaction is ready for revision. Before approving the transaction, the importer can check all data provided by the exporter as well as all of its suppliers' certificates. In a final step, Bio Suisse again checks all data and certificates of every party involved before the imported product is approved for being traded under the Bud label.
Interim Results after Five Months of Practical Use
As far as Bio Suisse is concerned, the Ecert Supply Chain Monitor met all its expectations regarding speed, simplicity, and security. But is this also true for importers? In issue 6|2017 of the journal Bioaktuell Katharina Scheuner interviewed two Swiss importers about exactly this matter.
Thomas Baldauf, Head of Quality Management at Punto Fresco SA, had the chance to participate in a pilot project and thus use the Supply Chain Monitor even before its official launch. For him, reducing the formerly very long waiting times was of highest priority. In this point in particular Baldauf is very satisified: thanks to weekly data transfers, waiting times are now reduced to a maximum of three weeks whereas it could take up to three months to close a single dossier before. Due to the entirely digital workflow printing documents is now a thing of the past, too.
Claudio von Felten, heading the procurement at Sunray, was more critical. In Sunray's case the switch to the new system lead to an increased administrative workload due to the fact that Sunray has a lot of direct producers among their suppliers. Many of them are not familiar with using computers and thus need to be trained. However, Bio Suisse took his feedback seriously and already improved many of the issues facing him. Overall, von Felten considers the switch to the Supply Chain Monitor and thus a digital system to be an important and necessary step—in particular for future trade with the EU.
You can find more information about the Bio Suisse Supply Chain Monitor platform here »
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