I worked with a retail food chain that presented a challenge in improving the communication and collaborative capabilities of its teams in food risk management. Prior to IT modernization, in-store staff manually monitored freezer temperatures every four hours — a complex and time-consuming task that was highly prone to human error. If an incident arose, the escalation process couldn’t identify the correct team member to address the temperature issues, so a mass email would be blasted out. There was no way of knowing if the correct team member has been made aware of the issue and had addressed it.
The company tackled this challenge by creating a more robust process for incident management involving SMS messages to identified staff, emails and phone calls to management, and automated announcements over the in-store system. In addition, they implemented an Internet of Things (IoT) program to completely automate and monitor refrigerator and frozen food temperature management. The result has been significantly increased efficiency, transparency, and accountability — not to mention a safer experience for their customers.