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Why AIB Standards are Important When Searching for a 3PL Provider

Posted by Margaret Harvey on Feb 16, 2021

Founded in 1919, the American Institute of Baking (AIB) International was started as a technology and information transfer center for bakers and food processors. Since then, it has grown into a leading training organization for food safety, setting the standards for food quality and safety.For over 100 years now, they’ve helped food manufacturers and distributors improve their food safety and quality management practices. Every day, their international team of inspectors, trainers, bakers, and scientists work together with companies around the world, applying in-depth knowledge and technical expertise.

Food contamination during the supply chain journey can have a devastating effect on both the company and the consumers. A potential health risk has the potential to cripple a company. Therefore, 3PL customers rely on their food distributors to ensure all precautions are taken to keep their products safe for consumers. That is why most food distributors elect to have a 3rd party entity, like AIB, do an annual inspection to confirm food safety practices are adequate. Working with a 3PL who is AIB certified ensures:

Customer Trust

AIB International helps food distributors earn customer trust by optimizing their processes and preventing recalls. They are an industry ally that can help strengthen a quality assurance team. As customer needs change, AIB ensures 3PLs are meeting those changes.

Increased Food Safety

AIB inspections help identify, reduce, eliminate, and prevent food hazards in a facility. For inspection, documentation is needed showing regular training and education are in place for all personnel - from entry level workers to management. This ensures best practices are continually being taken to deliver a safe product to consumers.

Compliance & Accountability

Facilities who are AIB certified are required to maintain records to identify, verify, and document compliance to regulations and requirements. Certified companies support a qualified person to ensure facility compliance to programs, laws, and regulations.

With a mission to provide the ultimate supply chain experience by understanding, delivering, and continuously improving services that meet our customers’ needs, The Shippers Group not only supports a qualified person, but an entire Quality Assurance Team.

This team manages TSG’s processes to improve safety and quality, by:

  • Determining each facility’s level of compliance with TSG processes, Food Safety, and OSHA
  • Documenting procedures to keep Food Safety Programs current and accurate
  • Defining written procedures to identify new food safety regulations
  • Helping instill confidence in company executive and customers by assigning corrective actions to areas that are not compliant or not performing as they should
  • Ensuring the facility is prepared to meet potential challenges

Our Quality Assurance Team conducts internal audits which are observed during normal operations, and include: General security of the building, Safety related behavior of the employees, Product handling and conditions, Facility safety, Housekeeping, Customer requirements, and Pest control inspections. These internal audits are used as a tool to ensure preparedness for audits from potential 3rd party auditors, such as customer audits and regulatory audits—like AIB.

AIB Standards Inspection

The AIB Standards consist of five Categories for Inspection. Each Category is allocated 200 points for scoring purposes, to a total of 1,000 points. While a score of 800 is adequate, the best in the industry won’t score below a 900. The five Categories for Inspection are:

  • Operational Methods and Personnel Practices

    Ensuring personnel, processes, and conditions do not introduce a food safety concern as materials are received, transferred, stored, or transported to deliver a final product.

  • Maintenance for Food Safety

    Best practices used for optimizing the design and care of the facility and equipment, so it is easy to manage, and does not create sanitation or food safety issues.

  • Cleaning Practices

    Using methods of cleaning and sanitizing to protect from food safety issues and prevent contamination.

  • Integrated Pest Management

    Strategies for managing multiple approaches to ensure a pest-free environment.

  • Adequacy of Prerequisite Programs and Food Safety Program

    Coordination of management support, cross-functional teams, documentation, education, training, and monitoring systems to ensure all departments of the facility work together to deliver a safe final product.

aib banner-1Banner at our Orlando Facility displaying Perfect Score received in 2020 AIB Audit

The Shippers Group has been participating in the AIB Standards inspection process for several decades now. The efforts of our Quality Assurance Team can be seen in our AIB audit scores, which range from the mid to high 900s. Most notably, The Shippers Group received a perfect score of 1,000 points, with an overall rating of Excellent, during our most recent AIB audit conducted during December of 2020 for our Orlando facility. This exceeding score represents our commitment to follow our mission, exceed industry expectations, and provide the highest quality service to our clients.

The Shippers Group is a leading national third party logistics company located in 6 states. In addition to 3PL warehousing services, the company also provides contract packaging, ecommerce and transportation management services. 

Topics: Safety, 3PL

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