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FLEXO Magazine : April 2013
PLANTWIDE PRIDE We were really starting to see changes in the plant. We had cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and then cleaned some more. Things were look- ing better, but they were not where I needed/wanted them to be. I could not have imagined how things progressed next. It was coming down to crunch time and there still seemed to be so many little things that needed to be done. We had been talking about SQF certification for months, we had imple- mented all these new things and the entire organization knew the audit date was looming. The teamwork that was exemplified in the coming days blew me away. We went from guys saying they would not wear hairnets a few months ago to the same guys scraping dried ink off the floor preparing for the audit. It was unbelievable. Everyone knew how important receiving this certifica- tion was to our organization and they all pitched in and got us to the end result. The days of the facility review were a blur. It was not an easy audit, I had to defend many of my choices and explain why they did not pose a threat to food safety. The end result was the best we could have hoped for. We passed with a one year re-audit date. I don't even think the auditor was down the sidewalk when we announced we had passed and the entire plant went up in cheers. Trust me, I know this can seem incredibly overwhelming; a daunting task to carry out for a facility that does not even produce food. Its not going to be easy and there will not be obvious answers for you, but it is possible and the outcome is so very worth the difficult times. Our upper management is proud, our employees are proud, our plant has never looked better and our customers are happy. My guess would be that SQF is here to stay. About the Author: Cayleigh Nichols is quality assurance (QA) manager at Prairie State Group, Franklin Park, IL. After graduating from Toronto's Ryerson University 's Graphics Communications Management (GCM) program, Nichols joined Prairie State Group in the capac- ity of project specialist. She led the development of an in-house color man- agement system before being promoted to the QA Manager position. She is the SQF Practitioner at 20-year-old Prairie State, which specializes in narrow- web flexible packaging and pressure- sensitive labels. In addition Nichols also has her Six Sigma Black Belt. Cayleigh co-chaired FTA's 2010 Fall Conference, "A First Rate Idea: The future of Flexo and Process Improvement." She will be speaking on "Real World Food Safety" at Forum 2013. Her presentation will be included in the Opening Session, "Life is Full of Options, Complying With Food Safety is Not one of Them." Several of the points made in this article will be incorporated into and expounded upon as Nichols takes to the podium. www.flexography.org APRIL 2013 FLEXO 21 In an ever-changing world, it's keep up or be left behind. The Performance Series gives you the tools to succeed today while preparing you for the challenges of tomorrow. Award Winning Design for Technical Innovation. Go to markandy.com/gamechanger www.markandy.com THE GAME HAS CHANGED. HAVE YOU? The Performance Series can have a dramatic impact on your business.