Modern global business world is faced with changing market trends and stiff competition. Many firms, especially multinational corporations have invested in emerging markets in order to tap into new market segments. It is for these reasons that multinational firms face stiff competition both from local and foreign companies. Therefore, such firms must develop good strategies in order to position themselves well in the changing market trends. The food companies remain one of the sensitive companies, who must develop best practice policies (Clayton County Public Health, 2015). Such policies ensure they beat off competition and built customer confidence. In addition, best practices ensure that such companies conform to the specific government requirements regarding their products. The paper shall provide a best practice policy list for a food company that wants to go global.
Sanitation is one of the key policy areas for any food company. Although there are many frameworks that have been set that govern best practices, for instance the ISO 22000 and OSHA standards, there have been fewer efforts to enforce these standards owing to the general feeling that it is detriment to the bottom line (Systems, 2009). However, a number of safety policies are inevitable for the success of food industry. The development of food sanitation policies will ensure safety of the consumers, streamline the food manufacturing processes and ensure company viability. The following are sanitation best practices for any food company that wishes to invest in either local or in foreign countries.
There remains the need to maintain the right food temperature. For the cold food, the temperature should always be kept below 41º F, while hot food should be kept at temperatures of 135º F, whereas reheating should be done at 145º F. In addition, food should be prepared in less than 12 hours before consumption as preparation of food 12 hours ahead of consumption increases risks of temperature compromise. The food products most always be sourced from approved government sources.
Hand washing and cleanliness is very pertinent for both food handlers and consumers (Barron, Fraser, & Herring, 2011). The food shop should have a proper working water sink with soap and single-use towels. Hand should be washed frequently before and after handling food, after visiting toilet, smoking, sneezing, handling soiled items, disposing cabbage and after handling food. When serving raw food items, care should be exercised to ensure that they are always fresh and wholesome, as it would prevent food-borne diseases. A common way of avoiding food-borne diseases is to use pasteurized products.
Normally contamination occurs if food is not protected well. In order to avoid food contamination, proper protection in form of good packaging above the ground or floor should be observed at all times. Unnecessary handling of food after sneezing, food touching dirty walls or containers, should be avoided in order to prevent them from physical contamination. If there is preparation of food in the premises, a constant supply of hot water for washing hands and utensils should be provided at all times. The source of water if from other sources other than government should be approved. If water from a well, then they should be tested to ensure it is free from any contamination ( Agriculture Consumer Insight, n.d). The rationale behind proper food protection is that if poor protection is not exercised, food may reach the destination when it is already contaminated or in condition, that is unsuitable for consumption, regardless whether proper handling had been done during the initial processes in the food chain.
Sewage and Garbage
The sewage should be disposed properly in a properly constructed sewage system or public sewage system. Refuse and garbage should be kept in containers that are durable and do not absorb liquid (Ford & Opper, 2014). Refuse containers must always be sealed well and should be leak and rodent/insect proof. In food transportation, such food should be well covered and should be kept in good temperature. Finally, the toilet facilities should be kept clean, disinfected throughout with constant supply of water and soap. The toilets should have lockable doors with good roof and clean surfaces, walls and ground. In addition, they should be connected to a good drainage system and should not open directly to rooms where food is prepared, received or stored.
Clothing and Other Food Handling Equipment
In order to enhance customer confidence and satisfaction, there is need to extent cleanliness beyond the food rooms. The workers who handle food should undergo medical tests by approved public health personnel in order to ensure they are fit to handle food. The food handlers should also observe high standards of personal hygiene in order to ensure the safety of food. Clothing forms a key component in addition to personal health of such individuals. Food handlers should be provided with
Eating and Drinking
Eating food must take place always in designated areas within the company premises. Although some food can be packaged as tale-away, their consumption must not occur in undesignated areas within the premises. Common places where food consumption can take place include the designated desks in manufacturing centre, dining rooms, and at the desks.
In order to ensure maximum hygiene and avoid health hazards, the dining areas should be clean always. Cleaning should take place before and after dining in order to ensure maximum hygiene standards. The eating and drinking areas should be disinfected after cleaning and should be enclosed, free from contamination that may result from air, dust and water. Good drainage is pertinent in such areas. The eating tables should be clean always and be arranged in a way that allows free movement.
According to (Hall & Lobina, 2012), many conflicts occur within organizational set up and this may involve companies and staff as well as with the community it operates in. Therefore, conflicts form a pertinent aspect of the workplace. Conflicts occur when needs, goals and interests interfere with one another. Organizational conflicts may involve the departments, organization and client, team members, subordinates and boss or projects. Furthermore, more conflicts result from perception. Either way, conflicts are not a bad occurrence but rather serve as a source of improvement. However, if not managed well, conflicts can bring adverse effects on company operations and may alter the company image. Therefore, it is important that proper strategies be put in place in order to handle conflicts as they arise.
Food companies may face conflict from within its organization where competing interests occur between the employees. Additionally, a conflict may occur when the rights of a client are contravened, for instance if they feel that they product they purchased from the company did not meet the specification or qualities are outlined in packaging or the standards defined in the safety code of operations. Similarly, an organization may have a conflict with its employees in a foreign country that can stem from contravention of their employment laws.
Generally, most conflicts are easy to resolve especially those that involve competing interests. In such instances, one can cede, enter into a compromise or withdraw, in order to solve the conflict. In cases that involve the contravention of the labour laws or low-quality product, a more comprehensive conflict resolution strategy must be put in place (Bais & Huijser, 2005). The main reason is that, such strategies will not only solve the conflict but will also offer a framework for future resolution as well as assist in putting up guidelines to prevent future occurrence of such conflicts.
In order to resolve any conflict that may arise, the paper proposes a collaborative framework. In the strategy, a provision for a win-win situation is reached. Under the strategy, any conflict that arises shall be solved in a way that benefits both parties. In case of a high profile scenario where a client sues or raises an issue that may go to the judicial system for intervention, a more viable strategy would be a third party arbitration. The rationale behind this is to save company image and reach an amicable solution without go through unfamiliar judicial processes which may impose terse impacts on the company operations and way of doing things.
The conflicts that may arise from departments and amongst workers can be resolved through consensus meetings. Therefore, it is important that the company conduct regular meetings in order to assess employee relationships and establish as well as rectify any flaws as they may arise. Recognizing and incorporating local culture is equally paramount in order to avoid any conflicts that may result from adoption of a conflicting leadership style than that prevalent in the foreign country.
According to (Harvard Business Review, 2013), meetings serve as the core aspect of enhancing and monitoring employee performance. Furthermore, (Romano & Nunamaker, 2001) assert that meetings serve as a way in which employees get engaged thus increasing productivity, innovation, improving bottom-line performance and reducing costs related to retention and hiring.
The food industry forms one of the most sensitive service industries and therefore there is greater need to engage employees in order to ensure the company remains competitive. Therefore, there should be meetings organized daily among the employees in various departments. The departmental heads should head such meetings. In such meetings, any issues or challenges that might have risen in the course of the day are discussed and appropriate steps taken. The meetings should take approximately sixty minutes and should involve prior written memo informing the attendants when it should take place and the venues. In addition, team leaders should be chosen among the workforce.
Most of the subsidiaries are located in other regions where there is difference in time from the main company headquarters. This may present a communication challenge and needs proper management. Most of the multinational human resource executives are faced with proper management of time zones and this can derail key management decisions. However, technology has provide reprieve and people can now connect virtually, although there is still some reluctance to conduct face-to-face communication (Ananthram & Chan, 2013). One of the strategies to counter the difference in time zones is to have a number of team leaders trained in order to have “global mindset”. The trained leaders shall be able to acknowledge the different cultural settings and their competence regarding communication with the head office shall be enhanced. The burden on making contacts shall be shared among various teams from all the time zones. In addition, time consistency shall be adhered to in order to create convenience of communication.
Furthermore, in order to give more appreciation to the differences in time zones and culture, the team leaders or human resource executives should be rotated from one country to the other. Most of the meetings are held through calls from the head office and the head office executives should be able to conduct their meeting with the subsidiary personnel virtually in the subsidiary time zone.
Security, Emergency and Evacuation Procedures
Security remains a key issue for multinational firms. In order to achieve maximum security, emergency doors (fire safety) shall be provided within the premises. In addition, the necessary fire equipment and hot line numbers shall be provided so that in case of any emergency, assistance can be sought. The doors should be fitted in a way that allows easy escape in case of an emergency. Therefore, such doors should always open towards “outside” of the premises. A fire assembly points, shall be designated so that in case of any emergency, the workers shall assemble there for further directions and possible evacuation.
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