Keeping your cold chain operations compliant with health and safety standards can be challenging. Companies need to ensure their infrastructure lines up and that they’re able to provide a robust service.
But, of course, cold chain implementation is anything but easy. Firms can spend years refining their services before getting them right.
The trick here is to learn the shortcuts. Once you understand how a cold chain works properly, you’re in a much better position to implement it effectively in your business.
But what specifically should you be doing to ensure your operations are safe and compliant? Let’s take a look.
Assess Your Risk Level
One of the first tasks is to do a risk assessment to learn more about your cold chain’s hazards and threats. You want to find out where it could potentially go wrong, and how items could warm to unacceptable temperatures prior to delivery.
The best approach is to follow a shipment through transit or attach some sort of temperature monitoring technology to it. This way, you can see your vulnerabilities in real-time and deal with them.
If you are transporting inoculations, double check you are using the correct Covid vaccine fridge. Each vaccine requires different storage temperatures, based on manufacturer requirements.
Add A Quality Control System
At the same time, you’ll also want to add a quality control system with tight management oversight. Senior members of your organization should have a full 360-degree view of your operations and understand your pain points.
The purpose of a quality control system is to add policies and procedures that make it easier to guarantee the quality of the shipped goods. Ideally, the methods they implement should make it much more challenging for the cold chain to break. Ideally, there should be accountability throughout the chain of command, with everyone taking on some level of responsibility.
Only Use Validated Equipment
Poor-quality equipment can sometimes indicate a healthy cold chain even when none exists. Many companies have poorly-calibrated equipment telling them their systems are optimal when they aren’t.
Check all your measuring sticks are robust. Avoid any situation where you rely on metrics that don’t reflect true conditions in your transportation units. Get external firms to verify your temperature measurements using more advanced and reliable equipment if necessary.
Educate Your Staff
You should also consider the human side of your business. Staff plays an outsized role in maintaining cold chain conditions and ensuring shipments reach their destination without issues.
Employees should fully understand the value of monitoring goods at all times and ensuring low temperatures persist, even on hot days. They should also be aware of handling and packaging procedures to ensure that goods do not warm dangerously during transit. If carrying by hand, thick insulating carry totes should be used.
Make Your System More Traceable
Finally, you should make your cold chain solution more traceable so clients can feel confident that their shipments arrived in optimal conditions. Using RFID and NFC tracking can help enormously because these devices can communicate additional information besides product identifications.