Shared learning’s from a PIU Audit

The last 6 months have been extremely busy where I undertook a trouble shooting project in Eastern Europe to help a manufacturing site achieve a Green Status for their next Tesco PIU audit.

Their previous status was double amber with the potential to hit red which in the Tesco PIU world could be a disaster for a site.

After a lot of pressure, mega stress and many many long hours we got our Tesco PIU audit last week. Everyone was delighted/relieved to see the site get a Green Status for the Tesco PIU Audit.

This project probably has been my most challenging but rewarding project in the last 4 years.

Personally although I have many years in the food industry you never stop learning.  Below is a brief summary of some of the  points I have taken from this project;

Management Commitment

Without  management commitment from the top in changing the culture then everything is just cosmetic and will eventually collapse. Throwing money at a problem will not resolve the issue it needs senior management to be committed to change and willing to support change.

It doesn’t matter how many consultants a company may employ if they are not committed to change then it won’t happen!! Generally the root cause of an issue can lie down in Management Commitment.

Communication is Key
Working in a cultural where English isn’t widely spoken created some major misunderstandings where I had asked for something to get done only to find out later that they did something entirely different(this happened a few times!!). It’s not enough telling someone what to do, you need to ensure they are actually understanding what you are telling them to do.

Another challenge in Communication is demanding different departments speak to each other and work together. Rather working in their separate Silo’s so to speak they must be dragged together to discuss issues and for everyone to agree the actions.

Sending an email to every man and his dog is not enough. In fact it’s a feeble excuse to say “But I emailed everyone”.

Communication is so essential. Never be scared to over communicate.

No Lone Rangers Out there.

To achieve a green status for a Tesco PIU audit is major challenge especially for a site on double amber. To achieve this task is not the job of one person ie the consultant or the poor technical manager. It has involve everyone on site from the cleaners, maintenance, transport and production operators right up to the Managing Director. Only team work will work and it is far more rewarding for everyone when they realized they all played a part.

Be the Best!!

Never go for second best, never be satisfied in having something there which you hope should get you through. But aim for excellence in everything. It will be a lot harder it will be exhausting but in the long term it will be worth it.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Quite an old saying now and sometimes there’s a danger it can be overused and be excuse in not getting things done. Things must happen. However in reality not everything can happen at the same time. The first opinion can be frustrating and give an overwhelming feeling. But being strategic and picking off the bigger issues first will enable the site to go in the right direction.


About ABurne

Andy Burne has worked in Technical Management for many years in the food industry. Now he is a certified BRC auditor and provides consultancy to the Food Industry.