RECAP! This is part of our four-part series that addresses the following questions: Part 1: What is the role of the FDA? Part 2: What makes a GMP facility? Part 3: What are the principles of HACCP? Part 4: What is SGS certification?
In Part 2, we discussed the 5 Ps of GMP. However, there is perhaps a sixth P that is just as important: Proof.
Ensuring compliance with GMPs is essential for product safety and quality. Regardless of what regulations may say or companies may claim, people want to see proof. Although certification is not required by the FDA, many retailers and distributors require GMP certification before carrying or promoting dietary supplements. Additionally, adherence to GMPs instills consumer confidence.
The FDA inspects facilities for compliance, and they have enforcement authority to take action when necessary. But responsible manufacturers recognize the need for further transparency and verification. For instance, MT Brands maintains certification through Society General Surveillance (SGS), an independent third-party organization.
SGS is the global leader in testing, inspection, and certification. They perform MT Brands’ inspections and provide our GMP and HACCP certification. This process involves an on-site audit by a team of certified auditors who evaluate the facility, processes, employees, and documentation. The audit assesses compliance with relevant regulations and standards. Upon successful completion of the audit, SGS issues a certificate that is valid for a specified period and requires ongoing surveillance audits to maintain certification.
SGS certification is well known and respected across multiple industries worldwide. Companies seeking certification should work with a reputable certification partner such as SGS to ensure they meet the necessary requirements and standards.
Our operational leadership at MT Brands has a long and strong background in pharmaceutical manufacturing. With this knowledge and experience, they have incorporated that industry’s stringent standards into our own company’s dietary supplement manufacturing processes. Therefore, not only does MT Brands strictly adhere to all regulations for the dietary supplement industry, but we even go above and beyond those requirements to truly offer safe, quality products.
For instance, we have adopted a Lean Management approach modeled after the Toyota Motor Corporation’s revolutionary manufacturing methodology. Toyota Lean Management, also known as the Toyota Production System, focuses on the concept of kaizen, or continuous improvement. This involves constantly striving to improve work processes, identifying areas where improvement is needed and making small incremental changes to address those issues. The entire workforce is involved in this process, empowering all employees to identify and solve problems, not just management.
The foundation of the kaizen philosophy is known as 5s:
Another critical aspect of Toyota Lean Management is the elimination of waste. Examples of waste include excessive inventory, overproduction, defects, and unnecessary motion. The goal of eliminating waste is to improve efficiency while maintaining quality.
By implementing Lean Management strategies and providing all employees with the training, mentoring, and support needed to succeed, we demonstrate our operational excellence. Not only do we seek continuous improvement in our work processes, but we also strongly encourage professional development among our staff. For instance, members of our management team have achieved Lean Six Sigma certification, with our Director of Operations leading the way as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Unfortunately, not all companies even meet the minimum standards, let alone going the extra mile. These companies need to be avoided. Retailers and distributors should always verify that their suppliers are certified. If not, then they should not do business with them at all.
Consistent manufacturing practices result in consistent products that the consumer can always trust. That is ultimately why all this matters, as consumers should have faith in what they put into their bodies.
At MT Brands, we have worked hard to earn that trust. And we have the certifications to prove it.