Posted by William Mullane | December 5, 2016
Situation at BHS Specialty Chemicals
BHS Specialty Chemicals is a complete chemical manufacturer and distributor with full service capabilities to meet chemical requirements of the food industry. Established in 1998, BHS has grown to become a major member of the chemical supplier industry. BHS has a history of providing cleaning and sanitation products that touch all surfaces inside a food plant. BHS executives determined that adopting advanced food safety standards could create an opportunity to grow into the “food grade ingredients” sector of the industry. In order to become a trusted producer of food grade ingredients, BHS would need to initiate a cultural shift focused on raising the importance of food safety in the plant.
BHS began its journey to becoming a food grade manufacturer in the fall of 2010 when Heather Edwards was brought in from the food industry to focus on food safety standards. BHS knew it would need to master and implement the world’s toughest food safety standards as outlined in the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). BHS had been encouraged by a customer to seek the Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certification recognized as a rigorous, credible food safety management system. Heather brought in Jeff Kronenberg of
TechHelp and the University of Idaho School of Food Science to act as a sounding board and mentor. Heather built a strong food safety foundation by getting the entire staff certified in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). She then determined the resources and plant modifications needed to earn an SQF certification. Jeff provided a SQF workshop and outlined BHS’s SQF needs. Heather wrote the SQF plan and used Jeff as editor. Jeff helped identify and fix
gaps in the plan and conducted a pre-audit inspection to prepare BHS for the real thing.
- BHS “Aced” its demanding and intensive SQF Audit Certification.
- BHS earned a “Superior” score of 970 out of 1,000 on a subsequent AIB audit.
- Earning SQF and AIB certification helped BHS create confidence in its food grade ingredients, differentiate itself in the marketplace and ignite growth in new and existing markets that led to nearly $1M in new and retained sales.
- BHS hired four new employees to manage food safety programs and additional sales.
- BHS invested $18K in SQF training, audit preparation and the SQF audit itself.
- BHS made plant upgrades of $200K to improve operations and prepare for audits.
- BHS made an initial investment of $400K in a plant to handle new customer demand.
- BHS invested $7.5K in a new chemistry lab and alchemy software used for quality control and food safety testing.
- Today BHS offers one of the most complete chemical offerings to the industry through a powerful combination of SQF certified manufacturing, highly technical staff, modern laboratory facilities and quality distribution capabilities.