manufacturing in ohio

Manufacturing Month – Celebrating Manufacturing in Ohio

Manufacturing Month has “formally” ended, but the conclusion of the month does not mean the fun ends! Ohio is a historically Midwestern, manufacturing state producing $122.2 billion worth of goods, ranking it third in the nation after California and Texas! The future of economic development and growth for the State is built around attracting and retaining companies (employers!) who will make and build amazing things.

Ohio is one of the nation’s leading sources for primary and fabricated metal products, plastic, rubber and non-metallic mineral products, electrical equipment and appliances, and motor vehicles and associated parts, trailers, bodies and accessories. What can’t Ohioans produce?

Ohio made 4.8 percent of the total US’s manufacturing output in 2018. Because manufacturing represents nearly one-fifth of the Buckeye state’s GDP – contributing more than $112 billion a year, more than any other sector.

Northwest Ohio has been working to develop and manage their workforce through initiatives in automation, LEAN education, training and future workforce initiatives. Having served the food, agriculture and industrial manufacturing and processing industries for over 25 years, CIFT recognized the need for a strong focus on the future careers in industry and working with the tools and technology to help develop prospective and future workforce.

While we are celebrating all that manufacturing brings to Ohio and Northwest Ohio, specifically in October for Manufacturing Month, the opportunities to bring manufacturing alive anytime are still available. There are several websites educators, parents and those interested can pull from – the audience really being students and teachers in 6-12th grade to connect them to careers in manufacturing:

How important is manufacturing in Ohio?

COVID-19 proved to all of us the importance of our manufacturing capabilities. It is a great honor and challenge inspiring the next generation of the workforce to gain the skills and knowledge to work in manufacturing. If you are a school district looking for a food or general manufacturing perspective for your career tech advisory council, we would love to assist. If you are a manufacturer looking to implement LEAN or automation initiatives to improve workflow and careers for your operation and staff, we look forward to assisting there as well.


Why GFSI Certification or Other 3rd Party Audits?

Smaller food businesses often have challenges obtaining prime shelf space in the retail market. Just think how many options there are in the grocery store you visit most frequently. As a smaller business with a great product, how can you get on the shelf by other competing products?

It’s not as simple as convincing the buyer of how great your product is. That’s only a small stepping stone to potentially get conversations going. Once a buyer is interested, they are going to provide you with a long list of requirements that your company will need to meet prior to further consideration. 

At the top of that list will be food safety requirements and usually GFSI certification will be listed. After all, retail stores have to ensure the products they’re selling are safe for their customers. In reality, the likelihood of retailers investing time and resources in pulling recalled products off their shelves is minimal (which, in return, you as the business owner will most likely be responsible for covering those costs).

According to over 150,000 GFSI-recognized program certificates have been issued in 162 countries and GFSI requirements are increasingly being required as a prerequisite to doing business with other manufactures or retail stores.

But how does one become GFSI compliant?

  1. Select a Program
    1. Decide which GFSI recognized certification program best meets your product needs. Is it SQF, BRCGS, FSSC 22000, Primus GFS or another approved program? Your future clients may also drive which program you choose. Then obtain a copy of your selected program’s standards.
  2. Conduct a Gap Assessment
    1. Review your food safety programs and those required by the standard. Identify all gaps that need to be filled.
  3.  Prepare for Audit
    1. Review all current programs and build and implement missing programs identified in gap assessment to meet the standard. Utilize outside resources where needed.
  4. Select a Certification Body for Audit
    1. Identify a certification body that is certified to audit against your selected program. Contact them to discuss and begin the certification process. 
  5.  Maintain Audit Certification
    1. Ensure programs are maintained and improved upon yearly to meet the requirements. Conduct recertification audit before expiration of certificate.

Obtaining certification can be a lengthy process depending on how many gaps were identified in your initial gap assessment. It takes the entire management team to be onboard to make the process successful, but with successful completion of the certification process, it can open the door to many possibilities.  

CIFT offers a complimentary GFSI assessment with no strings attached.