The Alerts feature in Safefood 360° allows you to configure an ‘Alert’ based upon event criteria which you define. Have you ever wanted to be notified by email when a corrective action falls overdue by 3 days? Or have a notice on your dashboard when a fail result is recorded on a specific PRP? Or even have your boss notified by SMS when a high risk complaint is recorded?! Alerts allows you to do this and much much more.
Only Site Administrators can actually configure and manage alerts however you can specify anybody to receive alerts including members of your team, your suppliers, your customers and organizations.
How to configure Alerts (Video)
1. Add Alert Criteria
The first step in creating an Alert is to define the Alert Criteria. In essence what you are doing here is defining criteria and conditions which if met will result in the Alert firing.
- Select the folder under which you can categorize the alert.
- Select the Module for which you wish to generate the Alert.
- Select the Record for which it will be configured for.
- Select the Risk of the record. Select ‘Any’ if you are not concerned with Risk. Bear in mind many records do not have a risk such as those in Management Review in which case you should select ‘Any’.
- Next select the Record Stage when the Alert will be configured. All records in Safefood 360° are broken into a series of logical stages, or steps. Simply select the most relevant stage.
- Now select the Status of that Record Stage. If you want the alert to fire when something has been completed then select ‘Closed’ otherwise select ‘Open’.
- Select the number of days that this stage should be either ‘Open’ or ‘Closed’ before the Alert is fired.
- Finally for certain records you can define additional conditions. Firstly, you select the Condition type which will always be relevant to that specific record stage.
- Then select the condition value.
The definition of the alert criteria is sequential and logical. The example above can be seen simply as telling the system; “Alert me as soon as an Audit of any Risk has been completed and where a critical non-conformance was found”.
2. Add Alert Details
The next step is to define who gets notified and how they are notified once the Alert is fired.
- You can state precisely what you want to say in the Alert description. This is what the contact will see on their dashboard, email or SMS. We recommend that you keep this short and to the point.
- Choose the contact(s) you would like to be notified of this Alert.
- Select Dashboard to have the Alert show up on the contacts ‘My Alerts’ dashboard (assuming they are a user of Safefood 360°).
- Select Email to have the Alert emailed to them. The Email will include a direct link to the record in question.
- Select SMS if you would like the Alert sent to the contacts phone by a SMS text message. The text is limited to 160 characters so ensure your message is shorter than that, the parts of the message that exceed 160 characters will not be displayed.
- Select Push to have the Alert sent to your iOS/Android compatible device as a ‘Push Notification’. You will receive an email with a download link to install a free App onto your smartphone (which only has to be done once). After this you will receive push notifications straight to your phone as they happen.
Note that for both the Email and SMS options you must ensure that your contact in Safefood 360° (Employees, Customers, Suppliers or Organizations) have a valid email address and/or cell phone number (with the international dialing code). The format of the phone number should be as you dial it internationally e.g. 0016463600210 or +16463600210.
Once all contact details are up to date and the above steps in the example have been taken your alert is fully set up, defined, and ready to go live. Click save and now anytime the criteria and conditions listed are met the Alert will trigger and your contacts will be notified.
3. How you can use Alerts
There are many ways you can use Alerts right now, and many more ways you can use them as we expand their capabilities. Here are some examples uses which you can get started with straight away.
Issuing work orders
One of the most anticipated uses for Alerts is to issue work instructions to certain members of your team as events unfold throughout your site.
A very simple example is the Customer Complaints Record. The Complaints Record is broken out into two stages, the first stage records the high level complaint information and also the specific details about that complaint. Very often companies will assign an administrator or a more junior member of staff to complete this part. The second and final stage is the review of that complaint where a manager will check all details of the complaint and determine how that complaint should be handled, and whether Corrective Action is required or not.
By defining an Alert you can easily notify the relevant manager each time the first stage of the complaint record is completed. If you opt for either the email or dashboard method of notification then the Alert will include a direct link to the Complaint Record thus saving time and ensuring work is completed efficiently.
Other work order examples include;
- Alerting managers when a cleaning verification needs to be conducted
- Alerting your Pest Contractor when a Pest Control or Inspection is due
- Alerting your Micro-testing lab to upload their results to a Micro test record
- Alerting your glass auditor that a high risk glass audit is overdue
- … the list goes on.
Another potential use for Alerts is to notify certain individuals when important or critical events occur throughout your system. For example, you may have a company policy which requires a senior manager to intervene whenever a critical non-conformance is found on an internal audit, or when a high risk customer complaint is recorded. Or you might want your crisis team notified when a Recall or Withdrawal is initiated. And you might want your Maintenance manager alerted when a machine which maintenance just serviced could not be released to production because it did not pass verification.
Again, there is a wide array of potential uses to immediately alert relevant people when important events occur within your food safety system.
A great use for Alerts is to simply remind people that they need to complete work that may have fallen overdue. Taking the Complaint Record again as an example, it is possible to add an additional Alert but define the Status as being ‘Open’ for 3 days. Essentially this is a reminder to the manager 3 days later to make sure that they review and close-out the complaint (if it is not already closed out).
You can also create an alert to remind people to complete Corrective Actions when their individual action deadlines have been exceeded by a certain time. You might want the Production Manager to be reminded to organize disposal of nonconforming and quarantined product and to complete their non-conformance record.
Alerts is an ongoing process that is continuously being redefined and updated. If you have any suggestions or feedback please send it in through the various support channels so that we can continue to increase the value that this feature can provide you.