Reposi Trak offers programs designed to help retailers protect their interests. BY SETH MENDELSON
IS THE RETAIL WORLD a more dangerous place? Officials at Reposi Trak not only think so, they believe the risk for retailers and wholesalers in terms of protecting the food supply is going to quickly and dramatically increase over the next few years.
That is why the Salt Lake City-based company, formed about three years ago, is offering the trade a number of programs designed
to help protect their interests across a wide
range of areas.
“Yes, this is becoming a much more risky
place to do business in,” says Randy Fields,
chairman of the company. “The rules are
changing and retailers and wholesalers are
in a position where their liability can greatly
increase even if they didn’t make the product.
The so-called ‘strict liability’ issue puts the
onus on retailers to prove they did not know
that there was a problem with merchandise in
Fields, who has been involved with the
supermarket industry since the 1970s and
brought Mrs. Fields cookies to the market-
place, says that Reposi Trak can help retailers
avoid many of these issues through the use of
two components: Compliance Management
and Track & Trace.
Fields says that the compliance management system helps retailers reduce their risk
and comply with government regulations by
receiving, storing and sharing required documents. The problem, he notes, is that no one
had a handle on what
suppliers were doing in
the supply chain and
whether they were living
up to their obligations.
“We have found that
no one really has a han-
dle on what their sup-
plier partners are about
in terms of verifying what they say they are
doing,” Fields says. “Our compliance manage-
ment system is designed to be a verification
step for retailers and wholesalers to make sure
that their suppliers are doing what they say
they are doing and are operating within the
boundaries of their business rules. It makes
sure that the suppliers are up to specs.”
Compliance deadlines for preventive con-
trols, the first two of seven rules within the
Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
are set for September, making it even more
imperative that retailers closely watch their
supplier pipeline, from the very beginning
at farms and processing plants to when the
products arrive at warehouses and stores.
“With FSMA, there are legal reasons to have
this monitoring,” Fields adds. “The FDA and
the Department of Justice has said they will
prosecute, if necessary.”
ReposiTrak’s second program, Track &
Trace, enables retailers to monitor prod-
ucts as they move through the supply chain.
ReposiTrak can utilize data from
existing documents, such as delivery receipts, invoices and bills
of lading. The program can help
determine the scope of a recall
using a geographical supply chain
map and do such things as locate a
product, provide the producer, the
production facility and what batch or lot number are associated with the documented batch.
ReposiTrak was formed as a result of a
breakfast between Fields, who leads Park
City Group, and Michael Leavitt, a former
Secretary of Health & Human Services. “They
knew about food safety and we knew about
technology to help supermarkets,” Fields says.
“Together we were confident that we could
offer the trade a company that can help solve
their food safety needs.”
Demand for ReposiTrak’s services should
only grow. Fields says that antibiotic-resistant
viruses are becoming more commonplace and
that could lead to potential issues. “This is a
very important moment in time for the retail
world,” he notes. “Everyone today must be in
risk management. Retailers have historically
trusted their suppliers with the supply chain.
Now with the implementation of FSMA and
increased litigation, we have to do a lot more.
We have to see the evidence to support the
trust.” Randy Fields is chairman of Reposi Trak.
ReposiTrak can utilize data from
existing documents, such as deliv-production facility and what batch or lot num-