At this time of year, we like to look back over what’s happened during the year and share this with you in our Christmas article. As a community, we feel we’ve achieved alot in terms of helping and supporting each other and this continues to grow. Thanks to all of you for your support, we’re looking forward to making 2020 even better!

January

We had a strong start to the year and launched our no frills jobs page on the website – as a trial to see how it was received.

It’s been received really well and seems to be working, so we’re currently in the progress of developing this part of our website to make it better. You’ll be able to sign up for notifications when new jobs are advertised and lots of other clever functions.

February

BRC Food Issue 8 went live!  Our Issue 7 to Issue 8 Conversion Courses went down a treat – we got so much great feedback about the lesson guide, many of you have used it as your bible for working through the changes to get ready for your first Issue 8 audit. It’s really great to hear from techie’s who have passed their audit with flying colours, having used our training to do it!

March

The lovely Tessa joined us in March and became our specification and legal specialist. We think Tessa is actually super woman in disguise as she has 6 kids and home schools them all, as well as working full time!

April

We created our first ‘interactive’ post, after a site asked us to help them find out what a foreign body was that they’d received as a complaint. The post was called ‘Can you identify this UFO foreign body?’ and with the power of our amazing community of techie’s – it was solved in a (must be) record breaking 15 minutes!

You’ve all got really involved this year, which is amazing. It’s really important to us, that you share your knowledge and experience with other techies, as we truly believe we’re a force to be reckoned with, if we stick together and help each other. Please continue to comment on the articles and share what you know and how you feel about subjects we’ve written about.

Our resident Geek Steph joined us in April. Steph loves the outdoors and is also known as Doctor Dolittle – take a look at these funny videos!

Steph is also our IT bod and has been working hard on updating our website to make it even better. We want the website to be really easy for you to use and specifically, so you can find what you’re looking for quickly and easily. We’re really excited about our new look website, we hope you love it as much as we do when you see it!

May

On 2nd May 2019 it was a huge day for us, as we had our first Techni-K baby!  Louise had the gorgeous Sylvie!

June

In June we launched the first of our best practice courses – Internal Auditing. We’re going to keep developing these, so that eventually we have a best practice course for each and every topic. We’re really proud of this first course, we put our heart and soul into it and we think it shows – we’re confident we can say it’s the best, best practice internal auditing course out there!

We also welcomed the arrival of two new additions to our team of consultants, Silas and Nike joined us, and we became a small but very mighty team of eleven!

July

Snoopy our office puppy arrived.

He’s a Cavalier King Charles and it’s lovely having him in our office every day. As you can imagine, we’ve had to puppy-proof the office and have spent alot of time chasing him around but now he’s settled into our routine he absolutely charming – even if he does occasionally go rogue!

August

Issue 6 of the BRC Packaging Standard was published on 1st August and the countdown started to go live in February 2020. As the food conversion course was such a success, we decided to do a conversion course for packaging. Little did we know that it would become one of our biggest courses, as it includes the changes for basic hygiene sites as well – which all of the other courses out there have forgotten about. We definitely felt when we came through the other side of creating it, that it was well worth the hours we put into it and really hope it helps those out that that need some help.

September

We had highs and lows this month…

As for the highs – I tentatively asked if you would be willing to share your NCN data with us, so we could use it for trending. I really didn’t expect the response we got – which was a resounding yes!  So, we quickly hopped to it and added a form to the website for you to fill out and used this information to provide you with real time data, on which NCNs are the most common. Currently it’s only available for food audits, but come February we’ll be doing the same for packaging audits too, ready for Issue 6 NCN results.

The form and the way the data is provided to you is a bit clunky at the moment, as we’ll need to develop something bespoke probably to ensure you can view the data in a much more user friendly manner. But at least it’s out there and can be used, and we’ll put plans in place to develop something better for you, for the future.

The low, was when we went to the FDF Awards where we were nominated for Emerging Business.  We didn’t win (boo) but we had a good night out (yay!). Back in July we also spent a great deal of time putting in an entry together for our level 2 courses, for the Training Awards at the Food Manufacture Awards. We found out in September, that unfortunately, we were not selected as a finalist. After quite a lot of requests for feedback about our submission (apparently, they don’t normally give feedback) turns out that unless you’re a manufacturer, you’re not a good fit for these type of awards!

Which got me thinking… 
Being a techie is a pretty thankless task.  We know about it when things are going wrong, but when things are going well – it’s rare that we’re told how well we’re doing. Wouldn’t it be great if we had our own awards?  Awards that are just for techies! An awards where we can use all the lessons we learnt (as in – how not to manage an awards process) to make the process really transparent and clear – so watch this space!

October

We launched our Issue 5 to Issue 6 Conversion Course for BRC Packaging and it’s gone down a storm so far. For the first time, we also provided the training as distance learning, so that you can learn by reading and still get a certificate for what you’ve learnt, if you want one.

Our amazing Barbara also received an MBE in October for her services to food nutrition – so now the Techni-K team has royalty in their midst!

November

We set off in January with 6,000 subscribers to Techni-K Smart Knowledge and in November, we hit 8,000! We’ve got such an amazing community with all of our techie’s – it’s been amazing this year how engaged everyone has been and all the comments you’ve put on the articles.  It’s lovely to see that you’re sharing information and helping one another.

The planners arrived this month – can you believe this is our 4th year of doing them! This year we couldn’t decide on which theme to go with and so we asked you. The result was so close we ended up doing both – because we didn’t want to disappoint literally half of you!  Serves us right for asking! 😊

Here’s the links in case you still haven’t picked up your copy yet: Classic Planner and Retro Planner

December

After all the hard work creating and launching the BRC Packaging Conversion course, this month we dedicated our time to creating documentation packs for the Issue 6 Standard as we wanted to provide the level of support for the Standard that we have given to the Food Standard. We’re hoping our packs for Packaging Standard are well received and save sites loads of time!

This year we asked our clients to complete a feedback form for us and we’d like to share the results with you – good and bad.  We don’t believe in hiding anything, and we believe there’s always room for improvement – so we want to share our improvement plans with you.

What’s in store for 2020…

In January we are launching our new website, which will have loads of really cool functions which will allow you to get exactly what you need quickly.  You’ll be able to…
  • Find what you want easily and quickly from the home page.
  • You’ll be able to tell us what you’re looking for – as in which Standard you’re working to and then also you’ll be able to pick what topic or clause. We’ll then give you all of the articles, products and training related to what you need.
  • You’ll also be able to type into a search field and as you type the website will start showing you a list of possible results (like you get when you search in Google) – so you can pick the one you want if it appears.
  • Get updates automatically on article comments
  • If you add a comment to an article, you’ll be able to tell us if you’d like to be notified if other people comment. If someone replies to your comment on an article, you’ll also be able to reply back to them in your email and when you send the email, your comment will automatically be added to the article on the website – so you don’t even know to hop over to the website to do it.

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