At DMK Deutsches Milchkontor GmbH, quality, product safety, and employee protection are top priorities. This includes continuously improving environmental protection and occupational safety, beyond simple compliance with laws and regulations. Since 2012, the dairy has made use of Quentic’s online solutions to support its hazardous substance management efforts. Using Quentic’s software, DMK can flexibly integrate users and manage all working materials and hazardous substances within a central system. The registry of hazardous substances is digitally linked to associated documents such as safety data sheets or operating instructions. In this way, DMK not only reduces the effort it spends organizing data, but also ensures legally-solid compliance with the relevant laws and standards.
With around 7,700 employees at more than 20 locations in Germany, the Netherlands and other international hubs, Germany's largest dairy cooperative processes milk into food of the highest quality. The product portfolio ranges from cheese, dairy products and ingredients to baby food, ice cream and health products. Brands such as MILRAM, Oldenburger, Uniekaas, Alete and Humana enjoy great trust among consumers and make the company a constant in its home and selected target markets around the globe.
Starting in 2011, when Humana Milchindustrie GmbH and Nordmilch GmbH merged to form DMK Group, the company’s administrative efforts began to rise rapidly. Each department and plant recorded working materials and hazardous substances in separate Excel sheets, lacking even a central template. The result? Vast amounts of data were incompatible in terms of content and structure. In addition, all operating instructions regarding the changeover from the Hazardous Substance Ordinance to the CLP Ordinance had to be revised. Torsten Gutowski, Workplace Safety Specialist and Hazardous Substances Officer at DMK, explains: “We faced the task of centralizing and standardizing the registers of hazardous substances for 26 separate plants. There was no end to the spreadsheets. Using professional software provided us with extreme relief.”
As part of the company-wide rollout of Quentic, data from 280 suppliers and about 1,900 hazardous substances were imported into the system. In the meantime, 3,500 working materials and substances were being centrally managed by the database: materials like oils, fats, laboratory chemicals, cleaners, aerosol cans, paints, and substances from kosher or halal products. Each substance in the hazardous substances register is linked to relevant documents like safety data sheets, operating instructions, or NSF certificates. Today, DMK manages more than 9,000 documents via Quentic.
Centralized database and document control provide numerous time and organizational advantages. The central workplace safety specialist creates new operating instructions, updates obsolete safety data sheets, and makes them available to their colleagues in the plants. DMK hazardous materials officers automatically receive up-to-date documents, instead of needing to update them manually for their location as was the case before. By centrally administering these documents, each hazardous substances officer saves about an hour of time per instruction document. All documents are created according to a universal template and structure. By utilizing these steps, the workload for the plants has been significantly reduced.
Two main administrators are responsible for mapping the DMK corporate structure and authorizations into the Quentic software. For each plant, one hazardous substance officer has write permissions and enters the data for his or her location into the software. Reading rights are held by about 900 people, with each person only able to view information relevant to their area of responsibility.
Quentic also supports DMK in the area of environmental impacts. The clean documentation in the system supports certification according to ISO 50001 (energy management system) and ISO 14001 (environmental management system). DMK also scores well in audits. “External auditors know that we’re using this software to manage our hazardous substances, so now they only ask a couple questions about hazardous substance management—they know everything works very well,” says Torsten Gutowski.
Since 2012 DMK Deutsches Milchkontoris using the following Quentic modules:
- Quentic Core
- Hazardous Materials
“In the past, we didn’t capture nearly as much data about our management of hazardous substances because we just didn’t have the time. Today, everyone wants to store all the data they can in Quentic because of how convenient and efficient it is. Everything is centrally stored in a secure, yet easy-to-find way, like in a sophisticated online media library.”