Since taking over as vice-president of administration at AIB two years ago, Gary L. Skrdlant has seen many changes in the industry, not the least of which has been the expanding role of government in the area of food safety.
Led by the introduction of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, the governmental role has become “much more pronounced in the food safety business than at any time in history,” Mr. Skrdlant said.
“In an ever-increasingly litigious society, food safety becomes much more pronounced,” he said. “This is a benefit to the food safety industry since the general populace becomes more sensitive to food illnesses. It also exposes food safety providers to more litigation even when audits have been performed in a diligent manner.”
With its expertise in the area, AIB is well positioned to be a significant resource for individuals and companies looking for insight as government’s role grows,” he said.
Mr. Skrdlant said the ability to work closely with the AIB staff to help them solve various problems they are facing in an international marketplace has been one of the biggest positives since he assumed his position.
“The staff overall is of very high quality and are vested in doing what is right for both AIB and the customer,” he said.
Financial “health” is always a matter of great interest for the administrative department at AIB. Revenue was solid and met expectations although costs, especially those incurred in meeting the ongoing need to expand GFSI capabilities, were higher than planned. There were several bright areas of performance, including food labeling and many international markets.
As always, the key for AIB now and in the future remains its ability to adapt, he said.
“AIB has been adapting to the change from predominantly GMP audits toward more GFSI audits,” he said. “This adaptation process is well under way and continued process efficiency is being emphasized.”
He added, “Adaptability will be the key to our success in the future. We have adapted to reflect many new processes and markets in the last few years. We see the substantial growth in international markets and in GFSI audits.”
Another area of interest for the administration department is facility upgrades. Mr. Skrdlant said most of the major upgrades scheduled for AIB’s facilities in 2013 will be to the infrastructure.