OU Direct, the six-part website which OU Certified companies use to manage their accounts, became even more direct today with the enhancement of Online Ingredient Automation. This newest feature will enable companies to easily manage their Schedule A’s and add ingredients via the web – avoiding the paperwork that registering these ingredients used to entail.
Companies will be notified by e-mail within six business hours if their applications have been accepted or if further review is necessary. The ingredients are then available for view and printing on the company’s Schedule A (ingredient listing per plant).
The website, http://www.oudirect.org, includes each company’s Schedules A and B (Schedule B lists a company’s products); Letters of Certification (LOC) affirming that a product is certified kosher by the OU; a financial overview of the company’s account; applications for new plants, products and ingredients; variations of the famed OU symbol for use on labels; and the OU’s Universal Kosher Database (UKD), which contains a record of tens of thousands of products that are certified by the OU and participating kosher certifying agencies.
Now, with the development of the Online Ingredient Application, OU Direct has advanced even further in its state of the art capabilities.
“OU Direct has been extremely well received by our certified companies,” declared Rabbi Moshe Elefant, Chief Operating Officer of OU Kosher, who has played a major role in the development of OU Direct. “In our constant aim to better service our clients and to enhance our kosher certification programs, this new attractive feature on OU Direct will make those goals even more achievable.”
The operation of the Online Ingredient Application is very easy and provides the following benefits:
• Using very simple screens, the company applies for ingredients;
• Clients can select from thousands of OU approved ingredients on the Universal Kosher Database. The UKD contains close to 340,000 approved ingredients with more being added all the time. All products found on the UKD have been approved for use by the OU.
• Clients with multiple plants may view and select approved ingredients from their current Schedule A’s and attach them to their other facilities.
• Clients may apply for new ingredients by using a simple web form.
• Ability to upload attachments in various formats
Each ingredient is processed based on a series of validations and is either approved for use or referred to the OU Kosher rabbinic coordinator assigned to the company for further review. Companies will be notified via e-mail on the status of each ingredient. Newly applied-for ingredients will appear on the Schedule A within six business hours. The updated Schedule A can then be viewed on OU Direct.
The OU Direct Help Desk is available by phone or e-mail for any questions regarding the website. In addition, a Help Manual with instructions on how to utilize and take full advantage of the OU Direct website is available online.
The new feature is now up and running and available for use by the thousands of satisfied OU certified companies.