Food Quality & the Supply Chain

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Yet another major recall has been announced this past week, and this time it concerns food safety. Grain Craft, a supplier of milled wheat to food and baking companies in the US was found to have experienced potential cross contamination with peanut products at its mill in South Georgia. Although the company does not produce or process any peanut products at its facility, the cross contamination of the wheat with a peanut crop caused the company to issue a recall. This affected all customers who sell products containing the Grain Craft flour. Some of these products include Rold Gold pretzels, Hostess Ding Dongs and Zingers, and Hostess donuts. (Source)

The recall was voluntary and Grain Craft emphasized that they were acting out of extreme caution (see their full response to the recall here.) They have notified all of their customers and also discontinued the use of the wheat that was found to be potentially cross-contaminated with peanuts. Unfortunately, in this case there were still two people who had allergic reactions that resulted from the recalled flour in Hostess food products. (Source)

Grain Craft is a supplier to many different companies with a variety of products, which makes resolving this issue especially complex. This case highlights the importance of supply chain management and the quality of the relationships between suppliers and their customers. It is important for organizations, especially those that sell directly to consumers, to employ Total Quality Management (TQM) methods to ensure that all aspects of their business meet their quality demands.

The importance of quality in the food manufacturing industry cannot be overstated.


Transform & Improve

One way to ensure that suppliers are meeting quality needs is to abide by international standards, such as the ISO 9001:2015 standards. It is the organization’s responsibility to ensure that their suppliers are practicing quality methods and staying up to date on their continuous improvement efforts.

What mature, high-functioning, breakthrough companies usually discover is that to continuously improve processes, suppliers must eventually become integrated into their quality improvement initiatives. To fully reduce waste and variation in your processes, your suppliers must reduce the waste and variation in their processes, too. Defective products increase costs, decrease cycle time, reduce employee efficiency, and more. Even worse, there is a greater likelihood that one of the defective parts makes it into your inventory and is eventually passed on to a customer. Involving every aspect of the supply chain becomes a tremendous competitive advantage. Whether your suppliers improve their processes, or you drive down the number of your suppliers — or both — the ripple effect it has throughout your organization cannot be overstated.

If you need help with managing quality in your supply chain, Juran Global has solutions for you. Transforming an organization requires much more than a temporary fix. It takes a combination of talent, vision, experience, and a proven roadmap to make it happen. Select a firm that can help you deliver sustainable results — the kind that can help you build tomorrow’s success today. Get started today.

Author: Juran

For the past 75 years, Juran has been an industry leader in performance excellence. We are your on-demand team of trainers, coaches, and expert consultants. Built upon the philosophies laid out by Dr. Juran, the father of quality, we put you on the fast track to results by designing improvement initiatives that actually work. We aim to help all organizations achieve the highest quality of products, people, and processes, and we understand the importance of transferring our knowledge to your team to guarantee the success of your program in the future.

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