The drive toward healthier, more varied diets creates new opportunities to differentiate products and lead on quality
Food has for long been driven by safety standards. While safety remains the top priority, it is by no means the sole focus of producers’ improvement efforts.
As we move toward healthier choices we’re seeing new ingredients, new approaches and new competition for established brands.
Trying to scale up quality and efficiency, while shifting the nature of the product from heritage to new healthier and tastier options is a new challenge for food companies.
And the old challenges, like minimising waste and maintaining customer satisfaction, won’t disappear either.
Variation in raw materials is inevitable, but unacceptable in the processing from producer to plate
In the food supply chain it is the responsibility of the final processing company to make sure that suppliers minimum quality standards. While that satisfies regulators, it might not be enough for customers. Advantage and market dominance is to be found in bringing suppliers up to your level through continuous improvement.
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. Defective products increase costs, decrease cycle time, and reduce employee efficiency. Worse yet, there is a more chance that a defective part 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.