Director of Quality Assurance for the largest privately owned bakery in the United States, specializing in producing low-run product for major brands.
As the private label producer of baked goods for major brands, the company’s reputation relies on ensuring that each cracker and cookie it produces meets the taste, quality expectations and specifications of its customer’s brand.
With over 425 batches of dough, crème, muffins and filling produced every day, the need for absolute consistency in the finished product requires absolute precision in the process. At this volume, the company could no longer rely on the “art” of highly skilled workers to achieve the required consistency.
Company leadership wanted to shift the company from knowledge-driven behavior to data-driven behavior. They believed that real-time data, delivered via real-time statistical process control charts, was the key to this effort. This data would enable them to reduce variation at critical points in the process and thereby increase the consistency of processes, and ultimately, the finished product.
Hertzler Systems provided
We automated and expanded the company’s fledgling manual data system. Beginning in the packaging area, we expanded the deployment up-stream to all aspects of processing and baking. The system is fully integrated with other business systems (ERP and financials), and includes the delivery of critical product documentation such as photos of packaging and label details.
Empowering workers with real-time data has enabled the company to quickly identify inconsistencies. With readily-accessible data at all stages of the production process, workers are able to pinpoint the sources of problems and correct them rapidly. This has resulted in a positive shift in the company’s culture as these empowered workers take more responsibility and ownership for their processes.
Ultimately these systems have enabled the company to strengthen its niche as the expert in high-quality, low-volume production runs for major brands.
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