When the products are made without any errors in production the product performs very well. The product is perceived to be above average flavor and quality. It is able to accomplish a desirable flavor but still maintain a serving size with: a low sodium context under 150mg; fat content at 0 g on 98% of products, sugars on average 0 to 1g.; fiber content on average 6 g. The products perform poorly when these common errors occur in production: adding too much salt, over/under cooking, packing bags while still warm. Condensation on the bags they are packaged in decreases shelf like up to 80%.
Other errors in production such as: inaccurate starter, inaccurate molding, and over proofing effect the final product, but when these errors occur the product is considered not sellable, and discarded. The performance of ingredients specifically the flour can effect the performance of the product. There is variability between flour crops that can affect the amount of hydration required to make the dough. The conducts test bakes with any new flour to test the quality and performance of it. If the quality is not superior, they will attempt to modify their formulas to adjust to the hydration requirements, or they will not use that specifics crop supply of flour.
Before the commencement of the audit on A Bread Affair the company did not log the amount of product that was lost due to poor quality, or the factors that resulted in poor quality. Their unofficial system of tracking errors in production that led to poor quality was this: product is identified as not meeting quality standards; team lead or the person responsible for the error writes a not to owner of what happened, often including the amount of product lost; owner review notice of production error; owner discards note and discusses with production team lead.
After the audit on the company began we strong advised them to: log errors in production (referred to as incidents), calculate cost of errors, and monitor for patterns.
Here is a result of one and half months of recording errors in production creating products that do not meet quality and are consider scrap.
Have color photos of each product that can be used as a guide to what a superior quality product looks like. This should be done for the proofing and baking stages. A visual guide will be beneficial when deciding if the quality of the bread meets the standards and not rely on intuition or memory. This is also very beneficial for employees training at these stations. The visual guide should be kept at the station and easily attainable.
Set a minimum temperature for the bags to reach when cooling before packaging. The company can use regular kitchen thermometers to check the temperature. The department responsible for checking the temperature would be the order fulfillment department. This would be the first step in the process of packaging the products
The process for designing new breads usually starts by receiving customer feedback of market needs. The organizational members involved in the conceptualization of any new products involve the two owners of the company. The company also creates products made to customer specification as part of the food service products.
The company has outlined that the design of products for wholesale customers and food service customers varies slightly and has been described below.
i. Conceptualization of the idea: Analyzing the bakery’s capacity/strategies, and customer feedback ii. Elimination of alternative product ideas iii. Business Analysis: availability of resources, cost and profit projections iv. Sources Resources
v. Concept testing: involves the owners (and customers – Food service Only) vi. Create formulas: Using the desired end weight, calculate the inputs requires vii. Test Bake: Create a prototype and receive feedback from production department and customer viii. Adjust formulas and Test Bake 2 if necessary
ix. Customer trial and feedback (Food service only)
x. Calculate nutritional information, and obtain UPC code xi. Incorporate new product into production
Quality Function Deployment
The number one characteristic of the products that drive their competitive advantage and fulfills customer requirements is taste. Following taste (with a rating of 5 points), and rated highest to lowest is the following:
* Healthy (4 points)
* Long Shelf Life (4 points)
* Local Ingredients (3 points)
* Organic (3 points)
* Vegan (1 point)
The integration of the customer and technical product requirements for the products: Okanagan Apple Bread, and 100 Mile Bread, have been organized and presented in a House Of Quality Chart below.
Development time for products on average is three weeks from conceptualization of idea to commercialization. Revision intervals of formulas must allow for a minimum of three days, and each new product ranges from two too three revisions. Approximately 60% of the development time is conceptualization of the idea, idea feedback, and sourcing ingredients.
The company analyzes the performance of new products:
-Fulfilling customer needs
Production Performance For the products to be cost efficient the product cannot require a lot of flexibility with the equipment and machinery available. Oven temperature, and mixing composition must be congruent to products already in production. Products are also required to meet an undefined target for ingredient commonality.
Fulfilling customer needs
Before products are ready for sale, the ability to fulfill customer needs are measured and analyzed for performance approval. Important performance measures are: taste, shelf life, appearance, availability, and cost.
Unit Product Cost
The company budgets each unit cost and if the product cannot be produced within the budgeted range the new product will not be produced for sale. The per unit cost budget range is $.34 to $.41.
Minimizing unit costs is achieved by developing the required skill set in the production team, and familiarizing with the product; thus increasing efficiency.
All products must be approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) before being approved for commercialization.
To remain certified organic all products must approved by Canadian Organic Office.
Improvements to Quality
The quality of the product is often improved through collaboration between the head baker, and the production team. Changing suppliers of inputs and adjusting formulas are the major and ongoing adjustments in the product design that can improve quality. Integrating the Voice of the Customer
-Feedback from Out Door Public Market
-Front of House employees
On going research and development conducted on current/new products
Apple Quinoa Bread – Production accident yielded a superior product and replaced form Apple Quinoa bread
Gluten Free product – tried it but did no want to enter the market with it
Communication of Product design
-Add new product to formulas
-Communicate that there is a new product
Products are for the bakery retail store, wholesale customers, and for public markets, are made to stock. For food service customers, and specialty one time orders products are made to order. 95% of products are produced in a batch process with many characteristics of a flow shop, and 5% produced for specialty orders in a project process design.
The current design process allows for:
* 50 to 1000 units of each product per day
* 2 to 5 minutes set up time between products
* Few process routes with many repetitive steps
* Many different products, that have very similar process design
* High degree of skill
Flexibility in process designs is in enabled through:
* Shape ie. pan, round, batard, baguette, bun
* Time required for oven baking
* Preferment and proofing (1 to 3 day flexibility)
The characteristics listed above are able to attain a level of flexibility while maintaining cost efficiencies on both low and medium volumes.
All processes for production are performed in house with the exception of packaging. The major make/buy decision the company faced was to have the sanitation (custodial) department in-house. By having an in-house sanitation department the company was able to incorporate daily production preparation duties into their tasks to complete. These duties include: soaking grains, greasing pans, and preparing ingredients.