Impacting the Bottom Line
Since implementing InfinityQS, Mid South Baking Company, Mississippi Division—a subsidiary of Bryan Baking Company—has accelerated issue response times, streamlined their manufacturing processes, reduced giveaway, and improved operator engagement—all of which dramatically impacts the company’s bottom line.
- Uses 42,803,660+ pounds of flour (more than one billion buns a year)
- employs 145 people
- fulfills 8-10 audits
- In <12 months reduced giveaway by 10% per run
- Audit personnel requirements reduced from a team to one person
- Audit time reduced from weeks to minutes
PEOPLE & PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS
- Accelerated response times
- Streamlined manufacturing processes
- Improved operator engagement and empowerment
- Proactive issue prevention
- Enhanced food safety monitoring and control
Impacting the Bottom Line
Improve Manufacturing Processes Across the Board
Mid South Baking Company, Mississippi Division, a subsidiary of Bryan Baking Company, bakes buns for two of the largest fast food chains in the United States. Every year, Mid South uses 42,803,660+ pounds of flour to bake and ship 94,000,000 dozen buns—more than one billion buns a year. As one of the largest businesses in Pelahatchie, Mississippi, the company has a committed social and economic impact on the community.
When Deirdre Sanford, Assistant Quality Assurance Manager, joined Mid South Baking in 2009, process data was tracked using clipboards, pencils, paper, and Excel. “Our main challenge was responding to issues quickly,” said Sanford. “Entering paper-based data into Excel—and then having an employee review the data—was inefficient.”
Sanford focuses on the fiscal analysis side of the business, and is always looking for ways to improve processes. Since implementing InfinityQS, Mid South Baking has accelerated issue response times, streamlined their manufacturing processes, reduced giveaway, and improved operator engagement— all of which dramatically impacts the company’s bottom line.
Mid South Baking employs 145 people making it one of the largest businesses in Pelahatchie, MS
42,803,660 94,000,000 pounds of flour dozen buns baked and shipped every year (more than one billion buns)
I came from a company that used InfinityQS, and it was a huge benefit. InfinityQS is now a critical part of our process improvement plans.
Minimizing Product Giveaway
Tighten Up Net Content & Reduce Lost Revenue
Product giveaway is a significant concern for many manufacturers because providing more product than necessary directly translates into lost revenue.
After watching shop-floor operators struggle with paper and clipboard data collection, Sanford told the management team, “Enough is enough. We’ve got to streamline this, we’ve got to have real-time data, and we’ve got to know what’s going on.”
Within 12 months of implementation, Sanford’s team reduced the amount of giveaway per batch by 10%—quickly demonstrating the value of InfinityQS to the Mid South Baking management team.
Amount of giveaway reduced by 10% per run within 12 months of implementation
The biggest selling point for us to start using InfinityQS was bun weight control.
Improving Food Safety Issues
Quickly Spot & Fix Processing Problems
In 2011, the FDA passed the Food Safety Modernization Act to ensure the safety of the U.S. food supply by shifting the focus to preventing, rather than responding to, contamination. Mid South Baking is tremendously committed to food safety—and InfinityQS enhances their ability to monitor and control the entire manufacturing process.
“We rely on InfinityQS for food safety monitoring every single day,” said Sanford. “For example, we started seeing a slight increase in contaminants, which was a clear indication something was wrong in the system. InfinityQS helped us backtrack to exactly where the problem was—and we were able to quickly fix it. It is a major help.”
InfinityQS can be configured to send an email or text notification alert to any number of users, so everyone is informed when a production process doesn’t happen as planned. Accelerating incident awareness can reduce product waste, making InfinityQS a worthwhile investment for all types of manufacturers.
We rely on InfinityQS to help with food safety monitoring every single day
Real-time SPC software enables companies to shift from issue response to prevention
How can InfinityQS help improve food safety?
InfinityQS can conduct many types of common food safety checks, including:
- Sanitation (cleaned-in-place checks)
- Microbiology (swab checks)
- Packaging (nitrogen/gas checks)
- Food temperature
- Hazard detection (X-ray machines, metal detectors)
Accelerating Auditing Response Times
Get Real-time, On-demand Information at Your Fingertips
Mid South Baking gets audited 8-10 times per year, and Sanford needs to be able to respond quickly—without spending days combing through piles of paper.
“With InfinityQS, I just click into a project and ask management how far back I need to search,” said Sanford. “What used to take my team days, and sometimes weeks, now takes one person minutes to complete.”
The benefit of rapidly responding to audits is tremendous; not only can Mid South Baking more quickly deliver on these requests, the company can include even more data than what was originally requested—which can translate into satisfied, trusting auditors.
What used to take my team days, and sometimes weeks, now takes one person minutes to complete.
“InfinityQS has been a lifesaver for us, we are able to spot trends, which gives our management team much more information. InfinityQS drives our continuous improvement processes, whether we need to purchase new equipment or make adjustments to our existing equipment. It is amazing.
Drop the Clipboards, Pencils, & Paper
Pick Up Operator Empowerment & Efficiency
Mid South Baking operators were initially reluctant to give up their paper-based data collection methods, but they soon forgot all about their clipboards, pencils, and paper.
“Our IT staff was updating our server one day, and our operators had to use paper and clipboards again—and they were not happy about it,” said Sanford.
With all the tools they need to document and track process information, InfinityQS empowers shop-floor operators to take complete ownership over their area—and to take corrective action, as needed. If a manufacturing issue comes up, the team can quickly and easily review historical data to determine what was happening at a specific point in time—and prevent it from happening again.
When you use paper and pencil, and then go back and try to see what the paper’s telling you, it’s inefficient. Everything is more efficient with InfinityQS.“I have older and younger employees and while the younger ones were ecstatic to start using InfinityQS, the older employees were scared of the technology.”
To help reluctant team members overcome their hesitation, Sanford implemented an old-school teaching trick: she paired off older and younger team members and they learned the new system together—at the same pace
Using InfinityQS, Mid South Baking employees to focus on other improvement tasks. gain back 3 hours of their daily time
Keeping Big Customers Happy
Improve Process Awareness & Deliver Optimal Products
Responding quickly to customer complaints is essential for all manufacturers. The InfinityQS platform can help mitigate these issues by alerting shop-floor operators to manufacturing problems as they happen, enabling workers to spot—and immediately fix—out-of-spec processes.
Mid South Baking doesn’t typically receive many customer complaints, and in an effort to continue that trend they set up each project to include product photos showing exactly what an in-spec bun should look like. “Each of our processes includes pictures of the item being manufactured,” said Sanford. “So if the finished product doesn’t look exactly like the picture, our operators know something isn’t working correctly.”
Now, when an operator needs to access support materials regarding a specific product or process, that information is available via InfinityQS— and Mid South Baking operators are fully empowered to quickly solve problems on the fly by looking at reference material, without ever having to open a book or launch another software app.
InfinityQS enables operators to add into the platform a wide range of information about any part or process—which can then be accessed by any user. This information includes product photos, instructions for data collections, and hyperlinks to images, drawings, or any type of web document, including work instructions and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Users can also add and view process comments from fellow workers (e.g., “the East pump is leaking oil from the aft seal”).
InfinityQS enables operators to access a wide range of information from within the platform, including product photos, work instructions, user notes and comments, drawings, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), hyperlinks, and more.
Keeping our big clients happy is very important, and InfinityQS makes our processes much more efficient.