News & Announcements
Product Quality
07 October 2021
Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to deliver quality products to exacting standards, consistently. Given the scrutiny the food processing industry is subjected to, it is not surprising that the market leaders do everything they can to instil a culture of quality control in their businesses.
Those that cut corners to keep costs down risk product recalls, lost orders, potentially lengthy downtime and reputational damage.
When assessing how to manage quality in your business, it is essential to weigh up the cost of good quality versus the cost of poor quality. These are the two components of the metric cost of quality, which every manufacturer needs to assess.

This blog examines the financial and reputational burden of poor quality in manufacturing, why you need to avoid it and how to do it well.

What is the cost of poor quality?

The costs of poor quality in food manufacturing are far-ranging. You need to think about product waste, the wasted energy used in producing a substandard item, the potential impact of downtime on productivity, meeting customer deadlines and supply chain disruption.
Then, there may be labour implications if staff on the payroll cannot do their jobs properly until the quality issues have been fixed. There may be customer penalties for delivering off-spec products, warranty claims, and product recalls. On top of that, there is the cost of putting things right – and this could include legal fees, PR fees to fix reputational damage, not to mention the financial cost of acquiring the correct equipment and putting in place effective quality control and preventive procedures.

Furthermore, there will be an impact on management time and energy: brainstorming what went wrong and why; figuring out the future needs of the business to minimise disruption going forward; negotiating with customers and staff to keep them on-side.

The cost of good quality

Every food manufacturer needs to think about the metric cost of quality to get the balance right regarding costs and return on investment.The cost of good quality depends on four main components: prevention, appraisal, internal and external failure.
Prevention and appraisal are the key ingredients for the reliable production of good quality products.
We’ve all heard the adage: prevention is better than cure. And this is undoubtedly the case in food manufacturing.

What is best-practice quality control?

There are various regulations and guidelines that every food manufacturer should follow to achieve best-practice quality control.These include the Global Standard for Food Safety, government guidelines on food labelling and composition, and the Food Standards Agency guidance, based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point .

Ultimately, it is all about product inspection processes. And this is why installing an inspection system into your production line is critical to success in today’s fiercely competitive world. Food manufacturers that do not include screening and checking of their product as part of their consistent operations risk product defect, contamination and the end consumer’s safety.