Joint approach to supply leads to cost savings

Collaboration between the Defence Catering Group, 3663 and Geo Adams & Sons has resulted in substantial efficiencies being achieved in supplying pork legs and loins to the Armed Forces.

The joint project, part of the Food Chain Centre's (FCC) and Red Meat Industry Forum's (RMIF) Value Chain Analysis (VCA) series, identified two main areas where improvements could be made.

The first is in reforming chops. Instead of cutting the loin into 22 pieces and reassembling this into the shape of the original loin, the chops are now cut and packed straight into plastic bags.

Secondly there have been pack size changes. Originally fillets were supplied in packs of 15, this has been reduced to packs of five, allowing the chef in the Mess more flexibility, reducing waste.

The team are so encouraged by the results they have identified other joint initiatives to focus on. Chris Magee, Operations Warrant at the Ministry of Defence said "The Value Chain Analysis (VCA) has been beneficial for everyone involved, giving the opportunity to look at the supply chain from all stakeholder viewpoints". Liz Speak, Commercial Supply Controller 3663, agrees "This is a model for industry. We will learn from this process and apply this method to other chains - a very worthwhile exercise".

Geo Adams, also learnt from the initiative. Jim Symons General Manager believes "The project gave us a unique opportunity to understand the whole process".

This project is the fourth red meat VCA carried out by the FCC and RMIF. Peter Barr, Chairman, RMIF said "The MOD is a major customer of the red meat industry.

"Working together with all parts of the supply chain demonstrates there are considerable savings to be made to the benefit of all involved.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg: RMIF is committed to looking at every aspect of the industry to seek improvements."

Jon Woolven, Director FCC said "It is really encouraging to see such impressive results and we see this repeatedly. Taking time to build a team, walk the chain together and share ideas about improvements is a simple and dependable way to deliver benefits for everyone. The FCC is now working with dairy, cereals and fresh produce partners to complete similar exercises"

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