Situation: A rapidly growing, $300M specialty food company was outgrowing its sourcing and quality control processes. Due to the increased number of suppliers and the proliferation of internal staff, product development lead times skyrocketed, and the process of qualifying a single ingredient had lengthened to 260 days. Intervention: We created a metrics-based process map for the entire qualification process, identifying bottlenecks, common sources of errors, missing triggers, and other issues that created delays and rework. We then created sub-teams to address the most critical factors. The teams developed countermeasures, gained consensus for the changes, and trained staff on the new procedures.

Resolution: Lead time for ingredient qualification was reduced by 50% -- from 260 to 130 days.