July 24, 2013
How Walmart Ensures Product Quality Through Traceability
Recently, product recalls have been dominating the news. From cars that don’t brake properly to pills that don’t properly release time-sensitive medication to child safety seats that detach while the vehicle is moving, more and more companies are experiencing the pitfalls associated with a lack of enterprise quality management.
Walmart, however, is one company that has taken active steps to reverse this trend and restore faith in manufactured goods. And since Walmart is such a massive corporation with so many individual stores to look after, this is no easy task. As the largest buyer and seller of food in the world, the company imports about 60 percent of its fruits and vegetables, as well as 80 percent of its seafood. This makes the need for quality control of utmost importance.
The mega-store’s success can be attributed to a 2010 decision that now requires every Walmart store across the world to comply with Global Food Safety Initiative (G.F.S.I.) procedures. G.F.S.I. requirements mandate that food suppliers undergo factory audit checks to assure product quality. This includes produce, meat, fish, poultry, and ready-to-eat foods. Additionally, Walmart assesses its own food through communication programs designed to increase safety and simplify quality control.
When you choose to make enterprise quality control a priority, like Walmart did, it means never having to play catch up because you are taking a proactive approach to the goods that you are creating. Stores and customers will come to not only recognize your brand for quality, but they will also trust in your products and realize that you take the time to look out for their safety. In this sense, you will build long lasting relationships with your consumers as other brands falter and are forced to recall products.