Achieving Seafood Royalty with Real-Time Data

Jim Frider
By Jim Frider | January 13, 2021
Senior Product Marketing Manager

Fact checked by Stephen O'Reilly

To produce something great, is it enough to just have the best ingredients? Do great ingredients, or parts, necessarily lead to a great product? Is it really that much of a slam dunk? I would argue that, with any food product, having great ingredients to begin with is a necessity. You’re halfway there. But to truly make a great product, you need impeccable processes in addition to those ingredients, and that will lead to that dish—or snack, or entrée, or dessert (or whatever)—being the best it can be.
There are the kings of seafood, like tuna, king crab, lobster, and shrimp, to name a few of the high-end goodies...and seafood is a big part of a healthy diet. But then there are things like toothfish and slimehead. Holy mackerel! Let’s face it, we might not choose one of those last two based solely on the name. But, make no mistake, we love our fish…here in the U.S. and throughout the world (and quality is essential to consumers).
King & Prince High Standards 
In fact, seafood consumption in the U.S. right now is at its highest level since 2007, according to Seafood Source. To create the seafood products that thousands of consumers buy every day, our client King & Prince—a sister company to the well-known Gorton’s® Seafood (both companies reside under the umbrella of Nissui, the second largest seafood company in the world)—uses InfinityQS quality management software to control their supply chain and their manufacturing processes.

InfinityQS SPC Software Makes the Difference

Gorton’s was already using InfinityQS quality software, according to King & Prince VP of Technical Services, Tracy McConnell, so it was a no-brainer to adopt a system that was already established and proven within the company. And we’re glad they did; they’ve had great results.
Controlling Processes to Make Great Products 
InfinityQS’ ProFicient™ quality management software provided King & Prince with real-time data visibility and, as we’ve discussed in our blogs many times, visibility is key to making transformative changes in your operations. McConnell says that ProFicient helped them rein in their suppliers, enabling them to purchase the best “starting product” possible to begin the process of creating their products. According to McConnell, “When we process raw materials at our U.S. plants, we have a lot more standardization now. Any variability we have is under our control—at the factory level.”

The Supply Side

Needless to say, King & Prince has high standards. And they want to maintain those. They’ve been offering products to consumers for more than 90 years. And you don’t sustain that kind of business unless you’re supplying the public with exceptional products. To keep that level of quality, King & Prince uses InfinityQS software at all three of their U.S. plants—across more than 100 processes.
King & Prince High StandardsAccording to McConnell, raw materials represent 60-75% of the finished seafood product. You can see why it’s so important for King & Prince to maintain a high level of quality with their raw materials. The best way to ensure that your raw materials are ship-shape is by taking the data from every vendor in your supply chain and moving it into the software you’re using.
McConnell: “So, we have third parties that actually go out and inspect our product prior to leaving the country of origin and we receive those (data) and upload all of it into the system so that we can compare it to the raw material inspection data that we have—and get good accurate information about how to use that raw material in our processing lines.”
By having the receiving quality data from all their suppliers, King & Prince has the complete oversight they need to ensure high-quality products. Having their suppliers provide quality data was “non-negotiable” according to McConnell. “We need this information to be a better company.” Furthermore, “Your pen and paper are going away.” That’s what we like to hear!

Real-Time Data is Key

“Bringing in high-quality seafood that meets our tight specifications directly translates
into a high-end final product—which positively affects both our revenue and our reputation,” says McConnell. The path to meeting those tight specs lies within the realm of real-time data.
King & Prince added even more value to their seafood by using our software to conduct finished product inspections. Says McConnell, “One of the biggest benefits for us with InfinityQS is in our finished product inspection. InfinityQS enables us to see what we provide to our customers, and because of this we are able to react sooner to prevent issues from making it to customers. This has reduced customer complaints to less than one per million pounds sold—year over year.”
King & Prince employees know that if they need to view real-time quality data—whether microbiology tests, chemical tests, raw material tests, operational data, QA-finished product data, or more—that data resides in the InfinityQS database, and they can quickly and easily locate what they need. And “everyone knows exactly how to find the data they need” when they need it.

Win-Win with ProFicient

Minimizing IssuesKing & Prince minimizes issues by always knowing who the best suppliers are—using InfinityQS’ ProFicient. They measure all the suppliers’ products and thereby know which “will generate the best product for King & Prince, from both specification and revenue standpoints.” That’s a win-win with our quality management software.
The company uses the quality data they collect in multiple ways:
  • At the country of origin, by uploading data into the system
  • To ensure that the country of origin inspection caught any issues via onsite inspections of key attributes and variables
  • To evaluate the Ppk of key variables and attributes, and compare that data to other suppliers—enabling good capability assessments
  • To ascertain process capability, and then use that data to gain valuable insight that is applied to new product development

The Long & the Short of It

ProFicient enables King & Prince to ensure that they have a fully-compliant product from start to finish. To ensure that their products always exceed customer expectations, King & Prince captures both quality and process data throughout the production process. In the event of a variation, operators simply stop a process and make necessary adjustments—and use quality data to confirm when everything is back on track.
And the proof is in the pudding, as they say. “InfinityQS software has the easiest database to use that I’ve ever encountered,” says McConnell. “We have expanded every year since 2012.”

To read more about the King & Prince experience, please check out the case study on our website.

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