How Well Does Your Chemical Supplier Know Your Business?

Posted by Mike Motta

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Changing sanitation-chemical suppliers can be a challenge and a significant disruption to your operation. But you’ve made the decision, for one reason or another, to employ a new chemical vendor. You were assured lower chemical spend, intensified focus on food safety, a smooth transition, and probably a whole host of other intangible promises. And you’re thinking “just make my life simpler, support me when I need it, and while you’re at it, help me identify process improvements and reduce overall operational costs.”

This is the name of today’s game and it’s so critical, for the sake of our consumers, to make food safe and affordable. And there’s a level of scrutiny on food processors these days that exceeds anything we’ve ever seen. How do we, as chemical suppliers, help you, our customer, make food safer while driving operational efficiency without compromising performance? It’s a fine line, but RMC (Rochester Midland Corporation) has perfected it and continues to improve these skill sets and processes to the point in which its customers enjoy millions of dollars in operational savings every year.

Your chemical supplier needs to make “process improvements” a priority. It’s not a one-time thing. It’s an everyday thing. And, it’s just not enough to lower chemical prices or even chemical concentrations in an effort to lower overall spend. The real savings comes in the form of using less water, energy, and finding ways to reduce labor costs. And this process begins way before the first gallon of chemical is ordered. Your chemical supplier should be evaluating your operation from start to finish. Studying the sanitation process, how the crew dispenses chemicals, how they clean, what type of chemistry they’re applying for each application and environment, cycle times and temperatures in CIP applications, etc. The list goes on. The point is, before you make the decision to switch suppliers, you should ask your supplier to explain their plan for process improvements.

RMC is good at this. Its field-based reps – most of which have food operations experience prior to working as a chemical rep – are trained on how to identify process improvements, provide solutions, how to execute these solutions, track JPI (Joint Process Improvements) progress, and persistently drive for results. RMC reps make JPIs a priority – a standard set by the company in which employees are held accountable for achieving. The multiple layers of field-based support at RMC further ensures its customers receive a thorough evaluation, industry expertise, and an approach that makes JPIs a priority.

Let’s take a look at a recent example:

A large, multi-location, baking customer manufacturing many dessert-type products such as icing, cake batter, and cookies – many JPIs were identified during the site surveys prior to being awarded the business. Once the business was awarded, it took less than two months to begin realizing an annual water savings of more than one million gallons by executing a change in its CIP operating procedure. Chemicals savings on the CIP set was reduced by more than 20% and additional savings in labor came as a result of some other changes in procedure. The outcome; the CIP system runs much smoother today, it’s simpler to manage, and the customer benefitted from reducing operational spend by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

RMC made it a priority to drive cost out of the operation without compromising performance. The promise to the customer was, and still is, to make JPIs a standard procedure during every service visit, continually identify cost savings opportunities, report on observations, and execute all new process improvement initiatives.

In another example – also in the baking industry – RMC was able to reduce the time it takes to clean and sanitize the plant, resulting in added production time. In this case, adding an extra step to the sanitation process allowed the customer to reduce the number of times needed to break down some of the process equipment. This change is a classic example of operational savings without compromising performance. We found a way to clean more efficiently, reduce sanitation time, and increase the number of hours in production.

These examples are just a couple of many. It’s about paying attention and making process improvement a priority. It is, and always has been, our goal to continually drive cost out of your operations while maintaining a high level of food safety standards. Servicing our customers is about observing, recommending, executing, and monitoring. We focus on continuous improvement and making your life easier, your product safer, and your operations more profitable.

If you would like to hear more about RMCs approach to process improvements, please call 800-762-4448 and an RMC representative will be in touch, or visit our website at https://www.rochestermidland.com/.

Topics: chemical sanitation

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