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Bob's Red Mill Written For My Operations & Quality Management Class, This Paper Deals With The Methods And Operations Of Bob's Red Mill, A Natural Foods Producer.

3792 words - 15 pages

Bob's Red Mill was founded by Bob and Charlee Moore. Their passion for whole-grain health foods prompted the decision to use only slow-turning granite and quartz milling stones, allowing the nutritional integrity of grains to be retained. The key to BRM's success lies within the dietary trends of health conscious consumers. The Moore's great achievements in production and sales have: enabled the addition of three partners to oversee growth, increased the plant size to a total of 82,000 square feet, prompted the need to employ 75 production employees to work three shifts and have ballooned the operation into a global exporter with revenues in the multi-million dollar range.BRM receives its grain by tractor-trailer delivery. Augers are used to empty it into storage tanks. The grain is piped into the production facility through a network of pipes. The grain is piped into hoppers which gravity feed the grain into the grinding mills. Once ground and mixed, the grain is stored in 2,000 pound bags and placed on a pallet. Eight packaging lines will soon receive the bags which are hung above the packaging machines and gravity fed into hoppers. These 40,000 pound hoppers empty directly in bagging machines. Quality control is performed at the packaging stage. The product is probed for moisture and metal content. The packages are also weighed. A mechanical device rejects any packages not meeting specified criteria. Packages satisfying all quality conditions proceed to be placed in cardboard boxes. The boxes are arranged on a pallet by human input and later shrink wrapped for transport to the distribution facility.Potential problems in the BRM operation have been observed in the following areas: delivery of grain, packaging line, material handling, personnel and security. Drivers are only allowed to make deliveries during normal business hours. In addition, the parking lot is not conducive to tractor-trailer combinations, especially with multiple trailers. It is also troublesome for drivers to navigate their rigs in a lot that includes only one entry/exit. To transport grain from the trailer into storage tanks, it is necessary for a person to physically wheel an auger to each hopper of the trailer. The packaging line problems were associated with jamming on the line. Material handling had its own drawbacks. Specifically, ground and mixed grain is transported to the East end of the complex then brought back to the West end when needed for packaging. In the personnel category, it was realized that two Inventory Control Managers may be excessive. Finally, a few problems with security were identified, such as two-way glass in sensitive areas.BRM is an excellent production facility with top-notch cleanliness, organization, integration and management. However, the above-mentioned areas may need some attention. To solve the problems of grain delivery: implement an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system, install a truck scale with integrated grain pit and...

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