What is quality
Perceiving a product to be of high quality. Many ‘purist’ bakers would express that this product resembles how it was made in the past. Or how of it’s superior taste and appearance.
Quality can also be a measurement or result. That a product or process is compliant with a certain set of standards and if applicable its tolerances. This can but does not have to be the product that would taste or looks the greatest. An interesting part within these type of discussions. Is the fact that part of quality is also a qualitive outcome of how reproductive and repetitive the result of a process is to be predictable.
Many might recognise that when working in shifts, that every shift might reset a machine or production line to ‘their’ settings. Despite how well the line is currently running with that product: just because “we always do it like this”. Having a discussion on how to improve and progress it therefore not “I am a baker for 25 years so I know quality” or “we always do it like this”. Having discussions with tools used in other industries, such as 5S, Lean, Six Sigma, Agile are all focussing on how can we create an optimum result with a minimum in waste (materials, energy, people).
In baking we can look at quality in a few ways:
- Choice of ingredients
- Choice of processes
- Means of organisation, tasks and responsibilities
- Level of education of our staff
The first two are interlinked, can result in production processes with low waste with reasonable priced ingredients up to high waste with the ‘best’ ingredients. The best ingredients handled badly can give poor results. And reasonable to poor ingredients can give medium to reasonable results. Due to investments in the latter two: organisation and education. It seems a no-brainer to some, but challenging to find your ‘sweet spot’ to start. Looking for a fresh pair of eyes to your bakery, contact us.
Need to know more? Feel free to contact us!