Wildtime Foods was established in 1981 to make and market gourmet granolas. Over the years the product range has expanded to include cereals, trail mixes and nut butters, all of which maintain the company’s tradition of handmade, natural and real. The products are sold in bulk and in consumer packages under the Grizzlies brand to natural and other food stores.
Wildtime has been partnering with OMEP on several key continuous improvement initiatives over the last 4 years. Initially, Wildtime and OMEP worked together to implement a manufacturing plan for the company’s new facility after they outgrew their old one. After moving into the new facility, Wildtime experienced rapid growth. Production volumes doubled, creating challenges for the company in supply chain, operations, human resources and systems. In addition, the company wished to improve quality management systems across all products and shifts. Finally, Wildtime wanted support on their journey to becoming compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
OMEP assisted Wildtime in developing a management team to handle increased growth, which included an evaluation of company management structure, recruitment, and management training. Working with the production team, a plan was developed for increasing capacity, and documented standard work was put in place to reduce time and minimize errors. During the implementation of the new management structure and plan, OMEP and Wildtime worked together to establish a quality assurance process to maintain quality across all products and shifts. Standard documentation and training were implemented around quality assurance, including a QMS roadmap. During this same timeframe, Wildtime worked to build a food safety plan in alignment with new FSMA quality standards through a cohort of other food companies
By implementing the new management system and following the path laid out in the QMS Roadmap, as well as through their FSMA compliance, Wildtime was able to retain $1,500,000 in sales. Customers continued to buy with confidence knowing they could expect quality FSMA compliant products from Wildtime. Additionally, Wildtime saved $200,000 in costs by implementing their food safety plan with OMEP. Finally, they retained 12 jobs and created 6 new positions.
With a quality management and Food Safety management system in place, Wildtime is poised to continue their rapid growth well into the future, delivering high quality, natural products to customers consistently.
OMEP has been critical in helping us critically evaluate our production methods. With OMEP’s help, we have improved our methods and, thereby, improved production efficiency. More critically, we have learned the discipline of how to approach evaluating current methods and then iteratively improve them, using data rather than opinion to guide us in evaluating each change.