Application of Quality Management Systems to Grain Handling: An Inventory Management Case Study
To help meet the production gap of a growing population, the agricultural industry is incorporating new quality management practices to improve operational efficiency. In the agricultural supply chain, operations management within the grain handling industry represents an important area for quality management improvement to meet the growing needs for food safety and security. The strong growth in the use of quality management systems in agricultural environments reflects interest from the production agricultural industry. The present case study examines the impact of implementing a quality management system at a large, multi-site grain elevator company by comparing selected quality metrics before and after QMS adoption. After adoption, the company statistically reduced the grain quality measurement error in grading damage and foreign material, resulting in significantly greater value to shipped grain. The company was also able to add monetary value to low-value grain by using quality metrics to optimize their inventory management and blending strategy. Significant gains were not made in all areas examined, but generally, quality management systems added internal efficiencies and provided a means of adding value to low-quality grains within the grain elevator studied.
This article is from Applied Engineering in Agriculture 31 (2015): 313–321, doi:10.13031/aea.31.10860. Posted with permission.