This past week Kellogg put a recall on Frosted Mini-Wheats because of a contamination of mesh metal pieces mixed in with the cereal. This quality control mishap could cost the company up towards $30 million for the 2.8 million boxes of frosted and unfrosted bite size original Mini-Wheats that is being recalled from stores. The supply-chain glitch was attributed to a “faulty manufacturing part” and will cost the company an additional $100 million for the year to fix and improve on their system. The company claims that the expenses associated with the recall this year is offset by the strong performance of the new addition to the Kellogg family, Pringles, which will be seen when the company reports their earning on November 1st.
However, this is the Battle Creek, Michigan factory’s second quality control slip in the last two years. In 2010, Kellogg recalled multiple cereals for an odd smell and color. The cause of this quality issue was the improper packaging the cereal was in. After that recall, the company spent a similar amount to fix their supply chain which meant less supervision for the operations and overworked employees in the factories. In my opinion the less supervision and overworked employees seems it would be more liability for faulty products.
I was surprised how many ways this article related to the paper puppets activity in class and how the faulty paper made it’s way through the assembly line until the quality control department. Somehow the cereal with the metal mesh bits, and also odd smells and colors were able to not only make it past all of the workers in the factory but also through the quality control department with approval to be put on the shelves in grocery stores everywhere. Not only are the costs of these recalls expensive, but eventually if these recalls continue occurring, it will start to effect Kellog’s reputation and the quality of their products. It is unfortunate that the quality control department did not catch these errors because it makes consumers doubt the department’s ability. I am not exactly sure what is the right amount of time is between glitches and recalls such as these for manufacturers, ideally an infinite of time with no mistakes, but two years with two recalls and now almost a $200 million investment into their supply chain, hopefully Kellogg will not have these problems again in another two years. Thoughts also arise if whether the cost cuts related to the first recall, overworking employees and lessening supervision, had an affect on this mistake and if the contamination could have been caught before the boxes were shipped out. Luckily, no injuries have been reported for ingesting the metal pieces, because not only would that not be fun start for anyone’s morning, metal pieces are definitely not apart of a balanced breakfast.
Do you feel the problems in the supply chain should have been resolved two years ago with the first recall and large investment into their system? After the second fix in the supply chain as a consumer would you feel confident in the products going forward?