Chairman’s Letter

Welcome to JLA!

Have you ever had a manufacturing site stop operations because of sub-standard raw materials? Before we began JLA several years ago, I spent almost 25 years doing consumer research, developing food products and manufacturing foods and beverages. During those years, I made several discoveries.

  1. No matter how hard you try, “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” I have seen excellent employees leave the plant in total frustration because nothing they did allowed them to produce target product – the raw materials simply did not perform as expected and as needed. When operations can’t function reliably, customer satisfaction slips, employee morale drops, costs increase and profits fall.
  2. We know what we don’t want much more clearly than what we do want. Particularly in the food and beverage industry, most of us are better at telling our suppliers what we don’t want rather than giving them helpful guidance regarding what we need. Most ingredient producers want to do a good job. But many times their hands are tied by the way we define our specifications.
  3. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” I learned this from the late Dr. Ed Deming. Reliable measuring systems are at the heart of getting what we expect. Reducing variation and improving predictability of raw materials can only occur if we know our needs and have a system to measure them reliably and consistently.

4. There’s no substitute for a robust manufacturing process. We often focus on the equipment aspect of our operation, but most of the operations I have either seen or have managed did not use their full capabilities.. This is largely due to under-developing those who run the operations. The key to robustness is the capability of the people who operate, maintain and improve your systems. Motivated, equipped, and empowered people are a necessity to maintain profitability and customer satisfaction.

5. “By working together, it can be done.” Virtually anything can be accomplished in the food and beverage business with creative, motivated, energetic people.

These five observations and JLA’s Principles and Values are the essential elements of GIRBIS ®… “Getting It Right Before It Ships.”® JLA can help you bring predictability and profitability to your food and beverage business. We have developed a team with incredible skills and knowledge in product development, sensory measuring systems, process capability analysis and improvement, and raw material specification preparation. Most importantly, we can help you get your raw materials correct before they ship.

We think our client list is impressive, but our clients think that what we’ve helped them accomplish is more impressive. Contact us for a conversation about your needs.

– Jim Leek