Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs
A Warburtons case study

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Page 4: Secondary sector

The secondary sector involves manufacturing products and turning them into part-finished or finished goods.

Wheat grown for Warburtons is kept separate from other wheat and cereals so supply can be traced back to the farms. It is also milled separately by flour millers, some of whom have supplied flour for Warburtons for more than 50 years. They turn grain into a part-finished good flour the basic ingredient for bread.

Throughout the manufacturing process, sustainability and efficiency are important principles. For example, wheat is shipped to the ports closest to the mills. The mills in turn produce flour for their closest bakeries. This reduces transport costs and helps to create a responsible supply chain.

Focus on quality

A focus on quality is at the heart of improving bread. Baking bread is both a craft and a science. Using technologies for mixing and kneading the dough helps to make it more elastic to create the perfect loaf.  Bread needs to arrive with consumers in perfect condition. The appearance and quality of the packaging is important. This helps to create the standards that shoppers expect. Quality targets are set to ensure that bakeries bake the best bread every time.

Manufacturing is a balancing act. On the one hand Warburtons bakeries and departments have to manage their costs. This involves making high quality bread, whilst providing value for its customers. It involves being efficient, reducing waste and keeping health and safety risks down. On the other hand, improved efficiency should not be an excuse for poor quality. Warburtons maintains the values associated with its premium brand whilst maintaining a responsible supply chain.

New technology

A manufacturing organisation has constantly to move forward. Warburtons continually invests in plant, people and products and is also dedicated to producing new products that meet ever-changing consumer demand. It is aware of new technologies as they become available.

This means it can take advantage of new ways of producing better products. For example, in an attempt to improve energy efficiency, the organisation has put in place increased oven insulation and gas burners that shut down automatically when production stops. In addition to this, Warburtons is investigating the use of alternative and renewable sources of energy.

Warburtons | Managing the supply chain to meet customer needs