· 3 min read
Restaurant chain A & W Food Services of Canada Inc.*, famous for its burgers and root beer, never compromises on high standards. To be certain that suppliers consistently meet rigorous requirements for food quality and safety, the company operates a 'best-in-class' supplier management system using NSF TraQtionTM, a cloud-based quality and compliance software solution. TraQtion enables A & W to manage all suppliers, sites, product quality requirements and food safety regulations in one place, maintaining its exemplary standards.
A & W Food Services of Canada Inc. opened its first restaurant in 1956 – a 'drive-in' in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Today, there are over 1,000 A & W outlets across the country, from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland, the vast majority of which are owned and operated by franchisees.
While the style of the restaurants has evolved over the years – from drive-ins to 'drive-thrus' – many of the simple things that made A & W popular in the early days remain the same, from A & W Root Beer served in frosted mugs to burgers and onion rings made with fresh ingredients. In all those years, the company's commitment to high-quality food has never wavered.
A & W Food Services of Canada Inc. uses over 200 food and beverage products in its restaurants with a singular vision - "to source simple, great-tasting ingredients, farmed with care".
A & W need to be sure that suppliers from across North America, and also Europe, Australia and New Zealand, conform consistently to the same high standards. There was an acknowledgement of the need for investment in technology and resources to meet this challenge by implementing a best-in-class supplier management system.
As Jashan Brar, Manager, Supply Chain Food Safety & Quality Assurance, explains, "With over 200 products and 250 supplier manufacturing facilities, we face a huge challenge tracking all the food safety-related documents like GFSI certification, as well as for other internal and external policy requirements. The huge scope of this task means it cannot be done manually or using spreadsheets."
A & W Food Services of Canada Inc.’s relationship with NSF dates back to 2017, when food safety audits were delivered across the company’s food packaging and distribution operations by NSF’s trained and qualified auditors. This gave the company confidence in the depth of NSF’s knowledge and expertise. This also opened the door to discussions about NSF’s cloud-based quality and compliance software solution, TraQtionTM.
The software allows A & W to manage its supply chain, sites, food safety and product quality all in one place, using the supplier compliance and specifications modules, and query builder. The functionality to build queries helps create actionable data, such as identifying all ingredients sourced by specific suppliers or locations to manage potential disruptions to supplies.
The software also provides a single, searchable system, with the ability to analyze data to gauge the impact of an issue, and then resolve it. TraQtion can be used to prompt suppliers to update their compliance documentation. Data can be analyzed to find out, for example, how much of a specific ingredient the company is using, and in which products, enabling any necessary disclosure to regulators or consumers.
Additional modules can be configured for artwork management, issue management, audit management, questionnaires, or documents.
"For every one of our products, NSF TraQtion tells us quickly and efficiently who and where our suppliers are in the world and what they are supplying to us. It provides us with a wealth of data and documentation. We benefit from the power of the data that TraQtion has put at our disposal, and the ability to make informed decisions at our quarterly management meetings based on timely, insightful information."
The two key benefits of the NSF solution? "First and foremost, TraQtion enables us to do a better job – it helps us manage our supply chain more effectively to ensure high standards of food quality and safety, and to meet policy and regulatory requirements. Secondly, it has made us much more efficient, saving us both time and cost."
Jashan Brar, Manager, Supply Chain Food Safety & Quality Assurance, A & W Food Services of Canada Inc.
*Please note: A & W Food Services of Canada Inc. is not related to A & W Restaurants, US