Providing confidence and trust in your supply chain in 2020
Barilla’s supply chain resilience approach Q&A
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people and communities, and at BSI we know that all organizations are facing significant disruptions and challenges they need to quickly manage and respond to. The food industry cannot stop, but neither must it compromise production standards, worker safety and, of course, consumer protection. Paolo Bersighelli, Business Development Manager for the Food Sector at BSI Group, interviewed Alessandro Ruggeri, Head of Global Suppliers and Quality Management at Barilla Group, to find out how their organization has quickly responded to the challenge.
PB: What is the current state of your supply chain? How it is responding to the challenge?
AR: Our Supply Chain colleagues and our suppliers have been doing an amazing job, in order to provide products in line with our Quality & Food Safety standards and with the expected service levels. Always being driven by our Company’s Purpose: Good for You, Good for the Planet.
I don’t think any food corporation was 100% ready for this global crisis, combined with the huge spike in consumer demand. However, especially during the very first weeks, we relied on a solid sourcing strategy based also on backup plans for critical materials. We quickly revised the stock levels and diversified buffer storage locations, in order to manage any possible regional lockdown and transportation restrictions.
If I have to say what has made the difference, it’s the combination of strong management leadership and sincere cross-functional cooperation. I have personally experienced this work extremely well between the Purchasing department and my own department, Quality & Food Safety.
"We have to be prepared for the 'unexpected' and it is what we are determined to do."
PB: Why have you started to assess your suppliers remotely?
AR: “Give people food you would give to your own children” (Pietro Barilla). This is the founding principle that still inspires the Barilla mission today, especially in the middle of uncertainty and stormy times. This made our way clear for the entire organization and since the very beginning: no compromise on Quality and Food Safety.
Therefore, we closely cooperated with our suppliers in order to minimize the impact on our surveillance audits plan. We defined a precise audit protocol, based on risk assessment.
We have scrupulously worked with BSI, to convert the activities and make all the involved parties working safely, with all the benefits brought by technology. After a couple of months, I am very satisfied with the quality of the job we have been doing together.
PB: What does the future hold?
AR: This crisis has brought pain and sufferance to people and businesses. We must react and take this unique occasion to learn and change; old ways won’t open new doors.
Border restraints, reductions in workforce, and fewer logistics options will place increasing strain on supply chains. Sourcing and trading patterns are changing – and history shows us that whenever change on this scale occurs, it presents new risks, both from unintentional impacts and malevolent practice. We have to be prepared for the 'unexpected' and it is what we are determined to do.
Barilla has managed to continue to put the safety and quality of food at the heart of their operation, by continuing to invest in their suppliers, strengthening the integrity of their supply chain. BSI has been able to support this activity by partnering with Barilla and its suppliers to conduct remote audits, providing confidence and trust in uncertain times.
Paolo Bersighelli Business Development Manager Assurance, Training, Organization Resilience
Food and drink
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