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Vanguard sees improvements in operations with enhanced TQM

In 2016, Vanguard expanded its production scope and acquired Agricola Challapampa in Peru. Significant investments have been made to strengthen Vanguard’s position in Peru to support a 52-week-per-year supply solution of fresh produce to global customers. This has included the development of a brand-new packinghouse in Ica, Peru, to control temperatures and holding environments for the best quality grape crops. Alongside these developments, Vanguard recognized the need for quality management, and implemented a Total Quality Management team upon acquisition in 2016, which has continued to grow and thrive.IMG 4659aManuel Yzaga, president of Vanguard Peru

“Between expanding operations in Peru, and partnering with Sun World Innovations to add their top-quality grape varieties to our growing program, it was clear that quality management of our program would be critical," said Dirk Winkelmann, business development officer for Vanguard International and president of Vanguard Direct. “We’ve seen major advances in productivity and technologies that continue to deliver quality we can be proud of.”

Vanguard Peru’s TQM team monitors quality and efficiencies for the whole of operations: from plant installation and plant growth, to farming, harvest, package, storage and dispatching.

“What differentiates our TQM program is our control system. We are consistently using indicators of work efficiency housed in a state-of-the-art data house that controls development, speed, and quality of work," said Manuel Yzaga, president of Vanguard Peru. “Errors or inefficiencies are identified immediately and communicated through chain of command as quickly as possible.”

Achievements from the TQM team include migration to a fully digital recording system, as well as a newly improved evaluation system for all suppliers. Possibly most impactful has been the implementation of a software that assists with loading and container control.

Vanguard said it is thrilled with the development of crucial procedures and indicators of success over the past three years that have contributed to its ability to stand as a reliable pillar in the seedless grape market. Looking forward to 2020, the Vanguard TQM team expects to see an increased emphasis on consistency of quality, condition, berry size, bunch size, and of course, flavor. The company said its goal is to always deliver what will delight our customers through this initiative.