The Covid Recovery: How Agile Manufacturing is Propelling Growth

Matt Book, Project Manager

Masks are coming off, borders are opening, and consumers are eager to spend their money. The combination of labor shortages, lack of raw materials, and incidents such as the Suez Canal blockage has created an unpredictable supply chain affecting both businesses and the end consumer. Trailblazer Foods is no exception to the current situation, but despite the difficulties we have continued to knock out profitable month after profitable month.

The key to our success is based on years of groundwork creating an agile manufacturing environment. Utilizing this methodology has given Trailblazer Foods the ability to adapt to changes in the market without compromising the quality of our products. Our company’s strategy has focused on expanding our product lines while utilizing existing equipment. The benefit is, we have given our company the ability to switch between product lines without the need for large-scale equipment changeover. While this approach is not perfect, it greatly reduces our risks to unexpected snags in the supply chain.

The forethought by our company came to fruition during the pandemic, when global supply chains were subject to unprecedented interruptions. A specific example of our efforts could be seen when we were given a late notice of a delayed berry shortage. In prior years Trailblazer Foods may have had to shut down the lines, but instead we were able to quickly pivot and switch the lines to manufacture our newly acquired tomato-based business. Manufacturing schedules were adjusted, and we could successfully maintain profitable operations without sacrificing quality service or products.

As the global economy continues to rapidly reopen, businesses such as ours have been given a clear message: To survive changing markets, a company must be able to quickly adapt. No business saw the pandemic coming and very few predicted the surge in consumer spending when the world began opening again. There is no way Trailblazer Foods will be able to predict the next major event but taking steps to be both flexible in product lead time and diversifying our portfolio will pay dividends in the future.

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