Walkers Quality Assurance

Tayto has always been a quality conscious company and in 1990 was awarded the Q Mark. The overall objective of the Quality System is to ensure that Tayto produces quality products and services and that each member of staff has an individual commitment to this quality. The Quality System encompasses all aspects of the business from the purchasing of raw materials through to the transportation and selling of products. Quality control checks are in place, prior to production, during production and post production as follows: Each delivery of potatoes is checked for size, variety, dry matter, sugar, clay or other defects.

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The sugar content is critical for crisp production and must be within parameters agreed by the company and the potato grower. The dry matter is also important as it determines the texture of the crisp. Prior to unloading the sunflower oil, a sample is taken and four different chemical tests are carried out to ensure that the oil is of good quality and suitable for the production of crisps. Thereafter the oil in the tanks is tested on a daily basis to ensure there is no deterioration. Flavours are checked for salt and moisture and must be within agreed microbiological standards.

The oil is checked at regular intervals to ensure that its quality is being maintained. There is an automatic moisture system whereby the crisp moisture is continuously being monitored. This is followed up by laboratory staff carrying out ingredient moisture checks at regular intervals. It is critical that the moisture level of the crisps be maintained below a particular level to ensure product quality and freshness. The level of flavour applied to the product is continuously monitored by laboratory staff carrying out salt checks. There is a standard set for each flavour and levels must be within these agreed limits. Quality checks also occur throughout the sales depots and vans to ensure that staff are rotating stock correctly, ultimately ensuring that the consumer receives the freshest product at all times Supermarket shelves are also monitored to ensure that stock is rotated.

The Gilded Age of American industry in the late 19th century marked a period of massive change. Widespread urbanization transformed the economic and social climate of America such that it became conducive to massive industrial and agricultural production. Richard Hofstadter writes, “The industrialists of the Gilded Age were such as one might expect to arise where great waste is permitted for great accomplishment, where temptations are offered and few restraints imposed… They directed the proliferation of the country’s wealth, they seized its opportunities, they managed its corruption, and from them the era took its tone and color” (213).

This period of economic boom saw the emergence of American labor as an organized economic and political force. The vigorous demands presented by labor resulted in unprecedented conflict between capital and labor, with over six million workers involved in over thirty-six thousand strikes. Impotence, not efficacy, furthermore characterized the contemporaneous Presidents, who invested extensive power in the hands of the legislative branch and were disinclined to exert strong executive action against the trusts and monopolies that had begun to burgeon.

By 1894 the United States had become the largest manufacturing nation in the world. In 1860 nearly one out of every four Americans worked in manufacturing; by 1900, one out of every two worked in manufacturing. Radical transformations also took place in the approaches to work taken by former rural dwellers or immigrants who moved to the American city for factory work. Production methods changed in virtually every factory in America during the Second Industrial Revolution, as the desire for efficacy in production had become paramount.

Many companies employed efficiency experts, and most championed the ideas of Frederick W. Taylor, a mechanical engineer who wrote popular treatises on efficiency and scientific management. Taylorism emphasized speed and efficiency in the workplace; factories found payment of workers “by the piece” conducive to greater production. Redesigned factories and supplanted workers were other results of this new industrial paradigm.

Part of this move toward efficiency was the beginning of assembly line production methods. The application of Taylorism and the introduction of the assembly line best demonstrate the combination of technology and business organization that fueled much of the economic growth of the era. The Ford Motor Company was first established in 1903, and by 1910, it was producing nearly 12,000 cars per year. Henry Ford’s factories first used assembly line production methods in 1913; during that year Ford produced nearly 250,000 automobiles. Similar growth occurred in the chemical and electrical industries as new production methods were introduced.