This post may seem a little un-fun and it’s nothing glamorous or exciting, but in my little micro-home of an island, I find this issue to be of importance. It’s my day-to-day and I know there are some Mauritians out there that read this blog. I hope this post gets people thinking.
For the past two weeks all of the bottled Coca Cola products at the local giant supermarket in the North of the island have had bad bottle caps on them. More specifically, it is almost impossible to open the bottles because there is a defective ring cut on the plastic bottle tops. And when I say ‘impossible’, I mean that I am physically not able to open these bottles. They are sealed completely and the most recent ones I have in the house have a batch manufacture date of 14 AUG 09 06:11.
In my career and line of work, I have witnessed far too many times manufacturing plants base their production KPIs on through-put or on how much quantity of a particular SKU is produced on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. While quantitative data is extremely relevant and should always be used during planning, forecasting and targeting; quality of product should also be considered.
With food and beverage manufacturing, the manufacturing departments of a company will often times will have solid numbers while sales numbers will be down or not matching up to what’s being produced. If a company does not have good B2B data exchanges with their customers, it is nearly impossible to know how much of any given product are sitting in the distribution warehouse or back stock shelves.
It’s natural that both manufacturing and sales both want to reach their target and forecast numbers, but what happens when bad products aren’t recalled and make it to the store shelves for purchase and consumption? Should consumers still pay the same price for a product that should have been scrapped due to quality issues?
These products should have been scrapped and a P&L hit should have been taken. And if a manufacturing cost center has not been set-up with a budget for scrap allowance, it should be because time and materials were consumed.
Personally, I thinks it’s rather shameful that the local bottling company of Coca Cola products allowed these defective ring cut caps off of the shop floor and into local distribution. This is the first time I’ve seen this here so obviously there was either a new bottle seal machine put into use, a new calibration done, a new operator on shift or a lack of quality control and training.
Because I believe that consumers do have rights and that we should be able to purchase quality products for our money, I have switched to Pepsi until the shelves are cleared out of these defective products. Pepsi is bottled by another local bottling company and if you walk the aisle to check on all the bottles, you’ll see the difference.
In fact, there aren’t even any canned Diet Coke or Coke Zero on the shelves. It’s as if the only option for purchase are the defective bottled products, but are there cans on the back stock shelves, I wonder? While the many tourists that stock up on these bad products will continue to buy them unknowingly, I, as a local resident, am not buying into it and I want to encourage other local consumers to take notice and voice an opinion.
JANUARY 2009 UPDATE: Please read the following link for an update to this post: https://mnpilgrim.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/coca-cola-products-in-mauritius-update/