By Quality Chekd Dairies Inc.

LISLE, Illinois — Hiland-Roberts Ice Cream Company (Norfolk, NE), Potomac Farms (Cumberland, MD) and Dairy Enterprises, Inc. (Orrville, OH) took the top Quality Chekd honors in dairy excellence, plant performance and marketing, respectively, at the 2012 QCS Leadership Conference.

With a focus on “People, Purpose and Passion”, the 2012 QCS conference provided a blend of education, motivation and recognition for its member and supplier community. Key dairy supply services, a supplier trade show and educational workshops highlighted the Seventh Annual Leadership Conference held April 29th – May 1st at The Peabody Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas. Conference attendees included members and suppliers of QCS Purchasing partners, Quality Chekd Dairies, SECO and Allied Purchasing.

“Every one of the members recognizes that their success depends on an unwavering commitment to quality in every aspect of their operation,” said Peter Horvath, president of QCS Purchasing, Quality Chekd Dairies and SECO. “This annual leadership conference highlights the value of achieving and maintaining superior levels of quality, and provides attendees the opportunity to glean new ideas they can take back to their companies and implement as a part of everyday operations.”

Quality Chekd Award Presentations

Long considered a highlight of the conference, the annual Quality Chekd awards and recognition ceremony honored the winners of the coveted Irving B. Weber Award, Production Excellence Award and Outstanding Marketing Achievement Award. “The awards program spotlights the Quality Chekd community’s commitment to superior product quality and customer satisfaction,” said Horvath.

Quality Chekd honored Hiland-Roberts Ice Cream Company (Norfolk, NE) with the prestigious Irving B. Weber Distinguished Award for Quality Excellence with both a trophy and $25,000 check. In capturing the Weber Award, Hiland-Roberts achieved the highest combined annual score of any Quality Chekd member in leadership, customer satisfaction, production quality, marketing communications, staff development and business ethics.

Named for Quality Chekd’s first board president, the Weber Award is modeled after the esteemed Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dairies competing for this award undergo an extensive, twelve-month process involving on-site assessments, monthly finished product testing, a quality compliance evaluation and leadership questionnaires. Finalist trophies for the Weber Award went to Sunshine Dairy Foods (Portland, OR) and Umpqua Dairy Products Co. (Roseburg, OR) in recognition of their company-wide commitments to improving overall business practices.

The 2012 Production Excellence Award, honoring the best single production plant within the Quality Chekd membership, was awarded to Potomac Farms in Cumberland, Maryland. This plant produced the highest quality product, received exemplary scores from on-site evaluations and achieved manufacturing excellence surpassing all other Quality Chekd member facilities. In recognition of their commitment to production excellence Potomac Farms accepted a choice of a grandfather clock or $2,500 scholarship for their dairy.
The Production Excellence Award pays tribute to one’s commitment to superior production and total quality at a single plant. Selection criteria for this award includes facility inspections, an evaluation of a plant’s process and systems for assuring product quality, customer communications, quality standards and laboratory test scores. Finalists for this year, which included Hiland Dairy Foods Company (Norman, OK), Hiland-Roberts Ice Cream Company (Norfolk, NE), Sunshine Dairy Foods East (Portland, OR) and Umpqua Dairy Products Company (Roseburg, OR), received a trophy in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Plant Assessment Excellence Award was presented to 30 member plants who achieved a total score of 95 percent or higher in the annual plant audit. Recipients received a wall clock and plate depicting the year in honor of their achievement. During the annual conference additional Merit of Excellence Awards were given to Quality Chekd members for distinction in the areas of production and marketing.

The 2012 Outstanding Marketing Achievement Award for superior marketing achievement and top communication of its brand was presented to Dairy Enterprises, Inc. of Orrville, Ohio. This award recognizes as ‘Best in Class’ Dairy Enterprises’ clearly identified marketing objectives and strategies, creative implementation of programs and quantifiable results. For its efforts, the company accepted a choice of a grandfather clock or $2,500 scholarship for their dairy.

Entries for the Outstanding Marketing Achievement Award are judged by an independent panel that reviews each dairy’s marketing plan, promotional materials, merchandising programs, ability to enhance brand awareness and generate positive sales results. Representatives from the other finalists for this award, Alqueria Dairy (Cajica, Colombia) and Eberhard’s Dairy Products (Redmond, OR), received a plaque in honor of their efforts.

QCS Award Presentations

To honor member commitment and highlight the achievements made throughout the year, QCS Purchasing presented the QCS Participation Award to two members during the conference: Bongards’ Creameries of Bongards, Minnesota and Producers Dairy Foods, Inc. of Fresno, California. This award illustrates the spirit and purpose of member participation, and recognizes those members who made the largest year-to-year increase in dollar participation in all QCS programs. Bongards’ Creameries and Producers Dairy Foods received a plaque in honor of their accomplishments.

SOURCE: Qualty Checkd