The Halal food industry is a booming industry especially in the Toronto area. The technique of Halal used by Muslims worldwide mirrors the Kosher methods in Judaism whereby Islamic blessings instead, are imparted on the animals right before they are slaughtered. It currently accounts for 16% of the entire global food industry and projected to go up to 20% in the near future according to SGS Solutions Experts. According to SGS, this industry now accounts for CAD $1.87 Trillion in business worldwide on an annual basis with people following the Muslim faith soon expected to represent the largest share of global consumer spending and widespread acceptance of the halal slaughter methods in major grocery chains.
In 1971, Ayub Qureshi may have had the foresight of this industry when he brought out one of the first halal meat butcher shops in Toronto on Lawrence Ave called Al-Qureshi Meats. He has since retired, but with growing up around his father’s business and exposure to the retail meat environment at such a young age, son Asim Qureshi has recognized some of the trends of today’s general public and wanted to carry out the family legacy. With this, he and his partner introduced a new line of products that would help families to indulge in the traditional Indian and Pakistani flavoured meats, and at the same time, saving them the long and sometimes arduous process in preparing them. Today’s growing trends moving towards more ethnic dishes due to the high immigrant communities in Toronto, even the demographic that don’t associate themselves with being South Asian are getting on board in the consumption of such spices and delicacies. Time is slowly becoming quite the valuable commodity and so are finances. With people trying to eat more at home and finding ways to avoid eating out at restaurants on a regular basis, Tandoori Oven was the flagship product under One World Foods Asim and his team conjured up to fulfill that particular need.
The food has to be fast, Consumers lack the time and the knowledge to develop the flavours at home. You have to balance the authenticity of the traditional flavours, but tone the spice down. It needs to be authentic, but not overpowering. (Asim Qureshi – Toronto Star Oct 12/2012)
With an already competitive market, food suppliers that are new to the industry need to find cost effective ways to manage their business and social media has been an effective method. There are many stages of the supply chain workflow that needs to be carefully monitored and executed for products to be manufactured and arrive safely and properly at the retail location. We sat down with Asim and spoke about those stages and how social media has helped him with his organization.
Tandoori Oven had the product line and it had the idea that was working fairly well. What needed to be working fluidly was the actual proper smooth flow of the product from origination to destination. The Supply Chain for Asim Qureshi was a fairly complex one that differs from other mainstream food products. Because of its unique method of slaughter, it also required careful precision and monitoring for the process to work. Not only does Tandoori Oven supply meat that has to be cut in a certain manner, it has to be marinaded in customized spices and packaged perfectly for the big name grocery chains that have allowed his product to be shelved there. Already taking a look at the Supply Chain cycle of Tandoori Oven, you can clearly see that there a lot of stages that it needs to go through. To maintain the utmost quality, squash any issues that may arise, and ensure deadlines are met are some of the major challenges Asim has had to face.
Tandoori Oven possessed a Supply Chain cycle that was quite complex as pictured here. Founder Asim Qureshi needed to build trust with each of those particular stages and in the end ensure that the major grocery chains that are working with him are fully satisfied in the state the packaging and products come in. With some of the suppliers and manufacturers that are part of the process, they have installed a communication method called Supplier Central that would allow them to relay any issues and updates to Asim and his team.
Within his organization, Asim’s quick and easy method of liaising with his team members is through the use of Whatsapp which is a very popular chat client that is robust enough to allow group chats, images and files to be shared and instant sending and receiving of messages. Team members would actually go on site to various grocery retail chains and are able to take pictures and send to the group what the product line actually looks like in a live space instantly. From that, Asim would then react to any issues if need be.
Another huge aspect of One World Foods was the tracking of inventory. Because of the many retail outlets that carry the Tandoori Oven brand, One World had to employ people onto the team to keep track of inventory with the use of Google Docs that was effective in being shared, edited and always available for members to view in a cloud space.
With the various social media systems put in place not only from the manufacturers, production plants and distribution centres, Asim Qureshi who is the co-founder of One World Foods and producer of Tandoori Oven products, now has firm control of his Supply Chain methods. Any issues that arise from any of the stages go directly to his team either through the use of Whatsapp, email from Supplier Central and also the comments portal of their company website. The tools adopted allow real time updates of when and where his products are heading and allow him and his team to react to any type of problems that may take place.
One such example at a major grocery retailer. A few cashiers put in a complaint of the packaging quality as some of the trays were leaking marinade onto the conveyor. One of the team members were contacted where they then sent out a group message. Asim quickly got onto it and talked to the packaging company that was handling that step and since then, felt that their service wasn’t up to high standards and has since moved to another plant that possesses better customer service and production methods. With that, reps from One World Foods can go into stores and send real-time updates and pictures showing how the packages look on store shelves as Asim mentions in the video here.
Now OneWorld Foods and Tandoori Oven are experiencing increasing sales and have since launched a second brand specific to the surging Halal market named One World Halal. As of next month, products will available across the country! In addition to the chicken products, Tandoori Oven now boasts a stalwart product lineup featuring Pizza, Lasagna, Burgers and many more items. Furthermore, he will be launching a new franchised brand halal meat butcher shop starting in the same area where his dad once stood in the Birchmount and Lawrence area of Scarborough. The “House of Halal” which will be a butcher shop featuring some of the more trendier recipes in meat is currently under construction and expected to open its doors in the coming months.
Lessons for Others
Asim Qureshi and his brand Tandoori Oven has employed best practices pertaining to his organization that allows his products to be manufactured, packaged and delivered on time with high quality at all grocery retail chains he is currently under contract with. He has recognized that Supply Chain Management is the lifeblood of his business to ensure products end up in the consumers hands.
Today’s marketplace is highly competitive and it’s critical for companies to think of innovative new ways to streamline their operations, increase efficiencies, and optimize productivity in order to stay ahead of the competition.
One such aspect of business that is often overlooked when attempting to achieve greater efficiency is supply chain management. Many organizations only pay attention to what is going on within their facilities and don’t manage the entire chain of activities that is being completed by outside organizations to get a product to the end user. This leads to disjointed and less-than-effective supply chain management. However, this isn’t necessary. You can better manage the supply chain to gain a competitive advantage and maximize customer value.
Using modern technologies, such as social media, can improve your organization’s supply chain management. It can create more visibility, improve communication, increase control, and reduce operational and labor costs. When you have a more efficient and stable supply chain, you can enhance your customer satisfaction. The ripple effect of using social media to improve your supply chain management can expand outwardly across virtually your entire organization, which is great for business. ~Mark Liebenthal
The above excerpt from HCM Insights highlights the effectiveness and efficiency related to utilizing social media to get your products from A to B. Asim has mentioned that this is a very important aspect of any business and is often overlooked because of its complex nature. He realizes the amount of work needed to ensure products are reaching their respective destinations and therefore has employed people just to handle this task as it requires more than just tracking the product’s whereabouts. Factors such as inventory control, problem solving and visibility out in the market are all critical in ensuring that both supply is being met and demand is generated.
Industry: Food, Meat, Retail
Name of Organization Contact: Asim Qureshi, Founder
Authored by: Safi
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