Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Executive Summary

Cost of quality is the baseline of ensuring the quality of a product as it considers all the aspects of a product or service and puts in place the quality aspects in all the processes involved to get the end product. The ultimate quality failure prevention strategy is to invest on cost of quality to ensure that every step in the line of offering a product or service is of desired quality and this will go a long way in preventing crises that emanate from such failures to undergo such costs.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.




Cost of quality is an important aspect to any given organization. It comprises of the costs foregone for the purposes of ensuring that the goods and services offered by the organization are of the accepted quality standards and the processes involved right from the initial stage to the end product are totally focused on the quality(Omachonu et al., 2004). As such, the cost of quality must be integrated into the strategic management system of an organization, as it forms an integral part of defining the success or failure of the organization’s performance.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay. The benefits of implementing cost of quality ensure that the products or service quality is acceptable as per he set standards and the cost of meeting this quality is kept at minimum to break-even(Krishnan et al., 2000). On the other hand, the cost of quality mirrors in the effectiveness of the existing quality system, providing an opportunity for improvement in areas that can be identified to hold the capabilities of jeopardizing the level of quality. This report utilizes the Maple Leaf Foods case study to show the importance of cost of quality in an organization and how to handle crisis emanating from this aspect.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Root Cause (S) Of the Issue

Maple Leaf Foods is a Canadian based food processing company that mainly deals with meat processing, packaging and supply to households, restaurants and hotels. During the summer of 2008, the firm’s management became aware of a possible listeriosis contamination at one of the processing plants in Toronto(Greenberg & Elliott, 2009). However, it took nearly two weeks to confirm the contamination which turned out to be positive.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay. By this time, the damage had already been done as hundreds of clients were already sick and sadly 22 of them had passed on. The company reputation deteriorated coupled with media attacks, as well as legal lawsuits to claim damages. The clients also largely avoided the company products with trade customers switching to alternative suppliers, which led to a nearly a halt to the overall operations of the company. Although the company CEO accepted the error openly and offered a public apology, the failure that led to the crisis is largely associated with the ineffectiveness on the management of the cost of quality(Greenberg & Elliott, 2009).Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Prevention of The Current Situation

Cost of quality forms an important part of the strategic management, especially where the organization such as the Maple Leaf Foods undergo several processes that may affect the end product. When it comes to the public health issues, cost of quality aspects should be placed in the forefront to ensure that the quality of the product is of the acceptable standards,right from the processing plant, all the way to the end user. The application of the total quality management system (TQM) has proved to be a solution to some of the associated issues to do with quality by ensuring that the established errors in quality are rectified before the product leaves the processing plant and during supply to the market before it reaches the end user(Omachonu et al., 2004).Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

For the Maple Leaf Foods case, there are a number of actions that should have been taken to prevent the situation from occurring. First, the management had become aware of a possible listeriosis contamination in their Toronto plant which should have prompted an immediate action on recall of all the recent products supplied from the plant. It took nearly two weeks of wait for the confirmation, meaning that there were no enough internal mechanisms that would have confirmed and established the contamination immediately.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay. This can be termed as a failure of effective application of the appraisal costs, which ensure that the produced products are of quality and as such, steps such as inspection were not followed as this would have established contamination right at the initial stage of the processing(Krishnan et al., 2000).Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

On the other hand, Maple Leaf Foods also reveals failure to incur preventive costs as part of the cost of quality. These costs, minimize the number of defects at first place to ensure that the quality of the product meets the desired quality level (Krishnan et al., 2000). In this relation, the firm should have ensured that its manufacturing processesmatch the industry standard level of quality and their workers are knowledgeable enough to handle quality cases through extensive training on quality issues. Furthermore, application of quality engineering through the use of quality system checks also assists in establishing errors in time and rectifying them to prevent such scenarios as the one which faced the Maple Leaf Foods company (Omachonu et al., 2004).Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Actions Taken to Turn around The Situation

Crisis management, especially concerning public health is complex and requires careful steps to resolve. Maple Leaf Foods were faced with a crisis that was on the blink of bringing down the whole establishment to its feet, due to the failure of effective application of cost of quality. However, the show of democratic leadership of the company CEO through acceptance of the failures by taking a personal charge and offering a public apology turned the whole scenario around (Greenberg& Elliott, 2009). Apart from acceptance and offering of the public apology, the company took to its core some steps through the application of the internal failure costs(Krishnan et al., 2000). The firm established that on their part they had failed on quality assurance checks internally within their plants and this led to the bold steps of restructuring, as well as application of new quality strategies to rectify these failures.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Nevertheless, this was not enough as the damage had already gone beyond the organization to the public limelight. This also required a strategy to counter the failure. To rectify this, the Maple Leaf Foods management underwent the external failure costs, which are the costs incurred through deficiencies found after delivery of products to the clients (Westcott, 2013, 09). As such, the firm undertook the defective product recall and also run an extensive public relations campaign to enlighten the clients on the happenings and the steps the firm had taken to prevent such occurrences in the future.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Management of The Crisis by Mr. McCain

Mr. McCain as a leader and the CEO of Maple Leaf Foods was bestowed with all the efforts to restore back the reputation of the company and as well, to place the company back to its position of operating normally once again(Greenberg & Elliott, 2009). As such, his decision was first to be informed by the internal organs as the firm was already facing several crises, including economic, reputation, public health, as well as legal action. As Mr. McCain revealed later, he made a bold decision that would balance all these crises. First, he considered the cost of quality and as the damage had already been done, the company had to undergo costs to rectify the situation, especially on PR, legal actions as well as product recall.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

Secondly, accepting publicly and owning the failures brought back the trust to the public which comprises potential future clients. This was a wise move, especially in protecting the brand image (Guèvremont& Grohmann, 2018). On the other hand, restructuring of the firm was also another good move as it will ensure the gaps that were present on issues to do with quality are eliminated and in future, the detection can be done in earnest to prevent such future occurrences.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.


In a recap, the cost of quality is vital, especially in any given manufacturing entity as it places the quality aspect at the core of every process right from beginning to the end of the product processing. Failure to undergo the quality costs may be more costly to the concerned firm as it has been established through the Maple Leaf Foods company. Quality crisis also has been established to be a make or break situation which requires a well thought move, especially when the matter is within the public limelight. The ultimate quality failure prevention strategy is to invest on cost of quality to ensure that every step in the line of offering a product or service is of desired quality and this will go along way in preventing crises that emanate from such failures to undergo such costs.Maple Leaf Foods as Case Study Essay.

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