Overcoming Wheat Supply Chain Challenges:
Helping a Flour Mill Become the Pioneers of the Flour Milling Industry
Supply chain disruption and destabilization of the wheat market create budget and logistics challenges for millers. The price and availability of high-quality, high protein wheat fluctuates frequently, forcing millers to look for alternative ways to source wheat from a variety of locations. Because high-protein wheat only comes from a few specific regions, millers have needed to adapt to and find ways to source affordable, available wheat. However, not all wheat quality is the same, and specific variables are needed to make the bread, pasta, cakes, and other products that meet customer demand.
Enzyme flour technology allows millers to blend soft, low-protein wheat with high-protein wheat to achieve the flour performance that meets customers’ expectations.
Stephen Uy, general manager of RFM Corporation’s flour division is well-acquainted with the struggles flour millers face as they strive to cut expenses to offset the rise in wheat prices to accommodate their customers’ price preferences. The team at RFM was trying to combat this challenge by finding ways to incorporate more soft wheat into their grist while still producing the same high-quality products their customers love. In 2009, RFM was introduced to Engrain and a variety of solutions, specifically volMAX™ for bread flour and hydroMAX™ for pasta. These products opened the opportunity to help them satisfy their customers needs while reducing costs.
Stephen reminisced on the evolution of innovation in the flour milling industry. “The Philippine industry was generally conservative when looking for ways to improve the quality of the bread that they make, but we had a willingness to try something new. We thought, “Let’s make a big difference.” From there, RFM and Engrain have worked closely together to help RFM use wider varieties of wheat from different locations around the world while maintaining its industry leading standards.
“The industry is forced to look at alternative sources. And when the wheat gets here, we are forced to fly – not walk or crawl. We have to find a way to make it work” – Stephen Uy
In one instance, RFM found themselves buying an entire boat (the equivalent of 1200 semitruck loads) of wheat that fit within their cost target but was unsure how it would perform when starting to mill it. volMAX and hydroMAX solutions allowed RFM to utilize the boat to create their products regardless of the characteristics of wheat.
“Engrain has helped us a lot with exploring other possibilities. Engrain has always reached out with “You should try this! You should try that! We might have something that can address your problems!” and sometimes they are problems we did not even know we had!”.
“Engrain gives us the confidence to do things we otherwise, wouldn’t have though of doing in the first place” – Stephen Uy
Today, Engrain assists RFM with lowering their costs while producing great quality products for their customers using volMAX and hydroMAX. The company is leading the industry standard in their region, and have become known for their innovation in the flour milling industry.