Reducing Supply Chain Waste

The challenge

A large dairy processing operation  wanted to identify the sources and scale of losses in product waste from its supply chain.

We applied our ‘Process Insight Methodology’ at one of its sites to identify, map and significantly reduce the waste levels across the process and packing operations.


What we did – Process insight approach

The key was for us to understand the underlying process; identify controllables, disturbances and process capability. Then monitor the process controllables to identify and stop the generation of waste in the first place. Whilst output KPI’s are valuable from a high level monitoring point of view, our work enabled the site to understand the causes of product waste, which, eliminated confusion, knee jerk reactions, and replaced it with informed decision making.


How we did it

We developed a comprehensive end to end material flow and wastage model, to enable an accurate reconciliation of material flow through the process from intake to dispatch.  Similarly to other liquid processes, a meaningful model required us to calculate the composition of the material at each stage of the process, specifically in a dairy; the amount of skim, fat and interfaces.

Using the tools we pinpointed the most significant areas of loss at site, then develop technology and behavioural improvement projects.  Working collaboratively with the site team we implemented an ongoing waste management process and delivered training to quantify, target and manage losses on a continuing basis.



The project identified annual losses in excess of £2.5M and an opportunity for improvement of £0.6M per annum.  We are retained as an implementation partner.

The Process Manager said

Improving visibility of process performance and cost of loss through the plant are important for us to remain competitive. Carbon Architecture’s approach has given us much needed tool and skills to isolate route cause and deliver cost savings.



  • Customer – Dairy Processing
  • Plant – >400 mL/ Annum
  • Cost Saving/Year –  £0.6M per annum
  • Return on Investment – less than 12 months

About Dan Jackson

Dan Jackson is a process and sustainability consultant. He has experience in helping clients reduce energy and cost in the NHS and across the hospitality supply chain, from breweries to pubs.