Bringing Competitive Suppliers Together for the Common Good

HAVI helped a quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain to manage packaging suppliers across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) regions to improve quality and efficiency. HAVI identified and evaluated common quality issues with the product and created a forum for suppliers to openly discuss their thoughts or solutions.


Bringing Competitive Suppliers Together for the Common Good

A major quick service restaurant (QSR) chain needed a partner to manage their packaging suppliers across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, in order to improve quality and efficiency. HAVI was able to manage the entire network of suppliers, allowing the QSR to focus time and resources on other areas of their business. Through this, HAVI worked with the suppliers to identify common quality issues and then formed Technical Roundtables to develop and share best practices across suppliers, ultimately benefiting the QSR.


In order to the get the best value and service from a diverse packaging supplier network, the QSR determined that the most effective option was to outsource this part of their business in Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa to one company. HAVI was selected to take on that role, and through its oversight of the suppliers, it identified a number of on-going quality concerns with the hot cups and lids being produced. HAVI needed to address these issues, without the time and expense of working individually with each supplier. Getting suppliers to all work together would be a challenge though, as these organizations were reluctant to share information regarding operations, processes or technology. HAVI needed to quickly create a forum where suppliers could discuss non-competitive issues in a way that did not infringe on their intellectual property rights or technologies.


As the organization responsible for managing the QSR’s packaging in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, HAVI, a global leader in packaging, supply chain services, marketing and supply chain analytics, merchandising planning and promotions management, and waste, recycling and sustainability, quickly developed a forum to bring together the suppliers and solve the quality issues.

The team from HAVI brought together all its hot cups and lid suppliers to form a Technical Roundtable to share insights and provide thought leadership on common quality issues. The Technical Roundtable (TRT) was designed to promote the exchange of ideas and drive collaboration among suppliers in the hot cup and lids category. With the philosophy in mind of working for “what is best for the greater good,” the suppliers were able to put aside competitive concerns and focus on tactics to improve quality and enhance food safety performance for the total packaging category.

The TRT was led by suppliers with sponsorship and guidance from HAVI. It was chartered to focus on identifying opportunities and solutions to improve overall system quality and sharing best practices, all with the goal of better quality packaging and continuous improvement. The TRT focused on the top 5 common quality issues, and used the Six Sigma methodology of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control (DMAIC) to tackle the problems. Each member went through the data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimizing and stabilizing their manufacturing processes and systems, and came back to the group with their findings. The TRT then worked together to find common solutions, resulting in a detailed list of best practices that all the members of the group could apply.

Overall the roundtables have been a great success for the QSR chain and the suppliers, and they are already an ongoing fixture on the calendar. Recent TRT focus areas have included spill resistant lids for paper cold cups, folding cartons, wraps, paper cold cups and lids, and plastic cold cups and lids.


  • Improved performance – Complaints from the QSR were reduced by 50 to 90 percent compliance with packaging standards increased by more than 50 percent.
  • Improved collaboration – Technical Roundtables encouraged suppliers to think out of the box to improve their own processes by sharing certain best practice processes among the suppliers.
  • Improved cost savings – The QSR was able to reduce basis weight used for packaging, without compromising any of the key performance anchors.