Inside USANA: Operations at the Center of it All

USANA Operations 2012

It seems like every time we select a new department to highlight here at USANA’s Home Office, we uncover another clue to the secret behind USANA’s success.

As the workings of each group are revealed, it’s clear there isn’t a weak link in this place. Every department plays its own unique and crucial role in assuring USANA remains a powerful influence in the industries of health and network marketing.

USANA’s operations team is no exception.

Jim Brown, USANA’s Vice President of Global Operations, is personally responsible for this incredibly complex team.

“Operations covers a very wide range of areas here at USANA,” Jim says. “But if you want to get to the reality of what we do, it’s this: when an Associate receives any type of product on their front porch, it was created, inspected, packaged, and shipped by operations.”

One thing is for sure: this group cares about the quality of its work. With more than 160 employees among six different umbrellas, each member of the operations department ensures the satisfaction of USANA Preferred Customers and Associates.

Try and keep up as we give a brief overview of each group within operations.

Manufacturing, Packaging & Shipping

These people are the ones getting their hands dirty and actually creating USANA’s products. Believe it or not, with the exception of only a few products, including our foods line and our soft gel tablets, every USANA product is created at the manufacturing facilities located at our Home Office in West Valley City, Utah. And each employee working in or around the products during their creation has been trained to operate by the strictest Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards.

The operations crew works with some very high-tech machinery on a daily basis, including the seven pill presses, which create almost all of USANA’s nutritional supplements.

You might scratch your head at that statement in disbelief, but when it comes to pumping out tablets, these seven pill presses mean business. A newer machine can press anywhere from 250- to 500-thousand tablets per hour. Yes, you read correctly. Not per week or per day, but per hour.

Each machine is also equipped with different tooling to customize or change the size and shape of the tablets.

One of the biggest challenges for the manufacturing employees is a result of USANA’s worldwide presence. Because each country has its own rules, regulations, and restrictions, a basic recipe for one nutritional supplement might have a variety of slightly different ingredients to fit with each corresponding country.

For example: because of all the different formula and label requirements each market has, there are ten different variations of Usanimals™!

Purchasing & Planning

OK, we know where and how the tablets get made, but what about the ingredients we put into the supplements? This is where purchasing and planning comes in.

Purchasing and planning focuses on ways to improve the customers’ experience even before they order their products. They’re all about finding the highest-quality ingredients at the lowest price possible. They do this by conducting in-depth research on the outside companies we purchase our ingredients from.

While there might be 50 different grades of vitamin D available for sale at completely different prices, USANA will never sacrifice the quality of an ingredient to save costs. Our team will first find the highest-quality ingredient available, and then determine which outside vendor can provide it at the lowest cost. This is determined through auditing the vendors on their quality, finances, shipping, and consistency.

Quality Control

Maybe I should have saved the auditing discussions for this group. If anyone knows about conducting an audit, it’s the employees working in quality control.

Even though purchasing and planning has already assured we have the best ingredients coming in, USANA is all about testing our products.

Once we receive a shipment of ingredients, they’re tested. Once the ingredients are combined to begin the creation of a USANA product, they’re tested. And once the product is completely finished and ready to be shipped, (all at once now) it’s tested!

The quality control group safeguards us from ever straying from all the different government regulations our products have to be compliant with. The group also helps us solidify our promise that our products contain only exactly what we say they do.

If there’s ever a complaint about the potency or effectiveness behind a specific supplement, the quality control team has an efficient testing process to allow a turnaround time of one week for a proper response. The team can then record and track these complaints to see if there is a pattern or trend and respond accordingly.

Basically, when we say “Nutritionals You Can Trust,” we take the statement very seriously.

Building Maintenance

Even though this team might have a different role than others in the operations department, they’re equally important. The maintenance and janitorial staff work to provide a clean, safe, and efficient building for employees like myself to work in.

Building maintenance is even responsible for many of the green projects USANA has taken on over the years.

Since 2007, the group has helped with the installation and implementation of xeriscaping around the building, which has saved millions of gallons of water by reducing our watering schedule from six days a week to two.

This is just one example of the many things the maintenance group does to benefit the environmental efforts of USANA and the company’s overall efforts as well.

China

I promise I didn’t slack on my research here and forget a section. There is an entire group of operations dedicated to our market in China — the only other place where we have manufacturing facilities.

Unfortunately, Jim Brown has informed me that trying to tackle the intricacies and processes behind the operations in China can get very challenging and would have to be a whole new blog post on its own.

Well Jim, consider the challenge accepted! We’ll go ahead and throw “China” on our list of future departments to cover.

Inside USANA is a monthly series in which we check in with various departments to help you get to know them a little better.

Be in the know! Follow USANA on Twitter and like our USANA Facebook page for the latest news and notes.

3 replies
  1. Tim Haran
    Tim Haran says:

    Great post, Nick! I have a lot of respect for this group. I took a behind-the-scenes tour of manufacturing the other day. The efficiency and attention to detail they show is outstanding.

    Thanks for helping give them the recognition they deserve.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.