In the area of quality management, our goal is to ensure that goods sold in our stores – both branded and private label goods – have a consistent, high level of quality. To this end, X5 set up the Quality Control Department that applies a process-based, systematic approach to quality control and employs modern control methods such as laboratory testing, external audits of producers and measures aimed at product quality improvement.
The Company has local quality control departments in all regions where we operate. Quality control managers are trained in accordance with ISO 9001:2008, ISO 22000:2005 International Quality Standards. Professionals working in these departments include technologists specializing in various food categories, merchandise specialists and certified quality experts.
Our quality control team actively engages in every stage of the product life cycle and does not cut corners when it comes to protecting the health and safety of our customers.
Quality Control at All Stages of the Product Life Cycle
Before any supply contracts are signed, our suppliers submit samples of their products to the Quality Control Department, where our experts check the products’ compliance with current legal requirements.
Inbound Inspection at Distribution Centres
Each lot of food product received at a distribution centre is subject to quality control by a number of sensory characteristics, such as appearance, consistency, taste and odor. The quality of fruits and vegetables (including exotic varieties) is checked in accordance with the national standards of the Russian Federation, European standards (UNECE), X5 Quality Catalogue and approved acceptance criteria (size, maturity level, etc.).
In-Store Quality Control
At the beginning of 2008, ?5 introduced the “Quality Hour,” which now takes place in each of our stores every day between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. During this time, store employees sort fresh fruits and vegetables and check all the goods on the shelves to see if any of them are expiring or have visual defects.
Addressing Customer Complaints
Our Customer Complaints Department closely analyses each logged complaint. In some cases, it makes sample purchases of a particular product to verify information received. Samples are tested externally, and based on the test results,
the Department will submit a claim to the producer as needed or take measures to improve quality control in the store, if appropriate.
In-House Product Evaluation
As our business grows, in-house tasting and expert evaluation of private label products becomes more of a challenge. Historically, products have been sampled by specialists in this segment – the Quality Control Department, Commercial and Marketing Departments.
However, starting from 2010, the number of products we had to evaluate significantly increased and in 2011 we sent over 5,500 food and non-food products to certified testing centres and to our internal tasting commission. The commission members, who are X5 employees and divided into groups by taste preferences, age, sex and income, evaluate the products according to taste, color, odor, consistency and appearance.