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MaryRuth’s: Driving Transformation One Process at a Time (Quality Digest)

How MaryRuth Organics streamlined document management and other business processes starting with their QMS.

This article was originally written for and published in Quality Digest.

In the dynamic and ever-evolving landscape of business, the concept of transformation often conjures images of monumental overhauls and radical shifts. However, for some enterprises, effective transformation takes a different, more nuanced form—one that involves strategic adjustments rather than sweeping changes. A prime example of this transformation is found in the journey of MaryRuth’s, a wellness company that has carved its niche in the competitive market.

Founded by MaryRuth Ghiyam and her mother, Colleen, MaryRuth’s began as a personal passion project. The seeds of this venture were sown amidst personal tragedy, as MaryRuth, having lost her father and brother at a young age, embarked on a journey to explore health and healing. Motivated by the challenges of loss and illness, MaryRuth and Colleen united to turn their personal mission into a business dedicated to helping others progress every day.

The initial transformation occurred when MaryRuth made the bold decision to leave her real estate career and immerse herself in the field of nutrition. This marked the inception of the Mary Ruth Method—a “liquids ’til lunch” approach to healthy living. However, it wasn’t long before MaryRuth identified an untapped market opportunity. Recognizing a gap, she took a calculated risk and introduced a liquid multivitamin to meet the needs of her clients. Her commitment to innovation led her to culinary school, where she honed her skills to craft a range of vitamins that catered to the entire family.

Today, the company’s successful health and wellness business includes a product portfolio of more than 200 supplements designed for entire families to take control of their health, many tuned for various  stages of life. In recent years, MaryRuth’s has grown exponentially, delivering more than five million supplements to customers nationwide via direct sales and large retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, and Vitamin Shoppe.

Robust digital record management: A business imperative

To successfully scale business operations, MaryRuth’s identified opportunities to enhance efficiencies within its business processes and workflows. Its previous quality management system (QMS) was unable to support the company’s rapidly changing business model and processes. To support current and future business initiatives, MaryRuth’s wanted a centralized document storage with revision control, approval workflows, and robust reporting capabilities.

Additionally, to support current and future business initiatives, MaryRuth’s wanted a new QMS solution with real-time data access that could eliminate manual processes leading to inefficiencies. Specifically, MaryRuth’s was seeking an electronic QMS (eQMS) system to streamline processes, automate multiple tasks, reduce manual efforts, and improve the overall efficiency of the organization.

MaryRuth’s was seeking an electronic QMS (eQMS) system to streamline processes, automate multiple tasks, reduce manual efforts, and improve the overall efficiency of the organization.

Smart QMS for optimizing business practices

With Propel, MaryRuth’s found a solution for storing and managing product documents in one secure platform. This centralized approach gives the company’s quality team a way to easily manage and maintain a trusted product record throughout the entire life cycle. This single source of truth ensures accuracy and easy access to essential documentation when needed to support ongoing business initiatives.

The software addressed MaryRuth’s challenges through its bill of materials feature. This functionality visually links the main product record (parent) to essential documents in the product development process (children). This streamlined approach—incorporating details around specifications, labels, raw materials and more—enhance efficiencies by eliminating the need to sift through countless folders.

Another area where the company saw immediate improvements was in its planning for incoming finished product inspections. By automating processes, MaryRuth’s is able to continuously achieve 100% traceability throughout the product life cycle. It can reference live product data for use in incoming finished product inspections reports, and effectively track when products are released into inventory.

Easy-to-use solution delivers business collaboration

Built on the Salesforce platform, Propel enabled MaryRuth’s to create a laboratory management system with easy-to-use custom objects. This system repository houses the company’s samples and test results, providing access to real-time product data for stability reporting as well as shelf-life reporting.

It was also instrumental in creating a formula library for the company’s product development team. This library stores information pertaining to all product ingredients and related ingredients from suppliers. Leveraging custom objects, Propel allows the MaryRuth’s team to quickly create new tabs to provide easy access to product information based on individual team member credentials.

MaryRuth’s can also communicate more efficiently with its entire supply chain. By having a single platform for all facets of product management, it monitors and manages every aspect of its QMS in real time.

“We got everything we asked for with Propel,” says Diana Sehawneh, quality project coordinator at MaryRuth’s. “Propel introduced enhanced controls and monitoring for all aspects of product development across the entire supply chain—a vital aspect when being compliant and inspection-ready are crucial.”

The system didn’t just optimize quality management for the quality team; the larger company as a whole began to see positive benefits. Now, when questions arise about elevating business efficiency, the first question asked is: “How can we do it using Propel?”

New processes drive results

MaryRuth’s switch to Propel has resulted in two significant changes for the company: an immense amount of time saved, as well as streamlined approvals.

MaryRuth’s team saw a substantial reduction in time spent on document retrieval and management. Now, with streamlined access and a more organized structure, employees save an estimated 45–50% per task. This frees up their time to work on other areas of business, which makes them more efficient overall in their workday.

The new system put in place has allowed MaryRuth’s to achieve seamless approvals for essential documents, with their fastest turnaround time clocking in at just two hours! By centralizing communication and tracking changes, approvals are smoother and quicker.

What’s next for MaryRuth’s?

As MaryRuth’s takes significant strides towards efficiency in the next phase of its transformative journey, the focus is on seamlessly integrating an on-the-go audit system, providing users with a comprehensive Propel user manual, and streamlining the label review process.

The implementation of an on-the-go audit will empower MaryRuth’s to elevate real-time assessments, further enhancing its longstanding commitment to compliance. Complementing this, the Propel user manual aims to equip users with in-depth knowledge, fostering a more user-friendly experience and maximizing the benefits of the eQMS platform. Additionally, the label review process will undergo enhancements to streamline the process of gathering feedback and ultimately expediting approvals.

These steps demonstrate the company’s dedication to maximizing the software’s potential and crafting an adaptable quality management system for modern enterprises.

The path forward

MaryRuth’s’ transformation was a strategic shift toward a more efficient and effective quality management system. By identifying the need for a change, and implementing a new, more interconnected system, MaryRuth’s was able to address critical issues. The adoption of Propel software has improved efficiency and quality management by providing a seamless way to manage documentation, communicate with the supply chain, and ensure product quality.

By identifying market gaps, adapting to changing consumer needs, and maintaining a steadfast commitment to quality, MaryRuth Ghiyam and her team have not only built a thriving business but have also empowered countless families to prioritize their well-being through a diverse and accessible range of health products. In a landscape where adaptability is key, MaryRuth’s stands as a shining example of strategic transformation done right.

Listen to MaryRuth's transformation story as told by quality project coordinator Diana Sehawneh on The Platform Rules podcast.

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Adam Sutter
VP of Quality and Compliance, MaryRuth Organics

Adam Sutter is VP of quality and compliance at MaryRuth's.

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Adam Sutter