Grampian on efficiency drive

In a bid to identify inefficiencies Cheshire-based Grampian Country Foods has gone into partnership with the RMIF.

In a bid to identify inefficiencies and develop methods for continuous improvements along a busy production line, Cheshire-based Grampian Country Foods, in partnership with the Red Meat Industry Forum (RMIF), selected a team of operators to take on board the 'lean' manufacturing concept, which if rolled out across the rest of the company could potentially save £180,000 per annum.

Under the guidance of RMIF facilitator Kevin Bennett and supported by company training and CI manager John Stoneley, the four female production operators, concentrated on production line four over a six month period - the busiest line, supplying meat products to the high street retail trade.

By learning how to collect reliable data that gave an accurate picture of what was actually happening on the production line, the operators discovered some areas for improvement, such as more frequent measurements on the accuracy of the automatic cutting equipment, improving the quality, presentation and yield of the product.

Stoneley said: "This exercise has given us an excellent opportunity to re-focus and develop staff using lean principles methodology at our site.

"So much so that following a presentation by the 'sisters of lean' to members of senior management, the team has been challenged to champion this methodology into all other areas in the factory."

Stoneley added that as well as the potential financial benefits already identified by the exercise, communication skills right across the factory had improved and the team's ability to understand and recognise value added versus non value added activity had increased substantially.

Other major projects identified as a result of the programme include reviews of the sites; inventory, data and reconciliation processes, and movement of stocks, which again have the potential to considerably benefit the company's bottom line.

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