In an ever-growing global marketplace, our ongoing initiatives to become more competitive and efficient cause companies to search for creative means to meet production targets that satisfy customers’ needs while maintaining quality and food safety excellence. This Special Event, Hosted by The Original Cakerie in London, focused on their particular journey to increase efficiencies and for many, it was an inspiring story followed by a fabulous plant tour.
|Our Host, The Original Cakerie, is the largest privately-owned dessert manufacturer in Canada producing high quality frozen products for Retail and Foodservice customers across North America. They have Kosher and Gluten-Free Certification and are also BRC Certified (AA Rated - the highest possible grade within the audit program). As recent recipients of the NSF International Food Safety Excellence Award, The Original Cakerie also has very robust programs for food safety and quality assurance.|
After a warm welcome and roundtable introductions, we were ready to learn from The Original Cakerie’s experiences regarding the topic at hand: "Increasing Efficiencies".
Recognizing demand was exceeding capabilities, our Host endeavoured to explore creative means on how to increase efficiencies to meet customer requirements without reinvesting in more equipment or capital unless necessary. It truly required some out-of-the box-thinking and ultimately engaged team members throughout the facility.
There are many means in which companies explore improving processes and our Host elected to utilize the concept of Zero Based Analysis. After training by developers of ZBA and subsequently uncovering areas of potential opportunities, The Original Cakerie formed a “Rapid Improvement Team” whose primary focus would be on increasing product efficiencies.
As a bit of background, ZBA employs a combination of technology (including surveys, data collection, apps and analysis) to plan improvement projects that may potentially yield significant outcomes. It is similar to Zero-Based Budgeting wherein you essentially start from 0 and look at each area of spend. “What could we deliver with 0 constraints?” Taking that perspective, opportunities are identified and other potential ones are explored that may not have presented themselves otherwise. Essentially, ZBA helps understand what opportunities are available and what to look for and helps ensure that you are not putting a lot of effort into the wrong areas.
In a promotional video by Stroud, we learned about Accountability and prioritizing opportunities. Interestingly, the speaker outlined that if we were to ask 10 people what the top 5 actionable items might be in our businesses, we were likely to get 10 different lists and 20 items versus the 5 we were looking for.
This led to a discussion around the development of an Opportunity Radar that helps determine the right initiatives to work on. We also chatted about resources, the need for very clear communication and developing a team that has an “Improvement Mindset” to ensure follow-through on the projects. The three key elements that our Host mentioned were:
· Having a belief that opportunities exist
· A team with the motivation to go after those opportunities, and
· The capability to deliver results.
Once the Team was established our Host focused on the equipment they had in place – what could be produced on an hourly basis and what was the potential that could be produced on that same line. They looked at the entire line and the constraints and in one instance simply replacing a cog on their equipment allowed them to increase capacity. They also needed to consider the human factor and if the Production Team could keep pace with the new speed. This involved reviewing processes and looking at the means in which tasks were being completed. It was not long before they discovered they could adjust and rearrange the way they were manually completing elements of the process subsequently making work easier and also more ergonomically sound. The Rapid Improvement Team were successful in achieving meaningful results including a 17% increase in efficiency run rates on their super-size cakes! By making the “work smarter”, everyone benefitted – employees, customers and the company.
|It was a great day that led to some excellent discussion on what has worked well not only for our Host in this regard but also the types of initiatives others in attendance were rolling out to enable competitiveness. Participating manufacturers represented a variety of companies from the Entrepreneurial through to large operations across Southwestern Ontario.|
Following our discussion, our Host provided a tour of their facility and everyone thoroughly enjoyed that experience and many particularly found the visual boards and KPI’s of interest.
Roundtable Networking Discussion:
Our group then had a chance to share experiences and discuss opportunities or challenges with peers in attendance and we broached some interesting topics including:
· Racking opportunities
· ERP Systems
· Business Growth
· Maintenance and Reliability Improvements
· Job Descriptions
· Cross-Functional Team Development
Very special thanks to our Host, The Original Cakerie, and all of the Manufacturers and Community Partners who joined us for this very special Networking Event!
All the best as always!
Bren de Leeuw, Director - EMC Food, Beverage, Bio & Ag Program Canada
Excellence In Manufacturing Consortium - firstname.lastname@example.org - 519-372-6009
EMC receives funding under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. However, the comments or opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada or the Province of Ontario.