This week as part of our Member Profile series, I am delighted to focus on Marsan Foods - a very active GTA EMC Member who understands the value of networking and learning from others. Among their accomplishments, Marsan Foods has been recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for four years in a row, an incredible achievement! I am so very pleased to provide you with just a small glimpse at a very enthusiastic and engaging company who are striving to be the best that they can be!
Not quite two years ago, EMC Canada was pleased to welcome Marsan Foods as a new Member in our GTA Consortium and since that time, they have taken full advantage of the networking opportunities it afforded them! They have both participated and hosted SIG activities - warmly welcoming peers to their plant and at the same time enjoying the opportunity to visit others not only in their home GTA Consortium - or within the comfort of their sector - but well beyond both of those "borders"! In a world of constant change, increasing customer demands and ever-rising costs, the ability to work with others and take advantage of experiences that allow us to improve our own organizations in an effort to become more efficient, produce better product, engage and enlighten our team of employees, seek to be more competitive or to explore new markets is key to our success as manufacturers in Canada. It is indeed my pleasure this month to provide a small glimpse of Marsan Foods in our EMC Food Sector Member Profile - a company who has reached out to benchmark with others beyond their sector to aid in their continuous improvement initiatives and now - with our new Food and Beverage Program underway - is actively participating in the advantages it affords - sharing the journey they are undertaking and encouraging others along the way as they strive to be a top Canadian processor of Private Label entrees and branded health care products!
Marsan Foods first started production in Toronto in 1970 and their subsequent success over the years ultimately allowed them to expand in 2000. This company has a strong focus on food safety, quality and ongoing continuous improvement and are HACCAP recognized. Their product line features frozen entrees, soups and other products for Retail Grocery, Foodservice and Healthcare Customers across North America. To that end, Marsan Foods not only custom designs soups, sauces and gravies for their restaurant chain customers, but they also provide a co-packing service that runs the gammit from product development through regulatory approvals, and they work hard at matching customer need requirements.
Marsan Foods would not be where it is today without strong leadership and motivated staff clearly focused on providing value to their customers. As an EMC Member, Marsan reached out to learn from others - never hesitating to participate in an event that could provide value from a CI perspective in any aspect of the business. That event might yield opportunity from the topic at hand, from the tour that inevitably ensued or from simply finding other people to connect with who were embarking on the same journey.
Keeping with their Continuous Improvement focus, in 2008, Marsan Foods hosted their first SIG Event and we were delighted to participate in an opportunity to learn more about their company and a new OEE system that they had recently installed which moved them to a Real-Time Performance Management System (RPM) and away from a manual environment fraught with occasional firefighting experiences as many of us in industry have experienced. Malcolm Wheatley, the Senior Contributing Editor of Manufacturing Business Technology describes OEE as "…a quick snapshot of a company's true ability to produce goods. It combines metrics such as available capacity, run-rate utilization, and production yields to determine a plant's overall efficiency." In an effort to produce quality product and remain competitive, Marsan Foods recognized the importance of good measurements to drive those productivity improvements. This drive for "real time" information and a preventative approach led them to explore possibilities with OEE programs. In our SIG Networking Event, Members present were able to learn from their experiences implementing this system - exploring the technological side as well as the benefits from a continuous improvement and engineering perspective and the ongoing communication necessary to build the culture to sustain this particular initiative. For Marsan Foods, implementing the OEE system helped them realize higher productivity, improved efficiencies, motivated staff and aided them in achieving their goals of lowering costs. Just a few of the key discussion points are highlighted below:
- Downtime tracking capabilities are more accurate and more efficient
- Stand alone touch screens - easy to access and use
- Targets can be more realistically set
- Morning meetings are held every day at 9:30 am
CI and Engineering:
- Review findings on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis - this drives the CI program
- Focus on the top five issues
- Development of a Team comprised of CI, Maintenance, Production Supervisors and Managers - who work on root cause analysis, team targets, action lists
- Workforce engagement - people are feeling apart of the CI initiative - now visual, do crew comparisons, and so forth
- Change to a new system was not without its challenges ie. moving the culture of the organization to a continuous improvement mindset and from reactive to proactive stance
- The importance of Communication - it is essential for success - helps you turn challenges into opportunities
- One of the most important benefits of implementation is having real time information and being able to react quickly as a result
This year, we were delighted to once again visit with this great company and with 25 guest manufacturers enjoyed discussions on Problem Solving. This too proffered twenty-five sets of eyes ready to offer ideas, perspectives, experiences and assistance where they might. Participating in external activities and in multiple sectoral events can provide a variety of different view points with which to creatively problem solve!
Now, with the EMC Food and Beverage initiative at hand, Marsan Foods is interested in benchmarking with those specifically within the Sector who are seriously considering embarking on a lean journey. If this is of interest to you, please let me know and we will certainly endeavour to get you connected in that respect.
This month's EMC Member Profile provides just a tiny snapshot of a company leveraging knowledge and experiences as they undergo their continuous improvement journey! An engaging and enthusiastic company, it is no wonder that Marsan Foods was recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 2008, the fourth year in a row it has won this prestigious award.
The benefits to be gained from networking and benchmarking with others opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to heightening our leadership skills, developing and motivating our people, improving our processes and equipment, exploring product improvements, building better and stronger customer relations and expanding into new markets and new regions throughout the world.
Special thanks to Marsan Foods for allowing us the opportunity to focus on their company this month and for their ongoing networking participation and best wishes from all of us at EMC as you move forward in your Continuous Improvement Journey!
For more information, please feel free to explore their website or touch base as per below:
Kristoffer Soderlind - Director of Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Website Address - www.marsanfoods.com
If you would like to have your company featured in an upcoming Member Focus, please let me know - I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you!!
Have a very, very wonderful day!