Key issues affecting productivity in the food and drink sector

Can you identify with some of the following issues in your own business? They’re typical of the problems brought to us by our customers in the food and drink sector.

  • Before we start rationalising product locations across the group we want accurate data to finalise staffing levels and capacities.
  • Fluctuating demand and a change in shift patterns and breaks prompts our need to establish accurate team sizes and targets for varying throughput levels.
  • Our process lines are running continuously, regardless of throughput; we have to improve efficiency and output so we can close them down sooner, save energy and move people to other work to enable us to undertake line hygiene and maintenance.

If you share similar concerns, perhaps together we can find the solution for you. We did for every one of these.

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Scott-Grant’s experience in the food and drink sector

Here are some recent examples of how we’ve helped businesses in the food and drink sector.

Example 1

Food manufacturing lines were being stopped because, it was thought the very sophisticated palletisers were causing output and cost issues, significant food wastage and unbudgeted manual intervention to respond to the problem. Scott-Grant Industrial Engineers identified that in fact the palletisers were the effect, not the cause of the problem. Faulty settings on certain packing equipment, poorly maintained switching and lane changing devices were resulting in poor presentation and input at the palletisers. The ‘end of line’ team was reduced and re-positioned to address problems prior to palletising. Machine settings and packaging tolerances were improved, food manufacturing lines restored to optimum production – and the palletisers were ‘off the hook’!

Example 2

A food processing and packing company was looking for 12.5% additional capacity with no added cost – so they came to Scott-Grant. Our input of four consecutive days resulted in identifying reasons for stoppages (ca 15-20% for each shift). Several changes were made including process settings and timings, product size and weight adjustments and addressing off-spec packaging issues. Line staffing was reduced by 9% as there was now no need to re-work and remove as much waste. They actually achieved 16% additional capacity; almost 10% of that 16% didn’t incur additional food cost as waste had been reduced.

How to learn more about Productivity Improvement

Productivity can be improved in every department of every organisation. We offer opportunities to learn at an appreciation or awareness level, through to individual qualifications, or with guided learning on a live project in your workplace.

Some suggestions for studying productivity improvement

What to do next

If you need to improve capacity or reduce costs, or you need accurate data to determine how best to cope with change, we can provide the right way forward – cost-effectively. Remember that improving productivity is about making the better use of all your resources and vitally, making much better use of the critical ones.

Whichever business sector you operate in, the chances are we’ve helped people to address their productivity issues and improve the way they operate.

Scott-Grant can really help you improve your productivity and become more streamlined.

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