Process improvement can relate to many different aspects and areas of a business - from ensuring ingredients or supplies are delivered as they are needed (minimising warehouse storage requirements and keeping things fresh), to minimising plant stoppages to improve yield and manufacturing throughput.
An example of process improvements that you are likely to have been unwittingly involved in is electronic/online banking - no more paper statements or going to branches to deposit or withdraw money. Cheques are also on the way out (even though for some people they are still the most convenient payment method). This is a great example of improving a process.
How can this example be applied to your business?
Say you are a bakery & you currently add flour to your mixer via manual handling of bags, tipping the flour into the mixer by hand.
How much quality control do you have on preventing small pieces of paper/plastic entering there mixer from this bag? Or how can you eliminate or minimise the manual handling the operators are continually exposed to? How can you free up operator time so they do not have to manually add the flour, while on top of that, they don't have to bring in the bags to the process room - removing more manual handling AND removing an avenue for contamination?
There are a few simple and well proven solutions:
- Buy ingredients in bulk if possible and install a bulk handling system with automatic feeding to mixers - this can be a simpler process than you think with very short payback periods or;
- If possible reconfigure the batching & mixing area so that the mixer powder addition hatch is opened in an area with semi-automated materials handling equipment.
While these may sound like significant investments, these are but a few of the multitude of solutions out there that could be applied to this situation, to fit all kinds of budgets, layouts, space constraints and manufacturing requirements.
As RMR process are dedicated to the food industry, we know we can help your business upscale to meet the increasing demand for your product. In any case we may not be able to directly help you ourselves, we would certainly be able to put you in touch with someone who could help. Contact us today.