Jersey Dairy is located on the island of Jersey and is owned by a cooperative of 18 farmers. All their products are made from milk produced exclusively by the finest pure-breed Jersey cows, which can trace the purity of lineage back to 1763. Each of the 2,800 milk cows on the island produce approx. 5,000 litres annually which sees the Dairy processing 14m litres.
Business Improvement Project
Tony Reed (Operations Manager) and Troy Gleeson (Despatch Manager) participated in the Business Improvement Programme focussing their project on the journey of a sales order through to delivery of product to customers. Currently there are 380 customers scattered around the Island of which the Dairy will deliver to 220 daily. These deliveries are distributed via 6 trucks on an order day 1 to deliver day 2 basis.
The current process had been mapped out in Visio as part of the company’s quality management system so this was a good starting point for the analysis. The document was used as the blueprint for brainstorming sessions with groups across the organisation leading to a GEMBA walk utilising the “7 wastes” analysis tool. The analysis activities allowed managers and supervisors to observe the actual work processes and engage with employees to gain detailed knowledge about how these processes were actually being carried out with the objective of exploring opportunities for improvement. The team described how they used the 3M thought process whilst carrying out the analysis:
- MUDA: Looking at how we use the resources that we have. Do we have wasteful activities in the process that add no value?
- MURA: Looking at the way in which we operate, are there any barriers or bottlenecks that we can eliminate to improve the flow of the process?
- MURI: Looking at the behaviours within the process. Do we have any unreasonable demands where we overburden people, resources and/or the process?
As information was collated by the team during the project, they documented areas for improvement across the following headers within the overall process:
- Sales Order
- Order Processing
- Order Compilation
- Stock Management
- Customer Service
- Order Completion
- Loading Vehicles
- Driver Allocation
- Checking Loads
- Driver / Customer
A series of Ishikawa diagrams incorporating the above were produced to make the analysis simple and visible for people across the dairy to comprehend. It was highlighted by the team how surprising it was when taking time to walk the process, how many small “things” that nobody had thought to mention were detracting from the prime responsibilities and objectives of the shifts. By engaging with the workforce, the team found ways to achieve many small improvements that actually motivated people to think LEAN rather than see this as a management objective to increase workloads. A great example is that the last vehicle to unload now leaves trolleys by the loading bay for use by the Night Shift saving 15 minutes per night, a simple and easy KAIZEN. Additionally, it stops the supervisor getting soaked at the start of a shift in the fridge if it’s raining (goodwill generated).
The “Ishikawa” process analysis has seen the team make improvements around stock management, order compilation and sales order processing at the front end. Further improvements have been made at the back end in how vehicles are loaded and how paperwork is managed improving checks at truck departure and delivering within agreed customer SLA’s.
The team were also able to document previous improvements that had been made prior to the programme when they realised how improved truck usage had given them significant resource benefits having reduced daily truck runs from 7 per day to 6 per day. This also has a Co2 benefit that had not been realised before.
- Ishikawa front end savings have been estimated at freeing up 40 hours of resource on a monthly basis equating to annualized cost reduction of £14k
- The back-end benefits have realised a reduction of 12 hours per month in non-value add process equating to an annual cost reduction of £4.3k
- The improved management of trucks through the despatch scheduling project have reduced costs by £45k
All these benefits have been achieved through smarter working whilst creating a more involved and motivated workforce. This is creating more capacity for the Dairy to invest in improved systems in a very demanding and cost driven supply chain.
Team quote / experience:
“The Jersey Business Improvement programme has reinforced the fact that improvement is continuous and small changes really matter. We had good group interactivity in the programme workshops with other companies in a professional and relaxed delivery process. We enjoyed using the lean tools back in the workplace, especially the “Ishikawa” diagrams which we will continue to use going forward.”
Tony Reed, Operations Manager
The aim of the business improvement programme is to support established organisations to become more efficient and to deliver sustainable growth that will create market competitiveness and a solid operational platform for the future. It is managed by Jersey Business, funded by the Government of Jersey and delivered by Accelerate.
If you would like to get involved in a future programme contact us at [email protected]