30/6/2013 - Posted in: General news
It cannot be denied that industry has not been a particularly easy place to be of late. And judging by economic forecasts, although the food industry in the UK is strong and arguably growing, in order to survive - and even better, to thrive - businesses need to be ever smarter, ever leaner, ever more competitive.
Recession, legislation, rising prices and a squeeze on spending are having a huge effect. We repeatedly find the same concerns weighing on the minds of those working in the food industry: low margins, high costs, efficiencies, cost saving, waste reduction yet no compromise on quality.
Time and again, clients turn to lean manufacturing or Business Improvement Techniques (B.I.T) and change management projects to achieve the holy grail of cost savings. Success in this area varies. Many try and fail again and again; others try and achieve limited improvements.
Clearly, we can’t speak for everyone. But, as specialist in the food and drink industry, we at FDQ know an awful lot about the secret which many big name manufacturers have already discovered. In fact two of our team developed it in previous roles, a fact about which we are immensely proud.
A couple of years ago, a revolutionary qualification entered the food industry training market. A game-changer one might say.
If this was the nappy or razor market we would all know about it; millions would have been poured into promotion, it would be the word on everyone’s lips. But things are not so explosive in the qualifications and training world. This fact makes it no less a game-changer.
Food Manufacturing Excellence (FME) I would like to introduce FME. A qualification designed to build productivity and sustainable growth across the whole business. It was developed in consultation with the food industry and is already generating significant commercial wins for those using it. Albeit quietly!
Well-known names are embedding FME into their businesses, to up-skill their staff and give their businesses the edge.
One of the first to embark on FME as part of an apprenticeship was Thorntons, successfully delivered by CQM training and consultancy. Whilst the learners received their certificates in ceremonial fashion from an MP, the business generated even greater rewards:reduction of waste on certain lines by a third; increased staff productivity; keeping overheads flat against increasing volumes Thorntons have confirmed that use of the qualification, as part of a lean development programme, has significantly contributed to over £1 million worth of savings from productivity improvements.
More recently Britvic Soft Drinks have spoken of their delight at the results achieved by their apprentices.
“After years of using food and drink NVQs and BIT, yet knowing they weren’t quite right; I was desperate for something which combined both. So, when FME was arrived, my response was…THANK YOU, someone has heard me!” says Victoria Corson, of Britvic
“FME is everything covered by BIT but in a food and drink context. Our team has benefitted hugely from undertaking this qualification as part of their apprenticeship. And our business has reduced waste, solved problems, saved money and won awards! Why wouldn’t you?” asks Corson.
It seems not. Another multi-national manufacturer has confirmed similar results. With individual projects achieving savings of £78,000 in one go; through dramatic reduction of set up time, labour cost reductions and overtime reduction.
In the same vein Peter Booth, CQM MD, confirms he is seeing each person on FME level 3 recording savings of around £12,500 on average for their business. Undoubtedly a great start for those seeking those important incremental gains in a challenging market.
Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t overnight wins. Businesses achieving these results have made commitments, invested in change and been really honest about where they are on the lean journey. That is what it takes. Invest in FME with FDQ and you will not be disappointed.
In the words of one of the businesses using FME…why wouldn’t you?