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Improving Bakery Manufacturing Performance - How to Identify the Correct Tools and Develop an Implementation Plan

Monday, March 3 1:15 PM - 1:55 PM
Operations 1: Controlling Your Costs

The use of tools such as Lean Manufacturing, Leader Standard Work, TQM, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Work Design, and Six Sigmaare on the rise in manufacturing environments and have applications in the bakery industry. Improving bakery performance and reducing manufacturing costs are critical in an industry with relatively low margins and stiff competition. But how do you identify which of these tools should be utilized to improve the performance of your bakery?

Factors such as waste, downtime, line efficiencies, training deficiencies, associate engagement, disorganization, excessive inventories, overproduction and defects are all opportunities that tools such as Lean Manufacturing, Leader Standard Work, TQM, Human Factors and Ergonomics, Work Design, and Six Sigma can help address. For example, Lean Manufacturing targets “waste”.  Waste can have many forms; waste can include unproductive time spent on changeovers, or overuse of a particular ingredient in a certain formula. Understanding the specific opportunities in your bakery is crucial to begin the process of improving bakery performance.

To successfully identify the appropriate performance improvement tools, you must first understand the performance problems to be solved. Is the root cause of the issues to be addressed a result of poor equipment performance, training opportunities, quality defects or, more likely, a combination of all these factors? Are both management and associates ready, willing, and able to deal with significant change and how can you gauge this?

Take Lean Management Systems, for example. Lean has many tools to assist with achieving desirable results. Have you ever heard of Poke-Yoke (Error Proofing)? Let’s say that you install a piece of equipment in your bakery but each machine operator has a different approach to machine settings. How do you address this opportunity? What if data is collected on each of these settings to help you understand the best performance outcome? You can then engineer the machine to run at the optimal setting, using Poke-Yoke to achieve the optimal result. Have you ever wondered why you are not achieving the associate performance goals that you expect? Leader Standard Work provides the tools not only to top management, but to the associates who drive the results, and provides them an understanding of the importance of achieving performance targets. Have you ever tried to start a project or develop a plan of attack, but it fizzles out after a short time? Total Quality Management assures that management is both committed and promotes associate involvement in all aspects of the process. Lastly, have you ever been in the situation where you have finished production runs to find out that you have multiple quality opportunities or the need for re-work? Six Sigma assists with measuring characteristics along the process to make decisions which improve product quality on the basis of verifiable data.

Developing an appropriate and realistic implementation plan is critical to the success of the application(s) to be used. Important questions to be answered include, do you have the in-house resources to carry out these implementation plans, or do you have to look elsewhere? Do you have sufficient understanding of your company culture, your associates, and your work environment to gauge where to start?

Participants will take away an understanding of:

  • How to identify the critical performance problems to be addressed in your bakery
  • What are the available tools for improving manufacturing performance?
  • Which tool or combination of tools is right to solve your specific problems?
  • How to develop an implementation plan for the use of these tools

Derek Contreras, Bimbo Bakeries USA

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