Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Verkerks, Christchurch

7th June 2012 Terry Pierson, Chief Executive of Verkerks who are a family owned smallgood manufacturer, based in Christchurch, and have been in the small goods game for over 50 years. The business specialise in salami, kransky, metwurst, sausages, ham and bacon and have been using many of the CI and 6 sigma tools for about 5 years. Bottom line results have seen market share grow by 50% in the past 5 years, which Terry attributes to understanding the relationship between quality and price. As a very immature CI practitioner I had a very sharpe lesson on the underlying principals of CI, namely Demmings Management Philosphy. Demmings basis of business management has been proven for over 100 years and has at its core the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle, without this basic business practice, we are destined to fail. Demmings work has concentrated on the power of measuring performance, statistically analysising the results and acting on the observations. Terry used the power of statistics to show me the modelling of stock on hand, expected re working in the production line, personal performanace reviews and even recruitment. Terry spoke passionately about the power of a very simple process flow: Process + Process + Process + Process + Process = Result (only way to improve result is improve process) Process (how do we improve?) Plan, Do, Check(measure), Act Each process represents a condition within the business that contributes or influences the result. For viticulture the ultimate result is consistant quality, at an agreed cropping level, produced at an agreed cost. As a vineyard manager we need to measure our performance, statistically understand our strike rate and develop a PDCA process around our management practices. Not sure if we will be able to do this over night, but we must start somewhere. 4 fundamental questions he threw at me were: (1) What is our management strategies? (2) Who is accountable for the processes? (3) Which process or sub process has the greatest impact on our result? (4) Where do we focus our effort? When I considered these questions I can see the power of Demmings philosphies; plan: crusial to understanding your strategy do: accountability for process check: measure impact, where is the greatest win act: what process do we work on Thanks to Terry's passion for CI management I now have a few books to hunt down to really understand the foundations of CI. A really productive morning, topped off with a tasting of some very nice salami & kransky Thank you Terry.

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