Tag Archives: production

Update 2012

I feel guilty at not writing more on the blog recently.  But other needs have been more pressing.

Obtaining ISO 9001 and ISO 22000 in August last year took a lot of time.  Most procedures were in place and we did not alter much paperwork but some of the reporting systems – minuting all meetings and showing we had Verified and Validated all processes took a lot of concentration.  For me, this was an essential tool for us to move forward and grow.  Now everything we do is clearly documented – using a computer based system – so if anyone is not sure what to do, all they need to do is look.  This releases my time to looking at new ideas.

We also built some new offices in August 2011 which we moved into in February 2012.  Although this was meant to be a turn key operation, it took a lot of management time to get it right.  The old offices were really a single room which we had outgrown.  We needed to allow room for growth and we had a space in unit 3a to build them.  We  are finding them much easier to work in and now have a dedicated development area for out New Product Development and innovation.  This is now nearly fully manned.

Our final, for now, investment in the offices in an upgraded computer software system to cope with manufacturing and production planning.  This is nearly ready to go live.

The old office is now a good staff canteen – which has improved staff morale – and the old canteen is a wash-room for the factory – taking all water out of the factory.

Our focus is now on improvements to the manufacturing plant which I hope to report when I next write.

The market continues to grow while at the same time changing.  A vast amount of production is now in bags – obviously for saving the environment while also saving costs.  But demand for tubs is also strong.  We worked with Bob at Taylor Davis on a PET tub range, which is going well.  As the market grows in the UK so does opportunities for innovative manufacturing.  We still believe we lead the industry in innovation in products and manufacturing efficiency which enables is to keep our costs down.

Whey supply seems to be easing but the price is still strong.  We do make some straight whey, but also a lot of blends.  With new sources of Whey Protein Concentrate 80 from WheyCo,  Arla and First Milk, this may help.  We maintain good relations with key suppliers.  But innovation is still key for the industry.  We look forward to cautious growth going forward.

 

Factory Update

The factory ran well last week – we are really up to full production again since the labeller arrived.  We reviewed all the staff.  With the web site up and running we are more focussed on where we should be, so we spend some time looking strategically at the position of the business and some time investigating/developing new products and future product/packaging innovations.

Strategically, we are positioned as powder blenders and are committed to filling powder products.  Our mission is to contract manufacture of brand owners as efficiently and competitively as possible – providing them with the format and format innovations that they need.  Powders use no artificial preservatives, have good shelf life, are more carbon friendly that liquid products, are more adaptable and are ideal for short to long runs.  I often reflect that tea and coffee are predominantly sold as powders.

For liquid filling, we have spend some 10 years in the business and have partners who can fill for us, if required.  This does not rule out specialist liquid filling if our customers demand it.  But it does drive focus to our business.

We revised our company image last week with the new globe logo (incorporating the amino acid structure) and artwork.  The web site was reviewed accordingly.

New Labeller on line, updated Web details

Yesterday we put the new labeller on line and were filling and labelling at the same time.  This is a big help and is working really well.  The quality is very good too – after some adjustments.

I spent Monday updating our search details on the web.  All the details that cam up on Google were for the old Buxton address and company but Google was not listing our URL.  So I searched for us and updated all the lisitngs I could – this took ages.  Most update almost immediately – which is really good.  The classic name was “ufindus but by Tuesday morning I discovered that they had found me along with a number of the sites I had entered my details on.  However, Google is finding us through them, so who am I to complain.  I keep hoping Google may find us eventually but although I have submitted a sitemap and URL and they are not reporting any problems, I still have no listings. Maybee the spider is off sick.

What the update did teach me is to have relevant keywords and that is my next job – to make my Meta Tags very relevant to the businesses I am looking for.

Today was a trip to Edinburgh.  I left at 5:30 am and got back at 8:00pm tonight.