We continue to progress well , even if things are a little hectic. We have looked at in mould labelling the Jokey Buckets with Bob. This is very exciting and not that expensive if the volumes are there. It will be necessary to add a small flavour sticker, but for a full integral label, this is a small price to pay.
We moved into the office last weekend and are gradually getting more tidy. This is the 3rd Move since November and I feel really settled (although we are still waiting for some Desk parts from Furniture at Work which were ordered last November too.) We are getting everything as we want it and I am working better again. It has been hard running the business and building while in a temporary office.
We had a major quality Audit last week which went well and gave us a chance to test our new procedures and factory layout. It went really well and we are really proud of the quality of the factory we now have.
Response times are still a little slower than I would like but I am still running the factory as well as responding to enquiries, sorting procedures, personnel and HSE requirements. I find work goes better when the staff have gone home! Lucas spent last night reading fork lift procedures and decided to test the truck this morning and lifted the roller shutter door off its hinges! He was mortified but we fixed it later.
A clock card machine arrived today to help record attendance. It is fitted if not yet working fully. It will link to the computer and the payroll – I am sure it will be great when it is working!
After 6 months the council gave us a new address this week – Harrison Court – which helps as there were other 3, Hilton Business Park addresses and likely to be more in the future. Harrison Court is named after Chris Harrison who worked for Rolls Royce developing Merlin engines in the War and then joined hte RAF to fly Mosquitoes. He now lives in Australia. We now hope to get a postcode in the next 6 weeks!
The web site seems to be working well and appreciate any feedback about what you would like to see.
Last week saw me travelling to Bristol to our development lab and Plastech followed by a run to Scotland. I did 900 miles is 2 days. The most thought provoking moments were at a Moto service station. Fisrsly, the service as brilliant and I commented on it. The staff asked if I was being sarcastic. I had to explain to them why I felt they were good at their jobs which made me wonder why people who are really good at what they do take their skills for granted but some people you cannot tell what to do?
While eating my breakfast, some tourists came in and had their photographs taken in front of the gaming machines. They were so chuffed just to be there.
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.
I found http://tools.summitmedia.co.uk/spider/ which is a spider simulator and discovered my home page was not readable. So I made some changes and am getting a better result now. I have also re-loaded my pages with more realistic tags and made the content more relevant to the tags. Strangely, the process has also made me focus on the business, by thinking what our clients need and will look for. I have seen numerous sites where they are just coming out with marketing stuff and not focussing on the customer’s needs. Hence it was back to New Product Development.
Got to work today – set up the line and then did some new product development/research interspaced with calls and setting up the extraction system which is now working well. Set up staff appraisals for Monday. Ended up using Acas site for the layouts.
My web page is now on Google – it seems we are getting there. I was surprised that Yahoo, MSN, Live Search etc had me listed on the first day I published my site and I am now well indexed – I thought this was very quick. It seems to have been a long wait to get one page on Google, and I am still not indexed (you have to type in MP Bio Science as one word or Global Excellence in Powder Blending but not MP Bio Science which is also in the header). But at least I am not invisible any more. And it weas only a week.
Now I need to get onto the right searches – finding relevant keywords that accurately describe what we do.
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.
On Friday, the new labeller arrived from Centriplant – allowing round tubs and bottles to be labelled on line. This is the last manufacturing improvement we have had to implement following the move out of Buxton. Since 1st February, we have serviced all the machinery, made the factory up to food standards, installed all the machinery (improving the layout to make work safer and more efficient), installed electrics, pallet racking, plumbing (hand was sinks etc) and built the offices.
We did not have a labeller on line in Buxton, either. There we took product to the bottling line for labelling through its labeller – but that was not ideal.