Food for thought: How frontline digital transformation improves food processing
May 23, 2023 / Impact quality, yield, and throughput
Janet oversees the first shift at her food processing plant — her team runs one of six product lines every day.
Each evening, the sanitation frontline workers disassemble the equipment for cleaning. The disassembly and cleaning procedures are surgical — you wouldn’t believe it unless you’ve seen it. It’s all reassembled, but not put back into position.
In the morning, Janet’s production employees come in and set up the line based on the product they’re running. Once complete, they’re able to start production.
Streamline your time to uptime
When Janet’s Saturday staff comes in, they pick up their tablets and sign in to WorkJam. Immediately, they see the tasks assigned to the shift — they’re running product 4 today. Their personalized checklist is already queued up for product 4. Some tasks require no validation, some require photo submissions.
The process is clear, quick, and they’re up and running in no time.
The goal? Making sure all health and safety standards are followed while remaining productive. Digital documentation keeps inspections quick and helps streamline paper trails for compliance (with no paper).
USDA sits onsite at Janet’s plant. They can shut down production as soon as they see an issue. Janet’s site is proud to provide transparency because her company has high standards. Those high standards are one of the things that drew them to WorkJam in the first place.
Communication between shifts
Most shifts come and go with no incidents. But occasionally, the production team needs to leave notes for the shifts that follow — the next production team, maintenance, or sanitation.
A quick form on their tablet allows them to report a stripped bolt, for example, to the correct team. This helps non-issues stay non-issues.
WorkJam has allowed Janet’s team’s actionable communication to skip the email inbox and go directly to the people who need visibility. Because in reality, some communication is often times better delivered as tasks or training — Janet appreciates this.
Janet’s team only sees what they need to see in WorkJam. This helps them stay focused on production. They mostly see tasks, their upcoming shifts, some communication, and the occasional training or survey.
Janet’s view of WorkJam is completely different. Because of her role, she can communicate with other supervisors and the plant directors. She even has a communication channel that includes other supervisors at different locations — Janet likes that peer-to-peer communication, it’s helped her become a better manager.
Although Janet has never seen her director’s WorkJam, she knows it includes real-time dashboards of the entire plant. She knows this because the reports are regularly referenced in meetings. Contrasting her director’s scope of access, Janet’s reporting only shows her team’s KPIs.
Quality in, quality out
Simple workflow improvements have given Janet the ability to identify and avoid bottlenecks that impact quality, yield, and throughput.
By digitizing existing procedures, her employer has been able to reduce her workload and has given her more time to lead. Janet recently provided suggestions about staff members that could affect overall production — she knows she’s making an impact.
From start to finish, Janet’s days are smooth — quality work, quality outputs.
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