S E C T I O N 1 0 : Driving Innovation
ALLIANCE ANNUAL REP ORT 2018
D R I V IN G IN N OVAT ION Alliance Group continues to invest in new technology, providing additional support to our farmer shareholders, lifting efficiency, lowering our costs, boosting our internal capability and capturing more market value. A number of new initiatives and projects over the past year have delivered real and tangible gains for the co-operative as we seek to make our business model more robust. Electronic Animal Identification (EID) systems and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking systems have been expanded across all of our processing sites. The amount of driving required by some of our staff is one of our major risks, and we have upgraded our livestock representativesâ€™ vehicles to Toyota 4WDs equipped with safety system instruments, GPS and emergency buttons to enable them to be located if required. Upcoming projects include a new value-added processing facility at our Lorneville plant. This will enable production of small retail packs and slicing and dicing for both retail and the food service sector. M A N U FAC T U R I N G E XC E L L E N C E PRO GR AMME GAINS Alliance is focused on investing in improving our operational performance, in particular, our processing capabilities. The Manufacturing Excellence Programme is a structured management framework, which focuses on every department in every plant. It is designed to lift performance, productivity and returns to farmer shareholders. Following its successful launch at Lorneville and Mataura, the programme was rolled out across all our plants this year. Outcomes have included yield gains across all species. This has been achieved through focussing on cutting practices, redesigning cutting processes to collect new products or improved product specifications.
We also targeted efficiencies in utilities, including the upgrade of the engine room at our Lorneville plant. A pipeline of projects has been developed to continue to deliver improvements in a systematic approach. We are now expanding our focus on daily performances and embedding that behaviour in plants. The upcoming programme of work includes a strong focus on cutting room efficiency. This will look at ensuring we have the right numbers of people, with the right skills, who are fit and ready for work. This will be supported by our company-wide training programme. We also have a project aimed at increasing equipment reliability. We are continuing to broaden the Manufacturing Excellence Programme to include a wider set of metrics to which we can apply the same rigour to manage performance. We are improving visibility and transparency of production data to support the most efficient decision-making processes across all our sites. Alliance is also establishing inline scales and tracking systems to further generate yield gains. S U P P LY C H A I N M A N AG E M E N T Improving the co-operativeâ€™s supply chain management has been a key priority over the past year. We have identified many areas in our supply chain that need improving, either because they can work better or to help us move forward into our future operating model. Supply chain planning projects underway range from sales demand forecasting through to planning our further processing and integrating that with slaughterboard planning, through to developing production planning