Before joining GE Digital this month, I spent 4 years at the Aberdeen Group where I conducted primary research into the manufacturing space. One of the predominant conversations I had with manufacturers was focused on ways to achieve operational excellence. But for industries such as food, beverage, and consumer packaged goods (F&B/CPG), that’s easier said than done, as the environment these companies operate in can be very complex.
The research I conducted revealed that these industries face a combination of pressures around operational costs, production efficiency, and product quality that form a complex operating environment. The blending of all of these concerns is driving these manufacturers to question both the efficiency and methods of their current Operational Excellence approach.
Luckily there is hope. From my experience, there are seven proven steps that I have seen companies in the industry take to succeed:
1. Automate the collection of manufacturing data.
Automated data collection is the basis for creating the real-time enterprise, and significantly differentiates successful companies from their poorer performing peers
2. Build compliance and traceability into your processes.
F&B/CPG have unique compliance and safety mandates; build these into your production processes to ensure they are adhered to every step of the way.
3. Utilize historical and real-time data to minimize asset downtime.
By using trending data and analytics, companies are able to predict adverse events and downtime before they occur.
4. Be prepared for non-conformances.
Establish role-based visibility and automated workflows in the case of a quality, non-compliance, or product recall event.
5. You can’t overlook sustainability costs.
Energy, waste, and wastewater costs can really add up over time. Factor environmental impact/costs into operational decision making to improve the bottom line.
6. Digitize your manufacturing processes (Document management, WIP, HAACP, etc.) through MES.
MES builds the foundation of process control and automation that successful manufacturers rely upon. In addition, it eliminates inefficient paper-based systems and provides a timely, unified picture for decision makers.
7. Operational Excellence is an evolving journey.
Take a continuous improvement mindset to your operations, commit to it, and you will be set up for long-term success.
Food, Beverage, and CPG manufacturers face constant pressures around costs, quality, and efficiency. Making effective decisions to address all three of these concerns can be a major challenge for companies that are not properly structured. The operational excellence program that leading manufacturers rely upon is one that aims to arm their decision makers with the information they need to maximize productivity, ensure product safety and quality, and limit sustainability costs.
This is the first blog in a series around Operational Excellence. In subsequent blogs I will dive into each step and talk further about why this is an important step for success. However, to find out more now on how you can achieve operational excellence, the benefits of such an approach, and the role that GE can play, please visit the GE Digital F&B/CPG webpage.