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AGRICULTURE

CUT FLOWERS

Their workforce is comprised of 80% immigrants including Team Leaders and Supervisors.

AGRICULTURE PROJECTS

Objectives

  • Training Team Leaders and Supervisors in terms of pro-active management behaviors.
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive Management Operating System (MOS) to support the newly trained Team Leaders and Supervisors in managing their areas.
  • Increasing overall productivity in all areas: greenhouses, hoop houses, field picking, packaging, and warehousing.
  • Increasing production volumes through a yield recovery program.
  • Instilling a culture of continuous improvement to ensure proper behaviors for the long-term.

Assessment Findings

Need for Improvements

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

  • In the picking area, there were no expectations established with the pickers based on the different densities of the hoop houses.
  • There was a line balancing issue between the different positions at the bunching lines.
  • Lines stop for various reasons: running out of sleeves, waiting for stems from coolers, lack of carts to place buckets of stems, and waiting for direction when changing stems.
  • Ineffective use of racks (half full) from the bunching area creating capacity problems in the coolers.
  • Having to discard flowers that were kept too long out of the coolers.
  • Lack of effective supervision created a slow start of activities at the beginning of the shifts, and after breaks and lunches.
  • No work order system in the maintenance area, and a general lack of prioritization of work for the mechanics in maintenance.
  • When Supervisors were in the field in the greenhouses or in the Hoop Houses, they were “touring” their areas rather than being pro-active with their people, communicating effectively and following-up on expectations.
  • Supervisors generally believed that their people knew what to do and would ask them when they need help.

PVA's Response

  • Developed standards for all activities on the farm including crop tending, picking, bunching line operations, warehousing activities and general work to enhance accountability in the farms.
  • Focused on yield improvement measures and metrics for picking activities, as before they were for planting only.
  • Implemented best practices related to picking and handling activities which resulted in a positive impact on the yield factors, which are being continually “audited” for compliance in order to sustain both quality of the flowers and yield improvements.
  • Developed all training and support materials in both English and Spanish.
  • Key communications were implemented with operating reports focusing on Key Operating Metrics (i.e. stems/man-hour).
  • Farm Management Operating System (MOS) elements were developed so that the Team Leaders could collect the required information while manually completing their work activities.
  • Implemented labor Master Schedules in all farm areas to ensure proper crewing as per the planting plan.
  • Implemented shift kick-Off Meetings to ensure that work was assigned with the right expectations, thereby enabling the Team Leaders to follow-up on the attainment of their short term objectives during the shift.
  • A Mid-Day Reassessment Activity Meeting was implemented to adjust crewing to match with remaining volumes in the field to be picked, thereby maximizing labor effectiveness.

The Results

The evaluation methodology established with our Client showed productivity improvement attainment levels of 104% of the targeted improvement levels for all the farm locations of the project

Improvement in Supervisory Activities

Flowers Supervisory Activities

PRE-PROJECT
0% 0% 30% 20% 50%
POST-PROJECT
30% 10% 25% 25% 10%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Farm Yield

Cut Flowers Total Savings (Incl Yield)

Long Term Work Continuation

  • Client Coordinators were trained and certified during the PVA engagement.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed for the Coordinators.
  • In addition, PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems.
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations.

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$1.15
+ BILLION SAVED
4.2
AVERAGE ROI
28
YEARS
580
+ ENGAGEMENTS
220
+ CLIENTS