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Our Client is a manufacturer of frozen potato and appetizer products for the retail, restaurant and institutional sectors. They grow, process, market, distribute and sell food and food products and they are among the largest producers of french fries in North America. They operate four state-of-the-art potato processing plants in Canada and the United States. Recovery is a critical indicator for the Client as it represents the percent of each potato that is made into a saleable product.



  • Reducing operating costs.
  • Increasing line throughput.
  • Improving material recovery yield.
  • Shortening the duration of the bi-weekly sanitation cycle.
  • Reducing energy consumption and creating opportunities for short term capital shutdowns.

Assessment Findings

Food Services Frozen Assessment Findings

  • Work Time

  • Line Set-up Time

Food Services Assessment Findings: Categories of Opportunity

  • Production lines were not running at standard.
  • Packaging lines were down due to equipment failures, misalignment of the poly, improper scanning of boxes, bags not sealing properly and packaging boxes not available.
  • There were inadequate communication procedures during production to determine the quality of products affecting the high inventory of bulk product.
  • QA samplings in the process were not completed properly.
  • A lack of effective communication structure for the line operators to determine when to call for assistance when there was downtime on the lines.
  • Line operators were not following defined testing policies and procedures.
  • Lack of coordination between the activities performed by the contractors on the equipment and the cleaning work that goes on during the operational clean-ups.
  • In general, Managers and Supervisors did not communicate or follow-up on any expectations or objectives related to how much volume should be completed within a given period of time.
  • The perception of the Supervisors was that they are available to solve problems and not to actively manage the employees by setting expectations.

PVA's Response

  • Integrated all external and internal customers as part of the planning process in order to maximize the accuracy of the planning and to reduce any unnecessary downtime.
  • Integrated the existing Management Operating System (MOS) methodologies and processes to focus on timely variance identification and resolution.
  • Developed new processes and communication channels to support the planning processes and work execution in critical areas such as line production, packaging, quality assurance and maintenance.
  • Changed the culture of isolated departments and a frustrated workforce to a proactive and engaged workforce that understands the value of working together.
  • Application of on-the-floor performance coaching and training of the management team.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

  • Improvements in the communication of safety and production issues.
  • Improvements with daily communication to their employees.
  • Increased production throughput levels of up to 11% (versus a target of 8%).
  • Improvements in potato recovery of 1.0%.
  • Improvements in the levels of proactive management across the entire organization.

Increase in Supervisory Activities

Frozen Food Services Supervisory Activities

4% 0% 47% 4% 45%
45% 5% 25% 0% 25%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Improvement in Lines Throughput Performance

Food Services Frozen Lines Throughput Performance

Increase in Savings

Frozen Food Services Savings

  • Production records for the facility broken and reset 3 times after the installation of the program’s changes.
  • Clear expectations, follow-up and accountability were driving a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Action oriented meetings being conducted at all organizational levels.
  • Transparency and visibility on all Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).
  • Shift in mentality from “can’t do” to “can we do better?” driving the continuous improvement culture in the plants.
  • Increased communication, cooperation, and collaboration across the entire production value stream (raw, production, quality, maintenance and shipping).

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed and implemented with the Coordinator.
  • 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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Our marketplace is oversupplied and competition has increased. We needed a productivity increase and PVA was contacted and then hired after proposal review. Through this partnership, we have raised our productivity in product output with less man hours, and reduced waste in our process. Our breakthrough moment was when we met, exceeded and most importantly, sustained the improvements.

Director of Operations, Cavendish Farms

You have done great wonders at New Annan