Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Productivity Centre helps GK Foods secure massive savings - Turns attention to government agencies

Published:Wednesday | March 15, 2017 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin
Metry Seaga

By putting productivity at the forefront of the company, GK Foods benefited from massive savings of US$2.5 million after only one year of implementing interventional strategies developed by the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC).

Metry Seaga, chairman of the JPC, in an interview with The Gleaner, noted that over the years, the improvement methods were transferred to other business lines and the savings were sustained.

"I think the most stark one is Grace (company), we have done work there. We have saved Grace millions of US dollars in a short space of time by simply putting their productivity at the forefront," he declared.

He said the focus is to intervene in other companies in order to improve efficiency. Seaga also added that there will be a robust effort to get government agencies to adapt to more productive methodologies in a bid to enhance growth and development.

"I have asked the team to come here at my own company (Jamaica Fibreglass Products Limited) to look at what is being done right, wrong, or can be improved. We want to start with some of the government agencies," he said.

"I think we have identified 20 government agencies that we want to move forward with. People use government services and there are gross inefficiencies that exist (in these agencies). We want to make sure they are more productive, and we feel it is important to start at home. We feel that to have the moral authority to go into companies, you first should be efficient," he declared.

Seaga further reasoned that there is an urgent need for every business agency to step up their level of efficiency.

"Needless to say, each and every company has its inefficiencies and its ineffectiveness in the way it does business. I am confident that there is not one company out there that won't need our service; and the most important thing is that we are able to track, document and monetise the actual amount of savings we are able to bring to the table," Seaga said.

... 'We achieved efficiencies above 80 per cent'

Dave Mitchell, general manager at National Processors, department of GK Foods, who was head of the canning division at the time of the intervention, confirmed the savings.

"It all started by first inviting the JPC (in) and allowing the centre access to data on the plant operations over a three- or four-year period, thereby giving information on efficiencies, yields, breakdowns, recurring problems, raw material efficiencies, bad and dump," he told The Gleaner.

"The overall result was an extraordinarily successful year at GFPC (Grace Food Processors (Canning) in which we were able to run a four-day week in the following year, achieving plant efficiencies above 80 per cent and reduced operating costs, and [realise] a net savings to the plant - J$25.8 million per year directly attributable to the projects initiated by the JPC."