Measuring KPIs in the food industry - VSM

When manufacturing anything in a factory or similar setting, it is essential that the measuring systems are in place to understand what’s working, and what can be improved upon.

Failing to do so could result in an inferior product, reduced capacity, and increase overheads which ultimately could affect the viability of the product or even the manufacturer.

It is essential therefore to identify a series of Key Performance Indicators relevant to the process, that adds value by uncovering the opportunities to become more efficient.

Here are five of common tried and tested KPIs to measure and monitor processing.

  1. Overall Equipment Efficiency

OEE is a framework to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a process, by breaking it down into three constituent components. (Availability, Performance & Quality).

Comparing what was actually produced against the amount that would have been produced had everything run perfectly, will provide an indication of your system’s Overall Equipment Efficiency.

OEE helps to see and measure a constraint so it can be fixed and improved, and supports standardisation of the process to removal variability.

  1. Takt Time

Takt time is the amount of time that it takes to complete a task, be the time it takes to produce a product or the cycle time for an operation.

Tracking this information helps to identify and alleviate bottlenecks that may exist, and is a crucial metric for optimising a team’s capacity, reducing the waste of a process, and also maintaining a continuous flow of work.

When takt time is set for the process, it gives everyone a better idea of what “success” looks like at every stage of the manufacturing process.

  1. Scrap & Yield

Yield is a measurement by considering how much raw material or packaging should have gone into the manufacturing of the product, against how much actually did.

It’s important because when too many raw ingredients are being used, either through human error, mismanagement of the processing system or a defect in a partially produce product, it can be an expensive error given the materials have already been paid for but ended up going to waste.

  1. Five Why’s

How simple is this?! ‘Five whys’ is a tool used to understand why an adverse outcome happened, all by asking the question ‘Why’.

Not only that, it can uncover the root cause of a problem. It can uncover glitches in the delivery, but also issues with organisational or team processes.

  1. Customer Return Rate

The best test of your system efficiencies is the satisfaction of your customers. Therefore, keeping an accurate and categorised record of all complaints received will enable you to determine how these may be addressed during the manufacturing process.

Increasing customer returns might indicate a flaw in the production process or a missing step in quality control. The costs of customer returns can quickly escalate due to the rework required and the effort and cost of reputation and reverse logistics.

What gets measured gets done’

At Value Stream Machinery (VSM), we can provide trusted support services that help maximise production, ensuring that your food production business is always at the top of its game. Our experienced engineers would welcome the opportunity to discuss the services available and show you how this could positively impact your business.

To discuss further, please call us on +44 28 90 730153.