When you’re managing a packhouse, chances are you’re looking for ways to run a tighter, more cost-efficient ship. Now, we’ve seen our fair share of packhouses and understand a thing or two about how to run them more effectively. Through continuous research, training and partnerships, we’ve seen what makes a packhouse run efficiently, reduce costs for the business and positively impact the bottom line.
In this blog we look at some of these simple, small changes you can make to your packhouse that will help your business save money.
Want to discover more ways you can create an efficient packhouse? Book a free site visit with the Dyno team here.
As the saying goes “prevention is better than a cure”, and this can definitely be said for preventive maintenance in your packhouse - particularly when you’re dealing with conveyors that need to be constantly working to keep your business moving seamlessly. You need to catch any potential problems before they turn into something significant and potentially damaging for your business.
Having a preventative maintenance programme in place can be hugely beneficial for your packhouse for many reasons:
- The number of major repairs will be reduced meaning a reduction in equipment downtime.
- You will conserve your equipment and increase its longevity, eliminating the need for premature replacement.
- Regular maintenance allows for a more cost-effective use of maintenance workers rather than calling them in urgently to repair breakdowns and large-scale repairs.
- Safety conditions are continuously monitored and improved for everyone.
Find out more about how to incorporate preventative measures into your packhouse in our top 10 tips for preventative maintenance blog.
As you’re sure to know, skilled labour can be hard to come by and it can end up being a large overhead for a packhouse. There is an alternative (or even a supplement) to this labour option however. By embracing technology you can go a long way towards reducing the expense of hiring skilled staff, along with making your packhouse more efficient, and reducing downtime when workers are scarce. Using technology allows you to automate tasks, giving you more flexibility, accuracy and overall efficiency.
While there are obvious overhead benefits of using technology, the benefits don’t stop there:
- Automation increases accuracy and repeatability – people can bring with them subjective bias with sorting and grading, but with automation you can ensure your products are graded to exact specifications.
- Less human error – no matter who you have on, everyone makes mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be costly and can be avoided when you use an automated system (especially for tedious, repetitive tasks).
- Improved safety – automation removes the risk for staff in the packhouse, as well as customers who benefit from increased sanitation.
Map your packhouse to ensure it’s optimal
This method of optimisation is also known as ‘lean thinking’ or ‘lean management’, and it’s brought a name to a popular and effective approach to packhouse and warehouse management. This approach centres around creating more value with less resources. By mapping how your packhouse operates, it allows you to remove areas of waste and focus on being more efficient and productive – in other words, being less wasteful with your resources.
It may seem like an obvious step to know how your packhouse is operating, but with so much activity going on in a packhouse it pays to map out the exact steps - there will always be several ways to fine-tune and tweak a process to be more efficient (which can benefit everyone). To make sure this happens you need to be more detailed with your mapping than you’ve ever been, and this requires a team effort by all involved.
You can create a more effective packhouse, and business, just by focusing on productive practices and removing inefficient ones.
Hire staff according to seasons
Hiring staff only during the seasons that you need them allows your business some flexibility and control in a sometimes unstable economy. It’s a great way to bring on extra workers but then scale back when there’s not as much demand. This is obviously great for keeping expenses to a minimum, but it also has other advantages. It’s a great way to access new skill sets and perspectives which can, in themselves, improve efficiency and optimise processes. Not only this, but it can provide you with an opportunity to evaluate workers over a longer period of time without committing to a permanent offer, or just give you some breathing space to find the right person.
Regardless of where you are in the world, water is a precious resource. In many countries and even parts of New Zealand, paying for water is a part of the running costs and expenses. But even if there isn’t a direct cost, there’ll always be pumping and disposal costs. Water efficiency is not only helping to save the environment, but it can also save you money.
Water can be reused and recycled in the earlier stages of a packhouse line, and your equipment provider should be able to advise you on the water needs of your machinery. They should be able to identify when filtering is needed and how you can easily recycle water to reduce your fresh water use. Conserving by using a water management system is an easy, cost effective solution to conserve water on a daily basis and in turn save money.
Want to discover more ways you can create an efficient packhouse? Book a free site visit with the Dyno team here. We can show simple solutions to saving money in your packhouse!