Check this photo out of a farm I drove past last year……. what is your impression of this farm business? Does your farm look like this? Last week I had the opportunity to run some workshops with sheep and beef farmers on the South Island and it reminded me of this photo.
The Lean tool 5S is vital
One of the lean tools we talked about last week is 5S – basically creating a well organised, clean, safe workplace where everything has a place and everything is in its place. While this sounds like a nice to have its actually a vital lean philosophy for an efficient, productive workplace. Where you or your team don’t spend time looking for things, you know exactly where every item/ tool/ implement is and it is always in that same spot, you always have the right tool in the right place for the job at hand, you never loose things, and it takes you 2 seconds to get the tool you need not 30 minutes! But there is also another two valuable reasons why you want to start to look at your workplace and get it sorted.
Pride in your workplace
If your workplace is disorganised, messy, dirty, full of rubbish and so on, it will speak volumes to others on how you look after your business. It will tell others, how much does this farmer really care? And if that is what people think then how much respect do you think others (eg your team) will have for anything they do on farm? Not a lot. They probably won’t think it matters how they do a job, their lack of care for detail, or quality, they won’t worry if something isn’t done right, they possibly won’t worry about good stockmanship. There will be no pride in their workplace. So if you want your team to really care and be proud of the farm they work on then it needs to present itself well and that it is taken care of.
What would our customer think?
And the final reason – our customers. More and more we are in the public eye. Our farm businesses have one key reason to exist – they produce food for an end consumer. If we didn’t have our consumers or customers we would not exist. Our product is a premium product – we farm in one of the most beautiful places in the world, with green pastures, free range animals and high standards. So shouldn’t our farms look like premium lamb or beef or milk is produced there – produce that we are proud of and make to high standards. Our customers have visions of amazing landscapes, and a clean green image. Imagine if that customer happened to drive by this farm? It most certainly would not be a great marketing campaign……. our farms produce the worlds best food and should reflect that by looking professional not like junk yards.