31 December 2009

The company

Remia is a family company that goes all the way back to 1925, when Arie de Rooij began blending margarine and butter in his garage in Amersfoort. Despite such modest beginnings, Remia has become a leading food manufacturer in the Netherlands, specialising in branded and own-label sauces and margarines. Remia has strong values that are fostered throughout the organisation: integrity, passion, innovation and customer-focus.

The situation

In recent years, the family has invested a great deal in logistics and new production lines to remain state of the art. However, the return on investment was disappointing because the organisation was always busy reacting to one problem after another. It was time to drive through efficiencies in the sauce factory and then in the margarine factory: more production with the same number of production lines and people.

This efficiency drive was about not only tools and processes but also employee behaviour and clearly assigned responsibilities. Put another way, the organisation needed structure and professionalisation. It sought help from Gwynt.

The approach

The agreed objective was two-fold: improve the efficiency of the production lines (OEE) and achieve a culture of continuous improvement. We started quickly and decidedly by identifying potential improvement areas and then drawing up an action plan. During this initial period, project teams comprising both Remia and Gwynt employees were formed. This enabled a transfer of knowledge from Gwynt to Remia from the very first day.

During the next stage, which lasted approximately six months, the teams worked on the following projects: continuous improvement, training and developing shop floor standards, improving the set-up process of production lines, preventative and corrective maintenance management, factory planning, and introducing new packaging and products.

The result

After the project was complete, efficiency increased by more than 15%, as anticipated during the start-up phase. More significantly, however, efficiency has continued to increase drastically after Gwynt departed. Management and employees have been and still are behaving proactively and adopting new working methods as part of their continuous improvement programme. Consequently, Remia has been able to produce more volume,  which has had a positive impact on the continuity of this great family company.

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