Supply Chain Planning Series: Inside the Plant

[00:38] If we start talking about the inside the plant so for example, we have very stable demand which is never true. We have very stable supply of birds which is also you know, not always real yeah then then we have inside the plant so each plant would be quite unique right each individual they are designed specifically to what they need to produce the lines tuned and selected the number of stations the packing lines the cutting lines some plants are more manual some are more automated same with warehouses and everything so it’s the the plant itself is the one little world and like you said some companies can have multiple plants so all of them will be different and then you need to plan what’s happening inside with already two very unbalanced things. So how that usually happens?  

[01:45] yeah, it’s interesting that happens with people have developed spreadsheets to manage it over the years but and you know I guess the pencil and paper still use a lot but and it’s a real challenge because every plant is different line capacities line speeds, different kits and production lines you know in deboarding equipment cut up equipment all runs different capacities and staffing which is becoming more and more a critical issue you know if you look at what’s happening around the world, not just in Europe but to get staff in poultry plants is increasingly more difficult. COVID has of course added considerable pressures to that with people being absent and you know many are sick or need to quarantine so there’s real pressure on numbers of people so again, you need whatever planning tool you have to take account of what’s the capacities of the lines are the machines I have, how many people don’t need to operate them to produce different SKU’s because you know whether you’re packing one kilo legs or half a kilo legs you know you’re going to have different packing requirements and machine requirements and capacities on the line may differ depending on what SKU and your numbers of people required to pack these different products will change so there’s a lot of moving parts in there maintenance on equipment sometimes your production may be down so how do you account for that in a planning tool. So there’s a lot of constraints chilling time freezing time freezing capacities and order lead time you know, how long do we need how long have we got to manufacture that product before it has to leave on the truck to get out to the warehouse or the store? These are all things that need to be factored into the internal moving parts of a processing plant 

[03:39] oh that’s even more intense you know, because you know if you have birds you know you know the capacity you know how many birds on average you will be able to get what will be the weight profile depending on the breed depending on the product and you have all your SKU’s but inside the plant you would have to work with different speeds like I said depending on what I pick to produce I can do this much or that much and this is where I guess inside the plant are quite a lot of scenario there’s quite a lot of variations because this is where we matching all those many too many right okay. So, if I have this two kilo bird from free range farm what can I produce out of it then there will be 50 SKU’s but then there is okay so there is s hedge bird 2.5 kilo, okay, I can produce another 50 SKU’s. Are any of those SKU’s overlap? Maybe they’re you know, but still then Okay, so what I produce, do I need to produce this order or this order? Maybe I need to produce this product or should I better freeze this product and, you know, see if I can sell it later. So it’s just a whole another level of mapping everything together and trying to understand what would be the best scenario to produce.