LEAN management principles were used in the layout and management of the despatch warehouse, changing label collation and order picking protocols. The rate at which plants are picked and packed has improved by 19 per cent by refining these facilities.
LEAN management techniques have continued to inform improvements in communications, ensuring an effective flow of information from customers through sales and despatch, reducing errors in completed orders, while weekly staff meetings have focused on improvement in plant quality, transport and order accuracy. The result is that comments from customers that could be identified as negative for any reason are now below 1.5 per cent for all deliveries - and Bransford Webbs aims to improve on this.
In addition, product specification, product range, production volumes, sales effectiveness, cultural practice and pest and disease control have been tackled to bring waste down to below 10 per cent of turnover.
Other developments include:
- Investment in a water-recycling system to catch all roof water from glasshouse and warehouse facilities, stored in a reservoir for irrigation.
- Installation of a 60kW solar energy system expected to provide 50 per cent of the firm's required electricity.
- Chemical application has been reviewed with the aim of improving accuracy to reduce the rate and possibly frequency of application.
In 2015 a 5,000sq m glasshouse was constructed that houses more than 105,000 hebes for spring 2016 sales. The glasshouse will enable Bransford Webbs to provide a large range of hebe throughout the entire season. Two more ranges are planned for 2016.
Supporting this expansion in ranges is an expanded research and development unit that has trialled more than 200 varieties, of which more than 20 have been introduced. These include new groups of plants to meet demand for mid-to-late summer colour and impulse buys.
Jiffy is a leading supplier of growing media to professional horticultural businesses worldwide. Products are sold globally and adapted to a variety of crops and growing technologies. Manufacturing and raw material harvesting activities take place at many locations around the world.