Potting rates rocket at Bransford Webbs

The Bransford Webbs Plant Company has achieved a more than 50 per cent increase in potting rates in one year after employing lean production techniques learned through the Nursery Business Improvement Scheme (NBIS).

The improvement came through the work of NBIS chairman Will George, who has been undertaking a project to benchmark potting rates and calculate the costs for potting different sizes.

George collated the rates of businesses across the country in a bid to develop clear information on the cost-effectiveness of different techniques. He discovered "incredible disparity" in the figures, including the "staggering rate" of more than 600 units per man hour achieved at Fairweather's Nursery.

"On first sight of the rates Fairweather's was reporting, we thought there must be a mistake in the figures because they were so good," explained Bransford managing director Geoff Caesar.

"At our last meeting we again compared potting rates where ours had improved from 433 units per man hour in 2009 to 675 units per man hour in 2010. This included supply and prep of plugs and potting down of the 9cm plants."

He added: "I think Fairweather's are reporting a rate of 666 units per man hour for a similar type of plug. It's not all about machinery and systems - James Allen, who runs our 9cm potting operation, is superb at setting the machine up and supervising his small team of staff."

The project coincided with work by Bransford propagation manager Karl O'Neil who has been working on improving potting rates for 9cm plants for two years.

O'Neil focused on rationalising plug sizes and types of plugs, moving the potting operation into the house in which the 9cm plants are grown, using a double pot dispenser that can cope with second hand pots and potting onto CC trolleys.

Fairweather's owner Patrick Fairweather said potting rates were part of ongoing work on lean techniques that have helped the company radically improve productivity over the past decade.

"This year we have had a bit of software developed for our production plan," he pointed out. "It removes all of the information that is not absolutely vital because previously it involved the system getting cluttered with unnecessary information."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Papaver

Papaver

These compact, brightly coloured flowers can be very attractive for impulse sales, notes Miranda Kimberley.

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Fertilisers Special Report - invaluable nutrition

Using the right fertilisers on your crops can make all the difference when it comes to securing repeat customers, Sally Drury advises.

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

IPM Essen Show Preview - New look for top trade fair

Venue modernisation will mean better display space for exhibitors at Europe's largest trade fair for the horticulture industry, says Gavin McEwan.


Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

Opinion... Gardening needs better promotion

British horticultural firms and organisations have not been the best at working together to promote our industry.

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Opinion... A wish list for unblinkered thinking

Generations of ordinary British people have been let down by weak, visionless leaders -- politicians more engaged by the next election than our national best interest.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles