“Machinery park and the installation systems play an effective role in controlling the plant and help to improve productivity through effective management. Because, in plants which can be managed from a single centre, any problem can be instantly detected, which allows rapid intervention. In non-automated plants, it takes time to identify failures or problems, which economically damages the business.”
İsmail Bahrem ODABAŞI
A non-productive plant cannot satisfy its owner or its customers. And productivity cannot be achieved in a plant which is not managed effectively. Therefore, the objective of effective plant management at flour mills is to achieve the production targets at the most effective costs and in the most efficient way, using
- appropriate machinery park,
- appropriate working environment,
- sufficient and experienced labour.
The plants which are not effectively managed can never be productive, and make their owner and employees unhappy in the long term, due to low profitability and declining competitive strength. Therefore, a mission and a vision should be set taking the potential commercial risks into account to ensure productivity.
A plant which cannot built productivity on robust grounds and which cannot ensure stability in quality cannot survive. Therefore, we need to
1. Make customer-oriented plans,
2. Offer excellent services,
3. Constantly improve the installed technology in plants,
4. And to achieve these, be careful about cultural and ethical values such as transparency, exchange of information, responsibility, reliability, accountability, business ethics, customers and treating employees well.
WHERE DOES AN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT BEGIN, AND HOW DO WE ENSURE IT?
An effective plant management in flour mills starts at the main gate. The first stage of the process is analysing the raw materials arriving at the gates at the laboratories in a controlled way, and transferring them to proper storage areas. During the manufacturing phase, it continues with taking proper blends of raw materials from silos, sending them to cleaning, conditioning and milling processes respectively, and transferring the obtained flour back to silos under proper conditions and packaging. Plant management is a process which includes diligently monitoring these process, preventing any problems in production or rapidly solving these problems, and delivering the finished product to customers in compliance with the targeted standards.
An effective management of the plant requires a manager who knows the process very well and who has a good command of each department. This task is often undertaken by operating managers at medium- and large-scale plants, or by foremen who work in coordination with the business owner at smaller plants.
One of the other factors which contribute to effective management of the plant is the coordination and communication between the units. Another factor is the automation system which maintains this communication and coordination. As we mentioned earlier, plant management at flour mills starts with the sampling of the raw material. The raw material is analysed at laboratories, and it is accepted or rejected. The financial process for accepted raw materials is followed by the purchasing unit. The use of raw materials is under the responsibility of the production unit. The automation network in the plant starts with transferring accepted raw materials to silos. After this point, the process is controlled by an experienced staff from one or multiple locations via computers. Unfortunately, the number of automated plants has not reached the desired level in Turkey. While new plants have full automation systems, older plants are still managed with conventional methods.
Machinery park and the installation systems play an effective role in controlling the plant and help to improve productivity through effective management. Because, in plants which can be managed from a single centre, any problem can be instantly detected, which allows rapid intervention. In non-automated plants, it takes time to identify failures or problems, and therefore the intervention process and recommissioning causes a significant loss of time. This causes economical losses for the business.
MARKETING PROCESS IN FLOUR MILLS
In flour mills, marketing process is often managed by marketing units. Depending on the size of the plant, there may be one or more marketing employees in these units. Small business address regions in their area depending on shipping costs, while larger and stronger businesses can address the whole country thanks to their strong marketing networks, regional offices and regional storages.
In the marketing process, the employees working in the marketing unit are very important. A successful marketing staff closely follows the culture and habits of the region where they will make sales, and directs the production unit to produce the type of flour that will be embraced in the region, on the basis of culture and habits. Thus, they can improve product diversity according to customers’ demands, and improves the customer portfolio by satisfying the customers. Therefore, they help to run the business more actively.
Besides the staff, one of the most important and effective aspects in marketing is operating “with the same quality standard at all times.” High-quality product on a day, medium quality on another day, low quality on another day... Such instability in product quality is a deal-breaker in marketing. The products sold by the marketers should have the same quality at all times. Thus, the customer knows what they are paying for, and continuously demand the product as they need it on the basis of product quality.