Plant Management at Flour Mills

13 September 20176 min reading

“The amateur-conventional management model is an introvert form of management, and the companies using this model can often operate in very small regions, without targeting at greater objectives. There is no continuity in production, and there are no standards. In this context, it is clear that the “professional - corporate management” is the simple and reliable management model for milling.”

sevginMuhammed ŞEVGİN Plant General Manager Şevsan Gıda San. Tic. A.Ş. What is plant management? Plant management is ensuring coordination of the staff, the working environment and production technology to maintain stability and sustainability of production with an expert team, and ensuring production at maximum capacity at the most efficient costs by effectively managing the process without compromising quality.

 The purpose is to continue operations without interruption in production, in optimum conditions as well as in extraordinary conditions, thus contributing to the region and people around the plant, and to the company and national economy.

Plant management can be done in two ways in flour mills;

1. Corporate, professional management model

2. Conventional, amateur management model

A. CORPORATE, PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT This is the management model that should be used. In this system, the offices of Chairman of the Executive Board, General Manager and relevant unit managers are created and the process can be monitored via a database. Thus, the process is optimized since digital data will be sent to the superior units and higher levels of General Manager and Executive Board in all processes. Since Unit Managers monitor the data via auto-control/automation systems, potential problems can be estimated in advance, and immediately solved with proper remedies, thus ensuring the continuity of production.

B. CONVENTIONAL, AMATEUR MANAGEMENT MODEL This management model can be defined as the conventional model. In this model, where everything is controlled by the owner of the business and his/her family members, all management, shipping and organization work is planned by two or three people, often sitting in the same room, and the process continues after the approval of the most senior or the most experienced person.

This is an introvert form of management, and the companies using this model can often operate in very small regions, without targeting at greater objectives. There is no continuity in production, and there are no standards.

Except for a few companies manufacturing specific products for special purposes, the plants operating with model spend most of their time in problems. In this context, it is clear that the “professional - corporate management” is the simple and reliable management model for milling.

 Market trends are one of the most important aspects to consider in plant management. Since Turkey is an exporter country relying on imports, we have to closely monitor the international trends and bulletins in grains, and to make the right decisions. While grains are produced across all regions in Turkey, the changes in seasons should be taken into account, the developments should be closely followed, and the raw materials required by businesses should be supplied at the best conditions. Performing rheological analyses as well as preliminary analysis during the supply phase before stocking them is also important since it will guarantee the entire production process.

 Today, creation of databases, auto-control/automation systems at flour mills allows ensuring coordination between processes, and thus controlling all processes from one centre. Although the installation costs for these systems seem high, they quickly pay for themselves thanks to the gains they bring. Because, the information collected in a database by auto-control and instant supervision devices is as important as an expert team to ensure a seamless, perfect production process.

 Today, automation and Industry 4.0 are the first concepts to come to mind when talking about advanced technology. With this technology, you can manage the whole plant without physically being in the mill. Today, you can monitor the whole operation of the plant in electronic media via smart phones.

MARKETING IN MILLING In Turkey, there is a customer for every type of flour. Therefore, the prices of flour tend to vary. The price of flour ranges from 55 TRL to 160 TRL per bag. Therefore, the marketing process is closely related to the type of flour to be produced. When marketing, the flour mill should identify and study the domestic and foreign markets it will target according to the type of flour it produces. The demands and expectations of customers should be carefully studies in these researches. After this research, if a significant part of the customer demands can be addressed, the customers should be informed about the company, types of products and product development activities via face-to-face meetings. Subsequently, the manufacturer should do DEMO activities to demonstrate to the customers the differences from closest competitors in terms of quality, price and services in practice.

 As we all know, customer satisfaction is a priority as it decisively affects the results. However, before visiting a customer, you should also look into other sensitive issues such as the debt-payment habits, the personality, company profile, commercial ethics and risk chart of the customer. Besides, the continuity of the customer, the distance of the location to the plant, the amount of consumption and the product range to be consumed are also important aspects.

Another important detail to be considered during the marketing process is to understand why the targeted customer left their previous flour suppliers. For example, in Turkey, the blame for all the mistakes in bakery and pastry are laid on the flour. When there is a problem in the bread, people tend to ignore other issues and blame the flour. If the customer has left their flour supplier due to problems in bakery or pastry, or due to problems in payment of debts, it means the customer may cause you problems. There is no need to waste time with such customers. There are so many robust, serious and honest flour consumers in Turkey and in global markets. The only thing to do is to correctly analyse targeted markets and to choose the right partners...

 When it comes to exports, every country demands a different type of flour. Besides, the amount and type of demanded flour and the delivery time are very important. As long as the products comply with the requests, standards and agreed delivery times, our exports will continue. However, as I mentioned earlier, Turkey’s flour exports largely rely on its imports of wheat. Therefore, we should be careful about the quality and supply of raw materials to avoid potential problems with our foreign customers. Plant managers know very well that flour manufacturers are responsible for their flour until it is totally consumed. Acting with such awareness will help us to go ahead.

 In conclusion, we can say that the management of flour mills requires care, diligence and sacrifice. Plant management at flour mills should be done professionally, and companies should be institutionalized, and those which aim to be institutionalized should be supported by the government.

 I wish good luck to all plant managers in our industry in the area of institutionalization and marketing.

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