Can continuous improvement or Kaizen actually reduce costs in Poultry Farms?
Let’s find out!
But first, we need to understand the meaning and working of the Kaizen Process to delve deep into the topic. So, here is a brief explanation of what it includes and how it can help reduce poultry costs.
What is Kaizen?
‘Kaizen means continuous improvement.’
It’s a process where everyone works together to bring small but significant changes that can help procure faster gains. It is core to lean manufacturing and was mainly developed to lower defects, reduce waste, boost productivity and innovation, and encourage workers’ involvement. The process can be applied in all businesses and at individual levels.
Steps in Kaizen Process
The Kaizen process works on the PDCA cycle, i.e., PLAN, DO, CHECK and ACT. The process leads to improved and better solutions when the four pillars are systematically applied and implemented. We call it a Deming Circle/Wheel that will help you make an iterative design and begin the improvement process.
The process benefits all industries, including the chicken processing industry. Let’s look at how it helps reduce costs and build profits in the industry through the case study.
Kaizen in reducing costs in Poultry Farms
Kaizen is generally known as a sales booster and failure remover. Hence, it becomes essential for poultry processors to adopt and implement Kaizen techniques and tools to improve the efficiency of their operations.
However, when we all know that Kaizen translates to ‘improvement,’ it becomes confusing to understand how improvement can reduce costs.
After all, improvement is all about an increase in quality, quantity, and costs!
But, we need to know that though improvement techniques need initial investments, they help to cut costs with time. Similarly, Kaizen tips and techniques, when applied in Poultry farms, can help reduce costs by causing an increase in savings and profits. The case study will give you a deeper understanding of how it helps reduce costs and leads to continuous improvement in the poultry industry.
Poultry industry – Before Kaizen
The growing industry is in its initial phase, and its process flow includes Brooding, growing, housing, mating and collection. However, these techniques come up with some significant challenges that have –
- High Mortality Rates due to the presence of a large number of the flock and fluctuating high and low breeding temperatures.
- High stocking density brings many adverse effects, including decreasing body weight and average weight gain, impacting the broiler’s feed intake, etc.
- High feed costs lead to insufficient feed and, consequently, a decline in good chick health.
- Improper storage capacity utilization impacts uniformity among the flock.
- Variations in feed intake cause a lack of differentiation among the birds raised for egg or meat production.
With these problems beginning to flourish in the Poultry industry, there is a need to implement Kaizen tricks and improve operational efficiency in all the processes.
Poultry Industry – After Kaizen
Opting for Kaizen techniques and practices in the poultry industry leads to new and sustainable changes. The critical projects identified include eliminating feed waste, increasing stock density, and improving manpower productivity. Hence, the process is now molded into a new and much more organized plan called the Kaizen Process. Its working includes –
- Collecting and analyzing the related data
- Brainstorming and fishbone analysis of the collected data to identify the possible causes
- Preparing and designing an action plan for countermeasures
- Implementing the countermeasures
- Checking results and calculating the overall benefits
- Setting new standards and doing horizontal improvements and deployments.
Maintaining a balanced feed consumption ratio, preventing wastage, and improving overall productivity are essential to any firm. However, it sometimes becomes challenging to balance the numbers for unexpected reasons. Hence, when applied here, Kaizen techniques cause automated feed distribution and savings and can successfully maintain the Feed Consumption Ratio. It also helps reduce labor costs and guarantee returns within a short span.
When the farm adopted the techniques, there were changes in the actual figures. With the use of a bag and scoop, the feed spillage initially 9.54% fell to 9.34%. However, the result was unsatisfactory, so the farm opted for a new scoop design that further declined feed spillage from 1.28% to 0.15%.
Similarly, there was a slump in the female feeder wastage with a shift to a giant mesh. Adopting new and upgraded chain feeder methods improved the stock density from 4.5 to 4.8 and resulted in excellent results.
Continuous improvement requires time, money, and effort but renders long-lasting results. Similarly, using Kaizen in Poultry farms also requires initial investments but helps save many of your funds over a more extended period.
So, why wait now?
Shift to these new and modernized processing techniques and get ready to cut a lot of the non-required costs. Continuous improvements and consistency will surely lead your path to success!