An Optimal Day in the Life of a Plant Manager — 6 Ways to Enhance the Food Manufacturing Environment

This article outlines six ways to enhance the food manufacturing environment.

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Eric Kirchhoefer, Vice President, Sales and National Accounts, ABMEric Kirchhoefer, Vice President, Sales and National Accounts, ABM

Paul manages a food processing facility that produces bread, pastries and other baked goods. He’s been with his employer for three years, and he hopes to stay until he retires. One of Paul’s favorite things about his job is the camaraderie. Even though some functions are outsourced, everyone who works in the bakery is treated like a member of the team.

In fact, his facility services vendor is holding its daily safety meeting just as his day is starting. Today, they’re talking about safe sanitation practices. He’s always part of these training sessions and offers input where necessary.

As Paul settles into his office, he prepares all the documentation he needs for an AIB (American Institute of Baking) inspection scheduled for the afternoon. He feels confident, since his sanitation manager performs regular inspections and keeps all her documents in order. He knows that he’ll be able to easily access any record the inspector requires.

When he sees that demand is increasing for some of the company’s products, he calls his facility services vendor for help adding staff. It’s a relief to have access to qualified workers without having to manage the labor himself.

Another reason Paul enjoys his job is because he works for a company that cares about sustainability. Whether it’s the sanitation program, or energy usage, he knows that his facility is producing quality products with minimal impact on the environment and employee health.

Are You Thinking “This Isn’t Possible?”

Think again. Paul’s company outsourced facility maintenance functions to a facility services partner that has food and beverage manufacturing experience. The partners keeps his facility inspection-ready, supports the company’s sustainability goals and fills critical labor pool gaps. With the time saved, managers like Paul can focus on plant production and related efficiencies.

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6 Ways to Enhance the Food Manufacturing Environment

1. Make safety a part of everyone’s job. When safety is a part of your culture, and not just a bullet on the list of training topics, everyone benefits — both your employees and your customers.

2. Put sustainability front and center. From waste disposal to indoor air quality, the pressure is on to minimize your environmental impact. It takes specialized equipment and processes to meet that goal. A well-rounded facility services provider can advise you on ways to make your facility more efficient and sustainable.

3. Let someone else worry about managing staffing levels. Whether you need help with shipping and receiving or keeping up with demand, you don’t have to manage the staffing alone. Outsourcing helps you keep up with changes in demand without the administrative burden.

4. Be inspection-ready with a solid sanitation program. When it’s time for the AIB, Federal Drug Administration (FDA), or British Retail Consortium (BRC) to inspect your facility, there shouldn’t be any surprises. The sanitization process is only half of a good sanitation program — solid, consistent record-keeping ensures your facility is inspection-ready.

5. Reduce downtime with preventive equipment maintenance. Equipment that’s consistently maintained is safer for employees and prevents downtime. With a reliable turnkey maintenance program, you can focus on producing high-quality products, and not worry about how your equipment is running.

6. Keep your whole facility welcoming and comfortable with housekeeping. Break rooms, restrooms and offices don’t need sanitizing, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as important as the production floor. Apply sustainable practices to your housekeeping program to make your whole facility comfortable for employees and guests, and safe for the environment.

Finding a Trusted Partner

A facilities services vendor with food processing experience can take on sanitation, general labor, engineering, energy and housekeeping services. Relying on their expertise, you can focus on your core duties while they keep your facility running smoothly. Your employees will appreciate working in a well-managed facility. And your customers will appreciate the consistency of your products.

About the author

Eric Kirchhoefer is vice president, sales and national accounts of ABM. Kirchhoefer brings more than 21 years of experience in the facilities services industry. He oversees and manages ABM’s industrial and manufacturing sales teams and organic growth strategy. You can reach Eric at eric.kirchhoefer@abm.com.  

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