James explains the completion of the huge three-year project at the company's Long Sutton factory is occurring alongside significant health & safety efforts to protect colleagues from the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"One of the early initiatives for us was to pull together a cross-functional team rather imaginatively called the social distancing team. That was headed up by my continuous improvement coordinator here at Long Sutton Sean Swinburn, including strong support from our site union safety reps. Our senior rep Paul Russell was part of that team. Together those two and a broader team worked towards supporting me and the wider management team in developing our response to COVID.
"The work focused predominantly on social distancing and that started at the front end of our employee journey, so things like setting up staggered shift patterns. That sounds really simple to do, but people have been used to working a set shift pattern for many years. Their home lives are set up around those patterns, so the response to that request was terrific."
James says the hard work by staff on other simple initiatives such as setting up social distancing markers in places ranging from the car park to the staff canteen should not be underestimated.
Later in this videocast, James outlines some of the environmental initiatives the Long Sutton site has implemented. "In the first instance it's making sure everybody is aware of the impact their actions can have, so making it as easy as possible to do some of the simple things like reducing our water consumption, our electricity consumption. That's supported by the local site team for smaller projects around things like power factor correction - a method of tuning our motors to make sure they are as efficient as possible." He goes on to mention other measures.
Referring to the Canning Excellence project, James says it began in early 2017 with the building of a new raw materials warehouse, taking on-site storage from 1,500 to 8,000 pallets. Listen to this exclusive video to hear James detail the various stages of the project, including many other elements on top of the installation of the new canning line for canned ready meals.