How Lean is your Pig Farm?
Leading Edge Group, Senior Consultant, Barry O’Brien, has been taking part in a Bord Biá sponsored project which is investigating the impact of applying Lean principles in Irish pig farms. Over the course of the next three months, Barry will be applying Lean tools and techniques across several pig farms in order to improve efficiencies, productivity and reduce costs. The projects are adopting the Enterprise Ireland model of Lean Start and Lean Plus programmes and the results will be reviewed and analysed by Bord Biá and Teagasc, the state agency that provides research, advisory and education in agriculture, horticulture, food and rural development in Ireland.
“Pig farms are similar to a traditional factory environment with output being averaged across the year. In addition to the constant output, the cycle of production is approximately 5 to 6 months, so incremental change is both possible and effective. Pig Farmers are very metric driven, with a highly sophisticated model of costing pig production, and ably supported by Teagasc in their production. However even with this sophistication, we believe there are further gains which can be made by applying the Lean principles to the process”