National Chicks, Boschkop Farm (part of the Astral Foods group) is competing for the 20 Keys Excellence Award. This International Award, awarded jointly by PDI Japan and ODI South Africa is a tough one to achieve. It focuses on having a high level of performance and maturity in terms of the organisations’:
- people and
- technology, and also
- sustainable, proven, performance with quality, cost effectiveness, delivery, safety (and bio-security) and morale of people, over a number of years.
When Nikki Moodley, Astral Foods Operations Improvement Executive recently invited me to do a gap analysis in terms of the Excellence Award requirements, I knew that the standard at the farm had to be high. Nikki has extensive 20 Keys implementation and facilitation experience, and does regular reviews herself, so I trust her judgment.
Nevertheless, I thought that it would still be some time before they could achieve the award, as it is quite a large farm in terms of the number of chicken breeding and laying sites. What a pleasant surprise awaited me! The whole management team, Manoj Singh, National Chicks Breeding and Laying Manager Gauteng, and all the foremen and site supervisors were at the opening session at the farm’s central offices (see the picture below, with Manoj and Nikki standing on the left). I had to comment on how neatly they were all dressed, and felt quite honoured that I was received as a very important visitor (people often duck and dive when progress reviews are done!).
After discussing the approach for the day, and which site will be visited (only one site as part of very strict bio-security measures at the farm), I was challenged by the group to ask them questions about the 20 Keys (which doesn’t happen very often!). Being challenged by a very confident looking group, I opted for the more difficult questions about the various Keys that they are implementing (there are 12 in the 20 Keys customised Farm System). The questions were met with insightful and enthusiastic answers, with everyone participating.
After the opening session, a number of hours were spent at a site, with the site supervisor and her team, looking at and discussing operations improvement, progress, and next steps. The real test with a 20 Keys implementation is at first-line team level; those people who are the closest to the day-to-day operations issues regarding:
- cost effectiveness,
- bio-security and
After a very thorough and strict progress review, testing whether the principles of operations improvement are embedded within the people, processes, systems and technology, and looking at quality, cost effectiveness and delivery performance over recent years, only a few, minor gaps to be closed, were discussed, with the level of bio-security outstanding. This is no doubt due to the good support that Nikki provided, as well as the support from Dave Stock, Chief Operating Officer National Chicks.
Within days of the review, Manoj supplied some supplementary information on closing the gaps, and a final review date has been scheduled for early April 2019. Watch this space!
Author: Johan Benadie: Director at ODI
To read more about ODI’s Continuous Operations Improvement System, click here.