Victoria’s Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses has spent three years perfecting its visual management system, which is now helping the business to manage its operations “at a glance”.
“It’s improved our professionalism from the base-level staffing all the way up through management,” Michael Plarre told Australian Baking Business.
“It gives us visual management tools to manage occupational health and safety, food safety, quality. The one management system can be leveraged in all those processes.”
The challenge for Ferguson Plarre has been to maintain a consistent level of product for all of its 51 stores, 48 of which are franchised. The colour-coded system brings management information to the forefront through charts and tables, allowing Mr Plarre to walk into any part of the business and tell straight away how it has been operating.
Visual management gives you an instant picture of where production is at,” he said.
“So without talking to anyone in the bakery, I can have a look at the management boards and know where exactly where I’ve got issues. So (the colour) red highlights issues, green means we’ve met targets. So whether it be KPIs or issues, it brings instant information to the managers at a glance. You can look at a management board, you can walk past and know exactly what’s going on in that department.”
Mr Plarre said that the key to the system’s success is that it gives ownership to the staff using it.
“It’s a management tool but it’s not for managers it’s for the entire bakery. So everybody fits into the team, so whether it be the cleaners or general hands, or the pastry cooks, it (gives them) ownership of their area and their tasks all the way down.”