Ireland’s largest chicken processor, Manor Farm, have chosen to renew their education partnership with Dundalk Institute of Technology by commissioning a second iteration of the Certificate in Lean Six Sigma for their staff to commence in September. The announcement was made by Manor Farm CEO, Vincent Carton, at the awarding of certificates to 12 staff last week who recently completed a pilot programme in Lean Six Sigma.
Mr Carton noted that Lean Six Sigma is an excellent education programme to drive innovative thinking and action in any company and encourages staff to reflect upon existing business processes so as to encouraging improvements. He noted that a provisional estimate of the savings made through the first 12 projects of the course came to approx. €300,000. He welcomed the colloboration with Dundalk IT and looked forward to continued partnership in the years ahead.
In his remarks, Head of Lifelong Learning at Dundalk IT Anton Barrett, reflected on the unique elements of Manor Farm. He recalled the company’s foundation in 1775, “before American independence and Beethoven’s fifth symphony”. He noted that the company has survived various wars and recessions and is just one of four producers left standing on the island. There were 14 as recently as 1998. He drew attention to the fact that Directors Vincent and Justin Carton are the 8th generation of Cartons running the firm. Finally he highlighted company’s desire to partner with Dundalk IT to help embed what the directors describe as a “learning culture” in the firm. The combination of these features speaks to the venerability of the family owned business and the value it places on educating and upskilling staff to maintain innovation and seek out efficiencies that will see it grow in the future.
Course lecturers Annmarie McHugh and Pat Burke expressed their appreciation to the company and all 12 course participants for making the teaching so enjoyable. They noted that prizewinner Zandra Montgomery’s project is a good example of the power of the lean approach; taking a daily task, viewing it as a process, identifying the underlying waste in all its forms and making incremental improvements. When this project is scaled up across the organisation, the benefits will be massive. Indeed they expected likewise benefits accruing to the company from the projects undertaken by the other 11 members of staff.