A case study of a process improvement MasterClass in the Fresh Produce sector.

The activity focussed on productivity improvement and cost reduction in a packing process and was achieved using techniques including data analysis, takt, line balance and visual management.

“The Masterclass has provided us with the tools and techniques to establish and plan the optimium manning levels to meet our scheduled requirements.”

Emmett C.I. Team

The Customer

Emmett UK is a grower and supplier of fresh vegetables and salads to Tesco and Waitrose. A privately owned company based in Lincolnshire with an industry leading packing facility. Farming is a cornerstone of the business with farms in Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, Wales and Spain. Products supplied include leeks and spinach.

The Customer’s need

Following a value chain analysis by Cardiff University and cost down pressure from customers, Emmett decided to focus on the packhouse costs.
Trimming leeks was particularly difficult, and resulted in variable quality from different operators. Production costs were higher than budget and required a new approach to tackle the problem.

The IF Solution

Members of an improvement team were invited to join a Masterclass delivered by Industry Forum engineers. The engineers utilised the “Common Approach Toolkit” to apply the building block tools of continuous improvement and introduce the team to “Learning by Doing”. The tools applied were 5c Workplace Organisation, 7 Waste observation,Standardised Work and Visual Management.

The “Learning By Doing” application of building block tools























Return on Stakeholder’s Investment







Industry Forum’s Seven Measures of QCD Competitiveness


Cost per pack

Before: £0.22 After: £0.12
Pre Pack line – Carrera – cost per pack
Before: £0.205 After: £0.084
Financial Benefits:
Annual total pack cost :
Before: £303,685 After: £164,158 Saving: £139,527

Sustainability of the Improvements:

The company has made continuous improvement a strategic objective and appointed senior managers who have the skill and responsibility to coordinate more activities. The company will gain sustainability by continuing to organise workshops at each site in their organisation.


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