A mushroom producer for the fresh produce market, La Ferme de la Gontière fights to maintain its operations in Comines (France - Nord) and develop its activity on a market under stiff competition from the Netherlands and Poland. Its success in this objective can be traced to two major initiatives: the construction of a “house of innovative cultivation” in 1986 with production above ground, zero waste, energy savings, recyclable crates (…) and an approach of continuous improvement mobilizing the entire personnel since 2007.
LA FERME DE LA GONTIÈRE focuses on training its personnel rather than delocalizing the enterprise
1. Organizational Governance
Strategy and organization
- Develop a participative atmosphere and reveal hidden talents
- Create a new hierarchical structure and establish performance indicators
Since the beginning of 2007, the personnel has been engaged in a process of continuous improvement, based on the “5S” management method (Sorting, Straightening, Systematic cleaning, Standardize, Self-Discipline). This method can be summarized as: “Together let’s come up with ideas to improve how we do things and became a solid and convivial team.” As equals, each person is involved in improving working conditions and the environment, deciding on the solutions to be implemented and participating in the establishment of performance indicators and methods to improve performance. A new hierarchical structure with teams of 35 people, all co-responsible for the progress of their team:Each team is empowered and autonomous in its choice of how to organize its work. Thanks to 5S, the enterprise is reorganized, physically and in terms of the personnel, into 4 autonomous units. In each unit, the manager and his/her 3 assistants are fully responsible for the organization of the work, performance of the pickers, quality control and flexible working hours. The best solutions found by one team can be copied by the others. The reorganization of production and its management was handled through internal promotion: 9 pickers promoted to positions of responsibility. The picking teams are informed monthly of the evolution of the various performance indicators implemented. Five indicators are tracked each week: kilos / hour, kilos / m², individual yield, absenteeism, % of the time spent on tasks other than picking. For the General Management of La Ferme de la Gontière, continuous improvement is not something dictated down from on high but rather is a regular part of daily life.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- Steady revenue growth: + 5% / year
- Positive financial results
- Sustainable employment: x4 over 30 years
- 9 pickers promoted to positions of responsibility.
- Improved management of working hours
- Greater well-being of employees