Update: Waterman Grean

A while back, we told you about the implementation of the Lean method in how we work at Waterman Onions. At Waterman, we call it ‘Grean’: a playful reference to our agricultural roots. Time for an update…

Since the last newsletter, we’ve completed a lot of training and we’ve started work on several improvement processes. But it hasn’t been easy. At Waterman Onions, we’ve always been solutions-oriented, and we’ve noticed that it’s difficult to let go of that mentality. It’s required a whole new way of thinking. We have to learn to let go of ‘the problem’ and start looking for the source. Then we can set goals and assess and analyse the situation. Once we’ve done that, we can look for the underlying causes, and only when we’re convinced that we’ve found it can we start thinking about solutions. In the Grean method, solutions come in all shapes and sizes. The challenge is to find one that prevents the problem from ever occurring again. That’s difficult, but definitely not impossible.

To give just one example: the Waterman Onions small packaging machines are now equipped with an updated system to ensure that the rolls of packaging film can’t be installed the wrong way around. In the past, that caused wastage in the form of packaging downtime or damaged rolls. But now, thanks to Grean, we’ve found an extremely effective solution.

And thanks to Grean Waterman Onions has learned that the power of the solution lies in doing and working together. Teamwork is extremely important to us. In our activities, driven by supply and demand, we have to act quickly and know that we can rely on each other. Every morning at 09:00, all of the departments come together in the cafeteria to discuss the results on the boards. That way, everyone can see what we’ve done, and what we still have to do. Although it can be difficult not to fall back on old habits, we all do our best to learn something new. And we do it together!

We’ve also achieved success in areas such as electricity conservation, cleaning time and productivity, and we’ll talk about them more in a future newsletter.

Photo: Operator (Natalia) changes a roll of packaging film.