This two week mission took place during the first half of November and was joined by Dr Lorrie Vandeginste (general management), Theo Reymen (IT management) and Hubert Lemmens (accounting) and Noël Haegens (bakery consultant).
Goal of the mission : launch of the new digitalised production management system, installation of our new pasteurisation machine/equipment, instigate the use of reusable glass bottles instead of plastic bottles and provide assistance/consultancy to the bakery.
Please find below a summary of our activities and achievements:
- The newly programmed production management system was uploaded onto our computers and introduced to our local management team. First teachings of the system were given and as expected, when applied to the actual production environment, some bugs and shortcomings were identified on the way. More work will still have to be done, especially on correctly updating stock levels, on correct input of costs of ingredients and on ensuring the recipes are entered correctly into the system. Although this means there is still considerable effort required to finish this task, it will all be worth it in the end. Ongoing communication between our IT and accounting people and our local management team will make sure the system will be operational in teh next months and will provide a daily update on all the necessary information we need to make decisions on our production management so that our enterprise can run efficiently and profitably.
- Our new pasteurisation machine that was planned to be delivered in October, had just arrived in Kinshasa at the beginning of our mission. Waiting for it to be delivered in Kisantu, we only managed to receive it near the end of our mission. This meant we only had a few days to teach our people how to fill and handle the reusable glass bottles and maintain the machine. However, our workers managed to learn very quickly and to become proficient in using the unit to pasteurise our soy milk. We have also planned regular microbiological tests which are necessary to guarantee the hoped-for longer shelf life of our milk products and fruit juices.
- In our bakery our team worked on a new recipe assisted by our consultant Noël, which was well received by our customers. And as always during every mission, attention was given to 'streamline' the workflow in the bakery and make it all run smoothly and efficiently.
- Our second point of sale was brightened up a bit with freshly painted colourful signage to attract our clientele.