Case study: Consolidate journeys to save time and money

Find out a farmer saved over £1,300 per year by streamlining the mucking out and bedding up process.

Back to: Lean management case studies in the pork sector

The problem

The unit: independent producer with 800 sows outdoors, finished indoors.

Before carrying out a waste walk, a loader was used to bring straw bales from a central point to bed up five finishing sheds. The loader could carry two bales at a time, which resulted in five roundtrips to collect the straw each time the sheds were mucked out. Each roundtrip took 15 minutes of time and also used diesel to go back and forth.

The solution

Following a waste walk, the team decided that it would be more efficient to load all 10 bales onto a small trailer and take them to the finishing sheds in one trip. While it would take a few minutes to load and hitch the trailer, it would, overall, take less time than carrying out multiple roundtrips.

The costs

In this case, the small trailer was already owned by the farm, so there were no costs. However, if you needed to purchase a second-hand trailer, the costs would be circa £2,000.

The benefits

The estimated savings from implementing this new way of working are:

  • 15 minutes per roundtrip, with three roundtrips saved (assuming it takes one trip to get there and 15 minutes to load the trailer in the morning)
  • 45 minutes every other day
  • 137 hours per year
  • £1,370 per year in labour costs (assuming £10 per hour wage)
  • Plus diesel savings and the added benefit of a lower carbon footprint

These costs are conservative: in poor weather, when there are breakdowns and when vehicle maintenance is needed, this will increase the time and costs.

The farmer reported that these savings were notable and will enable him to reinvest the saved time into driving further efficiencies.