SmartHort Lean Modules

Are you looking to increase the productivity of your horticulture business?

Following such a challenging season in 2020 for many growers, now is an important time to identify any opportunities to improve both labour efficiency, and potential capacity to grow your business from 2021 onwards.

As a result of a reported drop in productivity this year, we are launching our online SmartHort Lean modules. Building on the experience gained through our 2019 Strategic SmartHort Centres, we are again working with Fedden USP, expert Lean consultants to help the horticulture industry to adopt new ways of working to save both time and money. Launching in November and running until summer 2021, businesses will have the chance to take part in a series of digital sessions working through the principles of LEAN, including practical training on how to implement change within your business.

What are the online SmartHort Lean modules?

The online SmartHort modules will cover productivity and business improvement techniques that originated from the Japanese automotive industry and have now been adapted to apply to the horticulture sector. Overall, the course will guide you step by step through the practical application of Lean theory within your own business to improve both labour productivity and capacity to grow the business. The modules will be interactive, and will run every fortnight between November 2020 and July 2021. For details on the dates, please see below. You can also register for our webinar on 3rd November to find out more.

What sort of topics will be covered?

Topics that will be covered include how to identify productivity improvements within a growing environment using techniques such as process maps, waste walks, activity sampling, workplace organisation, etc. We will also be looking at how to identify and manage performance and improvements on an ongoing basis.

Why should I take part?

There is a practical bias to the modules and we will provide step by step guidance on how to reduce business waste and improve productivity. Our previous courses have shown that implementation is often low cost and relatively instant, it is not unusual to see productivity improvements of 10 – 15% being achieved sometimes even higher.

Who will the modules be relevant to/benefit?

Anyone that wants to introduce productivity/business improvements will benefit. Previously senior managers, supervisors, team leaders, etc have all taken part in our courses. The improvement techniques apply to all aspects of the business from growing, picking, packhouse, offices and maintenance

How much time will I need to dedicate?

The four modules are split into 16 sessions which will each last two hours and will be held on Microsoft Teams every fortnight. This will allow you to remain on site whilst taking part in the training and reduce the impact on already busy diaries. You will also be able to trial the various Lean techniques in your own business and discuss both progress and any issues you may need support with at your next workshop. This approach will improve the transition from theory to practical application and allow you to run an improvement project in parallel with the course.

The workshops will be recorded and placed on the AHDB website so that if you miss a session you can catch-up before the next one.

Is it just a time investment or will there be other costs involved?

The course itself is free for levy payers.

We will guide you through how to prioritise improvements that generate the biggest saving with little or no capital investments so as to maximise payback. Apart from the course time commitment itself we encourage candidates to dedicate time to carrying out a business improvement project. The time commitment will be dependent on size of the project that is chosen.

As places on the course itself are limited due to the interactive nature, we do ask that you are confident that you can commit to all sessions for the duration of the course before signing up.

Do you have a list of all of the dates for the modules?

How do I register for the online SmartHort modules?

If you would like more information or are interested in registering for the course, please contact Gracie Emeny. Places are limited to 20 spaces on a first come first served basis, and will be capped at a maximum of two people per business.

How can I get involved if I can’t commit to the whole course?

If you are unable to commit to attending all modules, the presentations (without the discussions from the interactive part of each session) from each module will be uploaded to the SmartHort area of the AHDB website on a fortnightly basis.

If you have any other questions, please contact Gracie Emeny.

Gracie Emeny

Senior Knowledge Exchange Manager - SmartHort