Throughout the years Bicsma’s organisational processes have developed in a so-called ‘organical’ manner. This means that there is not much structure in or control of their functioning. The production processes are an exception; these are thoroughly monitored with the aid of control systems. The management and supporting processes have during the past years shaped themselves around these activities.
The production process
Production is Bicsma’s primairy process. It entails all interconnected activities necessary for the manufacture of the company’s goods.In total there are three production lines in use, of which two are situated at the Breukelen location and one in Woerden. The processes followed at these locations are fairly similar. However, through the years the production lineshave gone through different stages in terms of theirdevelopment and design. This means that the execution and management of their processes are not the same. Production line 2, for instance, is considered by Bicsma as an example of technology, capacity and maintenance.
Failure or malfunction of the production process can be dealt with without additional costs for a maximum of 4 hours. For a maximum of 3 days these inconveniences can be handled by means of overtime.
As a response to some major production malfunctions, Bicsma has recently installed an emergency power supply in Breukelen. The past year this measure has resulted in a down-time of 115 hours for the bottlery and only 45 hours for production. This has been the best result since the company first started. The investment in the emergency power supply has thus a positive influence on Bicsma’s production malfunctions.
The production processes can be distinguished as follows:
- Preparation: contains all activities required to prepare the different ingredients necessary to manufacture the soft drinks.
- Mixing: contains all activities required to make sure that the right ingredients in the correct amounts and composition are ready for further production. This can either be the production of a fruit drink or that of a vitamin drink. Moreover, it can differ per product line.
- Filling: contains all activities required to make sure that the right packing material is used for desired product.
- Packing: contains all activities required to pack the bottles and cartons neatly in pallets for distribution to the clients.
- Distribution: contains all activities that enable the final transportation of the products to the client.
Preparation & Mixing
Breukelen accommodates production lines 1 and 2. Production line 1 is Bicsma’s core activity. Here the fruit juices are made with which it all started. Production line 1 also manufactures the house brand products for the supermarket chains.
Production line 2 manufactures the carbonated drinks. This completely renewed line was opened in Breukelen in 2012 and has one and a half times the capacity of the former installation. It functions entirely according expectations. By introducing production line 2, line 1 has now the over capacity necessary to be able to expand in the short term. A disadvantage of line 1 is that adjustment to another mode of production is still very time-consuming. As a result, many small batches have to be planned for line 2 because it is – as opposed to line 1 – largely automated, making it much more flexible.
The total production in Breukelen (production lines 1 and 2) has an overcapacity of 15% (under capacity of personnel) enabling Bicsma for the time being to handle the expected growth.
Woerden produces both fruit juices and children’s drinks. Fruit juices are products that have to be made in small volumes. Because Woerden has insufficient space to process fresh fruit, sometimes semi-manufactured products are used that are made in Breukelen. Woerden does have a big cold store, so it is well capable of controlling the preservability of these products.
Filling & Packing
By the extensive use of natural ingredients, there is always the chance of moulds and micro-organisms. This is why the production process has to be as hygienic as possible. In order to guarantee the preservation of, for example, the juices, these beverages are given a heat treatment. The bottling itself is increasingly done using cold sterile systems. It is called ‘bottling’ at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Celsius, and is still the standard way of working.
The bottlery in Breukelen has a can street and two PET-bottle streets (small and large). The large PET-street delivers the products in crates. For this purpose, a crate filling machine and a crate piling machine have been placed at the end of the street. The can street and the small PET-street have their packaging material in trays, which is processed by a shrinking foil machine. The printing company has delivered the carton cut, creased and unglued. The gluing and folding is done by Bicsma. This is not an easy task, but prevents the printer from mainly transporting air. Moreover, it makes the storage of the packing material much more compact.
The bottlery in Woerden has a can street and a small PET-bottle street. Both use one packaging machine.
The distribution unit in Breukelen has one loading dock with two stations. One is used for deliveries to clients and the other for receiving goods. This does not apply to the bottlery’s raw materials, which are unloaded and stored by the bottlery itself. This approach decreases the risk of contamination of the production.
Delivery of the bottles and cans according to the Just-in-Time principle has reduced the stored stocks, enabling Bicsma to meet the arrangement made with the municipality of Breukelen as regards the openness of the terrain. Still, Bicsma is considering to build a hall on the terrain to give Distribution 1 more space. This issue will be discussed with the municipality. Until there is more information about the outcome of this discussion, no further action will be taken.
Since location 2 has no loading dock, there is more work for thefork-lift chauffeurs. Moreover, product storage on the terrain is not possible. Batches are therefore transported to Woerden 2 and from there distributed to the clients.
At location 2 in Woerden there is space to replace part of the distribution to production. This option is also included in Bicsma’s strategic objectives. Part of the profit is reserved to make this adjustment to location 2 in Woerden possible.
The management processes entail all activities performed to execute Bicsma’s policies, such as planning, control, evaulation and adjustment. The following processes are distinguished:
- Sales (processing the offers and orders, contract management)
- Marketing (including the maintenance of the website and Direct Marketing)
The supporting activities entail all tasks aimed at creating the conditions (people and means) for a smooth primary process. Bicsma distinguishes the following supporting processes:
- HRM (personnel, wage and salary administration, recruitment and selection)
- Purchase (raw materials, semi-manufactured goods, labour resources)
- Facility Management (Maintenance, Housing, Hospitality)
- Quality control