Packaging operations are often a core strength of most drinks companies, but management attention should migrate from being purely OEE-focussed towards cost effective agility, and deploying the people skills and problem solving rigour to the rest of the supply chain. An efficient packaging operations department is at the heart of many a drinks businesses. However, their performance is often still largely measured by their OEE levels. The true business requirements are the balance of availability, responsiveness, full product cost and NPD time to market according to the needs of the market it serves. These demand agile packaging facilities with weekly run cycles, aggressive changeover reduction and line performance targets. The cost performance of packaging operations cannot be taken in isolation, especially as increased product complexity and brand premiumisation should be expected to drive costs into production facilities. Supply chain needs to be optimised and individual product profitability assessed accurately and frequently, rather than focussing on minimising production costs in isolation. Adventures in buying operations in new markets mean that an operating model template which is flexible, scalable and can be localised is required.
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