The adjective ‘busy’ is derived from the noun ‘business’, Old English in origin (‘bisignes’, from Northumbria) and at its time defining “care, anxiety, occupation”. This definition may seem obsolete, but these three facets are actually rather aligned to the world of work in which we live.
Being in the fortunate position to have experienced growth in our business, it becomes tempting to rest on one’s laurels and accept that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. A controversial evaluation of this popular saying would actually be to rubbish it. Blinded by a small amount of success and ignoring evolution in both marketplace and society is a dangerous manoeuvre destined to inhibit you when any period of good fortune is over…
Here at Spiroflow, we have become increasingly sensitive to this and have been conscious of not just our performance, but that of our customer base too. Often when we discuss improvements with customers, they suggest that they are time poor and unable to consider these matters internally.
But instead of leaving the conversations there, we wanted to try and solve this. We know that a fresh pair of eyes on a situation is invaluable, so why couldn’t we be these eyes, helping improve our customers’ improvement measures? Positioning ourselves as an improvements team, as well as a supplier, has therefore become of huge importance to us.
It’s natural for companies to be reactive to individual problems, rather than being able to realise a long-term solution. And developing that point, detecting a potential issue before it arises is another thing that is habitually ignored in the fog of the day to day duties.
We’ve experienced many hard-working engineers and site operatives in this situation, almost too afraid to implement change for fear of missing targets – perhaps not realising the long-term benefits. But finding a way of incorporating this into a workflow can increase efficiencies and by consequence, profitability, which benefits everyone. I’d like to call this concept ‘practical proactivity’. Prevention is always better than cure.
We have been conducting exercises to help our own improvements, and also the development of our customers. The evolving state of factories has been juxtaposed with an increased number of processes, sometimes to the extent where certain procedures have become unnecessarily over processed.
We offer a complimentary 40 minute “handling health check” on all aspects of bulk solids handling, plus a summary document from one of our qualified Spiroflow engineers – everyone can afford 40 minutes for the sake of valuable improvements! And it’s not only the appraisals that benefit customers, but also awareness of what technical improvements are out there, for instance doubling bulk bag filling rates or conveyor innovations.
We will look at simplifying processes, and if one of our conveyors can do the job of three existing units, then everyone has benefitted. You don’t know what you don’t know, and so an appraisal from us can help enlighten you to new possibilities that could help your productivity and morale if it makes life easier for your operatives.
Even the small changes can produce big results. Challenging your teams to each optimise even one of their more menial tasks per day would bring cumulatively significant results, thereby freeing up tens of minutes of resource per team per shift is open to achieve and allows for increased productivity.
Sometimes businesses are living with problems they have learned to put up with, but not making the most of your investments may damage your business. For us, any customer with handling issues or product flow problems should feel free to speak to us at any time – all our team have cross-industry experience and sharing it is part of our customer care. One cliché that I firmly accept is that if our customers grow, we grow, and so we should support them as much as possible. It’s not about living with things, it’s about fixing them!
As steadfast members of the Solids Handling and Processing Industry (SHAPA) we do pride ourselves on our expertise and reputation, but we don’t just talk about it, we prove it and actively engage with those willing to use our skills.
And Spiroflow most definitely adheres to the original definition of ‘business’. We “care” about what we do, and our customers, deeply. We are “anxious” about improving beyond measure, and our “occupation” is to encourage practical proactivity across industry, strengthening ourselves and each other during these challenging times.
We manufacture a full range of equipment for handling dry bulk solids and ingredients in powder, granule, pellet and flake form, across the whole spectrum of process industries.