Day says the key to designing a blueprint for improving speed, accuracy and flow at a facility is to take stock in how your operation is positioned to meets customer needs today and in the future.
“Look at areas that really slow down your employees,” Day points out, “and typically if you can bring efficiencies into areas like reducing handwritten tickets, automating data entry functions with RFID tags and using outdoor message boards to interact directly with drivers, you can recoup your automation investment in a relatively short amount of time.”
Although speed is important, it is essential to not sacrifice speed for accuracy. Leukam says weighing every truck on the way out to get an accurate shipping weight not only preserves infrastructure on the site level, but on the national level as well, and can help feed mills avoid fines.
While the president’s stimulus package may have some positive impact on rural infrastructure, it leaves improvements to the rail and waterways systems in the hands of those who use it. Keeping an open dialogue (and a little lobbying) with key stakeholders like the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation and the Class I railroads may be the best stimulus package the feed and grain industry, and American production agriculture in general, can hope for now — and for years to come.