On Wednesday February 3rd, 2010 CMHDS toured the Lucerne Foods Milk Plant in Burnaby, BC. This 75,000 sq.ft. facility is one of three state of the art facilities located in Western Canada that make up Lucerne’s Dairy Division.
The Burnaby facility which recently implemented a 5S & Lean Principles program produces approximately 850,000 litres of product per week and stores and ships 94 SKU’s plus seasonal products to 71 Safeway stores and various independent accounts. Tour attendees saw an operation that not only receives raw product, then processes, packages, stores and ships but also deals with the added complexities of a product that is liquid and time & temperature sensitive requiring special handling and fast inventory turns.
About Lean Principles & 5S Practices
Lean – centered around creating more value with less work. Lean is a process management philosophy derived mostly from the Toyota Production System. It is renowned for its focus on increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and using empirical methods to decide what matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-existing ideas.
5S – the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words which, translated into English, start with the letter S.
Phase 1 – Seiri or Sorting: Keeping only essential items.
Phase 2 – Seiton or Straighten or Set in Order: Focuses on efficiency.
Phase 3 – Seiso or Sweeping or Shining or Cleanliness: Systematic Cleaning or the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat.
Phase 4 – Seiketsu or Standardizing: Standardized work practices or operating in a consistent and standardized fashion.
Phase 5 – Shitsuke or Sustaining the discipline: Refers to maintaining and reviewing standards.
About Lucerne Foods
Lucerne is a Safeway brand product line that dates back to 1904 when a group of dairy farmers in the San Joaquin Valley of California banded together to form a cooperative they called the Lucerne Cream and Butter Company, and built a little plant in Hanford, California. The creamery sold butter and sweetened condensed milk to Safeway’s Southern California division until 1929, when the grocer acquired it and made Lucerne its dairy label. Strategically located Lucerne’s Canadian Dairy Division is able to service customers from Northern Ontario, west to Vancouver Island.
Safeway was incorporated in 1926, and within two years had more than 2,000 stores. Canada Safeway was established in 1929, and by 1931 the store count had surpassed 3,200. The 1960’s brought the company’s entrance into the grocery markets in the United Kingdom, Australia and West Germany, and by 1971 the company was the world’s largest food retailer. In 1977, Safeway launched its first super stores with specialty departments, laying the groundwork for the look of supermarkets today.