Volmary Ltd: Strategic SmartHort Centre, Cambridgeshire

Francis Mizuro
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About Volmary Ltd: Strategic SmartHort Centre, Cambridgeshire

  • An independent, growing family business that propagates many millions of bedding plants, perennials, shrubs, vegetables and herbs
  • Based in Wisbech, near Cambridge
  • Stick over 2m cuttings a week during peak production at the Wisbech site
  • Almost 70% of their business takes place in just 3 months of the year
  • Dealing with these seasonal peaks, with a challenging labour market (30% of seasonal staff offered employment last year, didn’t turn up to work), was one of the reasons they signed up to the SmartHort programme

The SmartHort Strategic Centres are designed to help growers address the challenges around labour and its rising cost. 

The hosts will act as live case studies to demonstrate how implementing lean principals can help make labour and productivity improvements of between 25-40 per cent. 

Consultancy Fedden USP lead the training, sharing insight on practical management and how to implement Lean. 

14 growers from six businesses are attending four workshops being held throughout 2019 and 2020. 

Volmary will be focusing on implementing Lean changes to the following areas of their business: 

  • Sticking
  • Potting
  • Workplace organisation

Growers attending the workshops will also be running projects in their own businesses and sharing their own lessons throughout the year. These projects include:

  • Meshing - combining the process to un-peg, wind up mesh and remove hoops
  • Picking and cleaning multiline packing - reducing walking and movement of packer
  • Onion grading - trialling auto box filling
  • Transplanter / potter