Unplanned Downtime in the Poultry Industry


Like any growing or manufacturing sector, the poultry and egg industry in North America is challenged by unplanned downtime, which can lead to lost revenue, wages, inventory, as well as remedial labor costs and penalties from not delivering on customer and service agreements. Operations struggle to understand the root causes of downtime, which may include human, machine, and natural events, affecting system availability, performance, and quality.

Although barn, grading, and processing operations typically have a clear understanding of system reliability annually and can project the cost of unplanned downtime, it is much more difficult to identify specific downtime threats and to gather supporting data for root cause analysis and downtime reduction.

The difficulty lies in the semi-automated nature of these operations, which presents a unique investigative challenge that combines human, machine based, and environmental elements.  These elements can create unplanned downtime singularly, or they can converge to create more complex scenarios.

Taking a continuous improvement approach to understanding and reducing downtime is an efficient way to make an impact, as compared to a holistic, systemic change immediately, based on a variety of assumptions.

To get started:

  • Work with a specialist to gain a full understanding of your process, potential downtime threats, and opportunities that may lead to performance improvements.
  • Scope out specific, time bound, investigative opportunities that can be managed by a small number technicians and managers to understand a specific downtime threat.
  • Deploy a semi-automated, human enabled technology solution that is embraced by floor or field and supervisory personnel alike to collect data over a defined period of time.
  • Work with your specialist and your team throughout the project to analyze the data in real-time, and to identify opportunities to change or influence behaviour or process.

To find out more about how SITEFLO customers in the poultry industry are using the product to understand and reduce unplanned downtime, email us at info@xiplinx.com.

Creating Value by Monitoring Employee Activity in Poultry


Remote monitoring technologies for locations and employees are critical in the agricultural business, with operations increasingly being observed from a distance by management. This style of management involves frequent visits to the remote locations or time consuming reviews by onsite supervisors to meet verification requirements and reporting demands. Visits to simply review employee activities and oversee operations over the short term can run counter to goals for continuously improving agricultural processes and therefore drive acceptable margins.

This approach, by design, typically leads to the implementation of reactive measures towards potential issues that may have already impacted company quality, brand loyalty and significant amounts of money. With the technology available today, there are more effective ways to identify potential issues and solve problems as soon as they arise.

By deploying software for effectively monitoring your operation, using handheld devices, supervisors can efficiently measure, monitor and manage employee performance and behaviors to ensure standard operating procedures and company protocols are being met on a consistent basis, and activities are available for viewing in real-time.

Consider how such a software solution could be deployed in a poultry operation. These operations are typically located in rural areas. On a daily basis, a poultry operation has critical conditions being monitored by their employees that mean the difference between a profit or loss in a rapid period of time. High input costs related to feed or the critical reaction a flock can have to a change in environmental conditions makes the case that significant value can be created by notifying employees and management immediately if the data being measured falls outside of allowable limits. Deploying cost effective technology can mean the difference between a healthy profitable flock, or a potential loss and lengthy claims process.

Software can be configured to capture values such as the quantity of feed, temperature ranges, water consumption and other critical values, and if these values fall outside of specifications, they can be shared in real-time to provide organizations with actionable intelligence, increased efficiency and peace of mind.

Further, information on building conditions, equipment inspections and quality checks that may or may not be collected currently, can be available to supervisors to monitor trends, add comments, run reports and to provide historical data for analysis.

With the variables that have to be taken into consideration on a daily basis in the agricultural industry, both offsite and onsite supervisors can benefit significantly from the insight provided when you enable your team with mobile devices and flexible software. Incremental improvements to employee training and the knowledge being captured by a properly trained employee can lead to productivity increases throughout an operation, protecting overall margins and quality.

Using solutions like SiteFlo, operations in this industry have the insight required to know in real-time, precisely how an operation is functioning. Measure, monitor and manage your way to consistent quality, margins and profits.

David McNally
Director of Sales