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Saturday, 20 June 2015 16:30

Using time management to raise productivity

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Wondering where your time goes? Don’t worry, Richard Kyte from DairyNZ and Sarah Watson from PeopleMAD have found it, and they’re going to tell you how to get it back.

The pair are presenting a workshop at the 2015 South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) later this month, which they hope will help dairy farmers identify the unproductive and time-wasting processes in their own dairy operations.

This is particularly relevant during the current trading environment, as farmers look to maximise productivity and income from their operation.

The presenters agree the key question to ask is how often we spend valuable time and energy on things that do not add value. They say now is a good time to analyse the processes involved in milking and rearing calves, and listen to what staff and advisors say are the sticking points.

The workshop will explain how the lean thinking management approach, which examines process across all industries, can be applied to dairy. 

“This approach can help to identify what processes add value, and what can be stripped away to increase productivity and get the most from the time you and your staff spend in the business,” says Watson.

“Sometimes they’ll only be small but breaking the cycle of time wasting means they’ll all be contributing to the business’s productivity, no matter what the size or scale.”

One example on farm could be something like putting up an electric fence but having to return to the shed for more standards because there was not enough to finish the job.

“We all have moments like that; identifying what they are and what can be done to solve the problem opens up the time available to you that was actually there from the start, “she says.

Kyte and Watson will challenge dairy farmers at their workshop to list their own problem areas. Watson hopes farmers will come away understanding the importance of identifying the cause of the roadblock, rather than just spending time dealing with its effect.

“Often it’s the lack of quality, robust systems and processes, not the people we work with, and we end up putting a ‘sticking plaster’ on the effect instead of dealing with the cause. The solution might be equipping staff with the right tools and resources for the job, rather thinking you have to do everything yourself.

“Investment in managing time more efficiently means more choices and greater opportunities to use the time in a beneficial way- to deliver value to the business or yourself.  Instead of being caught up constantly on today’s problem you have time to spend on the business, not in the business,” she says.

SIDE will be held at Lincoln University from June 22- 24.

Visit the SIDE website for more information and registration details http://side.org.nz/

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