There were a few raised eyebrows last week when I suggested that 2017 had been a quiet year for FB Chain. It is amazing to think that at this point last year we were just about to start the relocation to our new building, and as I write this, it feels like it’s been our home for years. At the beginning of each year I suggest that everyone keep a list of key achievements during the year – this helps when the boss says something stupid like it has been a 'quiet year' or when things are not going to plan, a quick reality check on what has been achieved that can help to lift the spirts. 

   

So here are my 2017 highlights:

  • We moved our production machinery in late January with the loss of just 2.5 production days and we introduced a finite planning system which is changing the way we think about and plan our production. Combined with a new system to monitor operational efficiency, things are calmer and we are seeing our on time delivery edge ever closer to 100%.         

     

  • Our colleague Amanda Ward passed away in June after a short illness. It is hard to think of anything good about the whole situation, however as I look back now, I am proud of many of the FB team who stepped in to cover and take on new responsibilities. One of her key activities each year was getting younger/newer staff to dance at the FB Christmas party and I am pleased to report that this was also well taken care of. 

     

  • We have been growing continually for the last 6 years and on our journey have fixed and patched a number of our business processes. This year we overhauled our quality management system, making it integral to the function of the business. We are already seeing the benefits of this new knowledge. Along the way have passed both a BSI and a NQA audit. Although this project was driven along by a few staff, almost everyone is playing a part in improving and documenting our business processes.         

     

  • One of my greatest pleasures each year is to see people in the business develop. What’s even more pleasing is when customers and suppliers make a point of contacting me to tell me how impressed they are with a member of the FB team. We talk about delivering outstanding service and while we can invest in new equipment and systems, in the end it is people who can and do make the difference and some difference they must be making as in this 'dull' year we will have increased sales by another 20%.

 

I am proud of what we've achieved here at FB Chain this year and excited for what 2018 has in store.