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    Cutting costs and improving overall efficiencies are some of the biggest priorities for the Operations and Supply Chain professionals we at Henderson Brown work with. New technological advances have transformed the way that food manufacturing businesses operate either reducing costs or simply increasing information flow.

    2019 is set to present several interesting trends which Henderson Brown feels are significant and of real interest; Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and cloud-based software systems are transforming the way that businesses interact with one another. FuturMaster, the systems provider which works with the likes of Heineken and PepsiCo have highlighted the value in this. In an interview with the website, Food Manufacture, earlier in March 2019, FuturMaster sales manager Martin Sewell said

    “More data is becoming accessible and senior management are beginning to see the value of it much more than they have done.”

    Sewell explained that software firms which focus on supply chain are now having to adjust themselves in line with this. It is important that companies which produce food and drink are proficient in the ability to capture all the additional data they are generating. Moving on from that, they need to be able to analyse it appropriately so that they can redeem the efficiencies they are searching for.

    The supply chain for the food and beverage manufacturing sector is highly complex. The ability to drill down into the consumer demand data and how this affects a business (and their competition) is of huge competitive importance. Understanding this data and the clear insight that it gives will lead to making well thought out predictions and should direct a firm to provide an almost seamless delivery service across multiple sales channels. Even online sales channels which can be difficult to predict are becoming easier due to the availability of data instantly.

    The market is now seeing more reliance and requirement for cloud-based supply chain software which is then being used in conjunction with A.I. As more and more data is gathered then stored, A.I. works to analyse the trends and aid with more efficient planning – A.I. performs the tasks more quickly and efficiently than a human brain too, thus cutting manpower costs and the removal of potential human error. The result should enable for forecasts to be made more precisely. Furthermore, the possibilities of supermarket shelves becoming out-stocked or overstocked would be reduced with the subsequent reduction in stock wastage.

    Improvements to overall supply-chain efficacy and finances all round!

    At Henderson Brown, we have listened to how our clients are changing and about how the methods they have implemented to achieve these changes have impacted their business. For example using GPS tracking connected to smart sensors, which results in the improved accuracy of the product’s location in the supply chain.  Companies can acquire assurances about the condition of goods and gauge what quantities are or are not needed and where. Every product can pretty much be tracked to the person who packed it, the source and the consumer who bought it.

    Of the various roles we have been asked to recruit for, the competencies of future employees now extend to understanding and appreciating the importance of data and how it is used. Being data savvy with an analytical mind is a key requirement.

    The need to produce quality products on time, in full and at the lowest cost possible whilst also minimizing the amount of waste made increases continually as margins come under more pressure. There is, therefore, a constant demand for employees to continuously improve and drive out costs. Going further, these employees need to ensure that the supply chain runs as smoothly as possible so that a business matches the demands of their customer.

    Will Malcolm and Joe Hill both work in the Operations and Production division at Henderson Brown and of these job requirements they say:

    “We are speaking with many more candidates that are excited at the way they are having to integrate new systems into their roles. They see the benefits and the opportunities on offer to themselves and the businesses they want to work for. On top of this, our clients want to employ people that appreciate how the various advances now present a greater understanding of the consumer’s needs and relish the opportunity to expand their technological know-how.”


    What other technological advances do you see as being of influence in 2019?

    Check out the latest live Operations and Production roles, here.

    DATA AWARENESS – how storing business data in the cloud then analysing it with AI is adapting and enhancing business.

    Henderson Brown’s inaugural “Cheltenham Gold Cup” day was held on Friday 15th March at the Great Northern Hotel in the centre of Peterborough.

    The live races from Cheltenham were projected to the guests on a big screen, with a licensed bookmaker to take bets and industry expert to talk through the race card.

    This invite-only event was a thank you to our clients and business friends for all their support and partnership throughout the year.

    Martin Brown, Managing Director of Henderson Brown said:

    “The whole day went brilliantly. It was superb to see many of the clients’ that we feel privileged to work with year on year at this event. We have already started planning for next year and it was really well received. With some big outside winners, some of our guests went home extremely happy!!”

    The entire team from Henderson Brown would like to say a very big thank you to all of those that joined them for this event. Additionally, they would like to thank the staff at the Great Northern Hotel for providing such excellent hospitality.

    EVENT ROUND UP: Cheltenham Gold Cup Day, Friday 15th March 2019

    Lytham Foods has recalled Taylors of Lytham Chicken Tikka Sandwiches due to the potential threat of salmonella. 

    The possible presence is in the tikka powder ingredient, supplied my Catermix which, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), was manufactured in unhygienic conditions and failed to comply with the food hygiene regulations. 

    “Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in stores selling these products,” said a statement published on the FSA’s website. 

    “These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product.”  

    The FSA advised consumers who have bought the product not to eat it, but to instead return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund. 

    Taylors of Lytham’s website claimed that its sandwiches were made using only high-quality ingredients. Lytham Foods’ products are supplied to a number of UK retailers and airlines, as well as foodservice and catering establishments. 

    This recall follows Easy Eats UK withdrawing chicken tikka products due to similar concerns. 

    Chicken tikka sandwiches recalled

    Henderson Brown Recruitment Ltd relocating to purpose built new offices, with twice the amount of space compared to the old office, there is plenty of room to grow and meet our clients’ needs in the future.

    Front View

    Henderson Brown Recruitment Ltd Sign

    Still situated in Minerva Business Park, almost next to the A1 at Peterborough, this 2 floor building features 3 meeting rooms perfect for client and candidate visits.

                          Reception Area

    To celebrate our move, we are hosting a drinks party tomorrow evening, Thursday 21st January from 4pm-7pm. Many of our clients from the Food Manufacturing and Fresh Produce industries will be there. We are looking forward to a good evening and an even better new year!

    Front View

    Front view of the office


    New Office

    Neil Sanderson is leaving the food industry and will be replaced by Floreale Operations Director, Doug Robertson

    Florette UK and Ireland managing director Neil Sanderson is leaving the business to pursue a career outside of the food industry and will be replaced by Floreale operations director Doug Robertson.

    Sanderson, who has been with Florette for five years, will take up the role of director of the York Minster Fund – a body established in the late 1960s in order to raise money for the great work of restoration when the Central Tower was in danger of collapse.

    Robertson has worked across the European fresh produce industry with roles at Asda, Geest and Bakkavor, in operations, procurement and general management.

    He joined the vegetable division of Florette parent company Agrial to become general manager of Florette Murcia, following the acquisition of the French and Spanish businesses of Bakkavor. For the last three years he has been operations director for the division.

    His replacement will be named in the next few weeks.

    “The company wish to thank Neil for his contribution to the company over the last five years,” a statement from Florette said.

    “We are also delighted to announce that Doug Robertson will be moving from his role in the Floreale central team as operations director to replace Neil in the role of MD Florette UK and Ireland.”

    Sanderson is due to stay with the business during the transition period to help complete a series of projects.

    Florette MD steps down after five years

    Hilton Food Group has posted a half-year trading update that is “in line with expectations”. 

    Citing challenging consumer conditions and the appreciation of sterling against other currencies having an effect on the meat packing company’s performance for the 28 weeks ended 12 July 2015, Hilton said it has expanded over the past six months. It is also looking to grow opportunities in both domestic and overseas markets.

    Its trading update stated: “We have continued to grow the business, through additional volumes and close cooperation with our retail partners.

    “In Western Europe, we have made good progress in a number of markets. In the UK, where we have expanded our production facilities, volumes have continued to build towards anticipated levels.

    “In the Dutch market, we have continued to see volume growth, and have helped

    Albert Heijn in the development of its recently opened innovation centre. We are also encouraged by the performance of our business in Ireland, where we have seen growth in the first half of 2015. For both Sweden and Denmark, conditions have remained testing, while in Central Europe, where Hilton supplies customers in seven countries, trading has been in line with the board’s expectations.

    “In Australia, development work by the joint venture at Victoria is proceeding in line with the agreed plan, with the equipping of the plant substantially complete and test-running having commenced ahead of start-up in the third quarter.”

    Challenging consumer conditions hit Hilton Food Group

    Premium retailer said food sales in Christmas week were up a record 17%, and like-for-like sales grew by 0.1%

    Marks and Spencer’s food business grew like-for-like sales by 0.1% in the 13 weeks to 27 December.

    Total food sales rose by 2.8%, while sales in the Christmas week were up 17%.

    The premium retailer said it had seen “record Christmas sales” in food, which “strongly outperformed the market”.

    Despite a strong performance in the category, total like-for-like UK sales for the company fell by 2.7%, after a terrible performance in its general merchandise division, which includes womenswear, and where like-for-like sales were down 5.8%.

    “Our food business delivered another excellent quarter, significantly outperforming the market by around three percentage points,” said CEO Marc Bolland.

    “We saw record sales over the festive period, up 17% in the key Christmas week. Customers once again turned to us for our highly differentiated food offer, combining the best of quality, seasonal speciality and convenience, all at competitive prices.

    “We launched nearly 750 new products giving customers more choice than ever, with record results in turkeys, party food, desserts and deli,” he said.

    Bolland said disruption at the company’s Castle Donington distribution centre “strongly impacted” .com and general merchandise performance in December.

    And he said overall international business was “heavily impacted” by the worsening currency and economic issues across its Middle East and Russia franchise region, but the business had performed well in other key markets such as India.

    M&S will report its fourth quarter trading results on 2 April 2015.

    M&S reports ‘record’ food sales over Christmas

    Graeme Sharp, 24, has been appointed Quality Meat Scotland’s new marketing executive. 

    Sharp, who succeeds Jack Broussine, will be leading the Specially Selected Pork marketing activity, as well as looking after independent retailers, including the successful Scotch Butchers’ Club, and the public procurement sector. 

    He is an International Management graduate from Heriot Watt University, and joins QMS from the family butcher’s shop in Linlithgow. 

    Laurent Vernet, head of marketing at QMS, said: “Graeme brings a huge amount of practical knowledge and experience with him from the red meat sector and will undoubtedly strengthen our existing marketing activities in order to promote the high-quality product that Scottish farmers produce.” 

    New marketing executive appointed by QMS

    Tulip and Scottish pork producers have taken control of a Scottish processing plant as part of a new collaboration said to be “fantastic news” for the Scottish pig industry. 

    Pork processor Tulip has teamed up with pig supply co-operatives Scotlean Pigs and Scottish Pig Producers in a new entity called Quality Pork Limited (QPL), at a pork facility in Brechin, based in Angus,

    Bob Yuill, deputy chief executive of the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS), which supports co-operative farming in Scotland welcomed the initiative: “It is very significant that the plant is now effectively in the hands of pig producers. This strategic collaboration amongst the co-ops is hugely important and an example of the kind of cross-European partnership that we need to see more of.”

    QPL said they have future plans on upgrading the site by adding a new slaughter line, chilling and lorry wash facilities which will increase the capacity of the operation. 

    Andrew Saunders, director of agriculture at Tulip, explained: “The purchase of the facility by QPL is fantastic news for the whole of the Scottish pig industry and their planned upgrade to increase the site’s capacity will mean that even more people across the UK and further afield will be able to enjoy quality Scottish pork.” – 

    QPL said the initiative was supported by the Scottish Government: “The Scottish government has been very supportive of this initiative and I am confident that by working closely with Quality Meat Scotland, Scottish Pig Producers, Scotlean and Tulip we can help secure the future of the Scottish pig industry.” 

    Tulip joins forces with Scottish pig producers in new initiative
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