In life sometimes a job being done again and again can feel very monotonous very quickly. Yes, what is being done is great if you are at the beginning of your business journey and you are trying to keep your costs lean, but often business fail to put in place adequate reviews to decide whether the ongoing tasks is actually a cost effective use of their time. They become busy fools.
When setting up a coffee business it is important that in the initial stages you incubate the idea, when money is usually tight, it will mean you are doing everything. But then as your business grows and you start bringing in employees and equipment, it frees you up to focus on growing the business. It is the age old advice, if you are in a job earning £20 per hour, for example, then it does not make sense for you to clean the office when you can employ someone to do this for half that amount.
So before we can look at ways to speed up your coffee production, lets first look at some background information on the processes involved.
The Assembly Line
The assembly line is a manufacturing process in which individual parts of a product are put together to create a final product. Today the process is usually performed by machines but in the early days, it required a massive amount of human labour to achieve this. The assembly line greatly speeds up the manufacturing process and allowed businesses and factories to churn out products at a remarkable rate which has gotten even quicker to this day. Many workers used to spend up to ten to twelve hours a day in a factory meeting an order quota. Some of the most famous assembly lines in history are those of the workhouses of Victorian London and the Ford Motor Company in the years 1908-1915 as it helped the company become a significant force in the United States Economy.
Industries that have used this process since the 1860s include meatpacking, artillery and the auto industries and even more recently the dry product industries like coffee beans and sweets.
Today most assembly lines are automated and they still require human work to end the process. To inspect the products to make sure they are not defective, broken or damaged. These assembly lines operate in manufacturing plants that require goods to be produced on an "as-needed" basis. Effectively, the plants have a two- or three-day supply of the parts they need. The modern assembly line focuses on speed and quality, so that finished products can be put out regularly.
The assembly line was not invented by one single person. It grew out of a combination of smaller advancements and discoveries. Various people invented cogs, fixtures, and machine tools. By the time Henry Ford started using the assembly line in his company, it had already been evolving. Today, almost everything goes through an assembly line at some point. Without it, the world would still be constructing everything by hand.
How it is at the moment
Hand packing is where you are packing while not using machines. This style of packing was massively used in the past with human assembly lines until automation was introduced with machines that provided great consistency and speed to business. On average nearly 95% of all businesses around the world now use some form of machine packing over hand packing.
Currently, in the SME coffee industry, most coffee is packed by a small group, hand-filling on small scales which takes a long time and results in underfilling, over-filling and the risk of contaminants entering the bag. The bags are then sealed manually by hand. It takes a long time and is not a scalable solution. When you get a big order, there are only so many favours you can pull in from friends and family, before you need to look for a solution.
With all the extra human power and time needed to do it this way, there is the possibility of wasting valuable time and energy needs for other things in your business that you are losing out on. You may also have to turn away big orders because you cannot produce them in time for the customer.
What the future holds for your business if you don't change?
Essentially you have plateaued your business. It's not going to grow anymore despite your best efforts, if most of your team are fulfilling orders. For some people that’s fine you have reached a level of success that’s good for you and comfortable with, you're making money and happy at the level you are. However what if you are a business that wants to evolve to the next level or even wanting to stay at this level but make life easier for you? There are machines that can do this for you and not cost tens of thousands of pounds and see a quick return of investment to you.
Rise of the machine
Nowadays you can’t view a business without some form of machine automation. In the dry food or other ingredients industry this accounts for over 94% of an automation assembly line. If you are a business that is hand-packing using using scales and funnels, it's potentially time to bring your packing to the 21st century and learn how your business can join the revolution. The issue that might present itself is the lack of knowledge that you can do this and that the apparent cost is a lot lower than you may otherwise assume.
Scayl is a company that offers a range of packing and sealing machines specifically for the coffee industry. The machines are mobile and small enough that you can use than anywhere in a warehouse, office, study, kitchen and even your bedroom. The different sized machines cater to your bag size and the amount of product you sell and heat seal your bags no matter what the size.
There are two types of machines at Scayl aimed at helping coffee companies pack ingredients faster.
The Phil machine range includes the 300 - the smallest in the range aiming to pack 1-300g at up to twenty bags a minute. Our biggest in the range the Phil 5000D can pack 5-5000g at a blistering eighty bags per minute. Just load your ingredients into the top of the hopper, enter your desired weight on the digital display and the intelligent micro-computer will automatically fill your ingredients into your packaging, in a matter of seconds, with a 1 - 5g degree of accuracy, whilst displaying a count of how many have been dispensed. Most of the machines offer a quick ROI, saving companies time, labour costs and reducing spillage and waste.
The Seal machine range is a collection of sealing machines that work with a variety of bags. Just load your filled bag into the machine and it will run a continuous seal across it.
So there you go, if you want to pack your coffee faster you can and it will give you much bigger profits and time back to invest in other parts of your business. For more information visit www.scayl.co.uk