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Landwards Conference 2020

Lean principles and resilience in agricultural engineering

Held:             Throughout the autumn and on Wednesday 4 November 2020

Location:      Online via YouTube and Zoom

Cost:              FREE to IAgrE Members

This year’s conference followed a virtual format with a series of webinars, online via You Tube and Zooms, posted regularly on the IAgrE web site culminating in a virtual meeting in the late autumn at which all the speakers will fielded questions from delegates.  The conference tackled the potentially conflicting requirements of lean principles and ‘just in time’ manufacturing with the real world need to have resilient supply chains.

The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched supply chains to their limits (and beyond in some cases) and the conference was a timely opportunity to enable delegates to reflect on what worked, what didn’t and how organisations and businesses have adapted to flourish in this new landscape.

The presentations were given by speakers representing the world of food supply and distribution, alongside international agricultural machinery manufacture and the UK dealer supply chain, gave delegates structure and ideas that can be taken away and implanted in businesses either side of the supply chain  to improve business efficiency and profitability for everyone.  

Our Speakers gathered for a live online event under the chairmanship of Past President and Editor of Landwards Andy Newbold, in order to discuss the Conference findings and answer questions from the floor.

The progamme is detailed below and the links take you to the recording of the presentations. 
The recording of the Live Q&A Panel discussion will be available shortly.

Pre-recorded Online Programme 

Introductory Remarks and lean principles

Paul Hemingway – President IAgrE

Paul introduces the Conference and outlines Lean Principles in order to set the backdrop for the Conference.  Find out more and watch the video here.

Lean & resilience – The international manufacturers perspective

Martin Hamer, Fendt

In his role as sales manager, UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, Martin will be discussing how Fendt have flexed to accommodate different working approaches. This has protected their workforce whilst ensuring consistent product supply and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. Martin will also consider how the changes have now embedded in the business and what this means going forwards.  Find out more and watch the video here. 

Lean – A dealer’s perspective

Richard Halsall, Ripon Farm Services

As group sales manager for one of the UK’s largest John Deere dealers, Richard will be looking at how the company manages inventory, deliveries and the interface between customers and company personnel. Given the context of a global pandemic, the lessons learned, and new ways of working will be of particular interest to delegates.  Find out more and watch the video here.

Lean in agriculture

John Shropshire, G’s Fresh Produce

Lean principles revolve around ensuring efficient delivery of services and products. Given the ‘just in time’ nature of the fresh produce business and the need to plan growing, whilst still taking account of the weather, changes in demand etc. John looks at how the business manages these demands. Alongside an insight into how this has changed due to the global pandemic and lessons which the business has learned from this.  Find out more and watch the video here.

Henry Shropshire, Barway Services Ltd
Henry has agreed to join us for the LIVE Q & A as John is unable to attend that day.  Henry graduated from Newcastle University in 2013 where he studied Agri-Business management.  He then worked in Senegal, California and with the Gs Fresh Finance accounts team before moving to Poland for 2.5 years, where he set up the farming business.  Henry then spent 3 years in Spain running the tomato producstion (130ha tunnels and 600 staff).  He is currently running the Gs logistics site at Barway together with the open field harvest operations and the Babyleaf trading business.  We are delighted Henry will bring his experiences of production and supply to our LIVE Q&A.


How you can learn from other organisations in times of difficulty

Dr Mark Cooper, independent safety engineer

Covid-19 has made many businesses reflect on their resilience and preparedness. Two concepts are outlined. Firstly, Toft & Reynolds (2006) offer a socio-technical systems approach to learning from disasters and this has much to offer in this reflective phase. Specifically, that similar patterns of behaviour can be identified in biological, mechanical, electronic etc systems. What has been termed isomorphism.

Secondly, how we deal with Black Swan events (Talib, 2001). This paper outlines the key characteristics of Black Swan events and how they can be coped with, including the characteristics that make organisations resilient to them. This includes distributed and diverse systems.

This paper advances the argument that features that enhance resilience may be at odds with lean and streamlined approaches.  Find out more and watch the video here.

Innovation & Resilience

Professor Simon Pearson, Lincoln Institute of AgriFood Technology

Simon will frame the discussion by covering his background, history and work journey around ag engineering and the industry.

He will then look at the work which LIAT are involved and how they relate to food supply efficiency, resilience and change management.

Simon will close with suggestions of how agricultural engineers will factor in the ‘pandemic’ to their contingency planning going forwards.  Find out more and watch the video here.

Live Conference Q&A Session
4 November 2020 - 11am-1pm

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