ECO-Culture’s facilities increase labor productivity

Agroinvestor magazine published an analytical article on the implementation of the Labor Productivity national project in the agricultural sector. Viktoria Sharapova, the Vice-President for Human Resources and Organizational Development at ECO-Culture, shared the relative experience of the holding.

The Labor Productivity national project has been implemented since 2018 and is intended to last until the end of 2024. The initiative has been coordinated by the Federal Center of Competences in Labor Productivity (FCC). Its mission is to increase the competitiveness of domestic services and goods by introducing lean production technologies and tools. The project aims to ensure at least 5-percent performance growth of Russian companies in non-resource industries by the end of 2024.

Interaction with the national project participants is carried out as follows. For at least six months, FCC experts conduct analytical work directly at the facilities. The result of the joint collaboration with the project groups of the enterprises is the implementation of improvements to individual, or pilot sections of the production flows. The process is paralleled by staff training, with employees gaining advanced knowledge and skills and implementing them at their workplaces to later extrapolate the successful experience to other production facilities. Aside from that, the FCC also provides training and certification of in-house corporate coaches for each partnering company.

One of the largest producers and investors in indoor vegetable production, ECO-Culture has been participating in the national project since 2020. Right now, lean production technologies are being implemented at four greenhouse facilities of the holding. One of those is Solnechny Dar complex, located in Stavropol Krai. The “Harvesting – Packing – Shipment of medium-fruited tomatoes” flow was chosen as a pilot project. Working closely with FCC experts, the greenhouse and distribution center employees modernized the production chain by introducing a comprehensive set of improvements. As a result, harvesting time was halved, with the one-shift volume of tomatoes packed and prepared for shipment to stores increasing by 20 percent.

“We can see definite and very tangible improvements in our production processes to improve our efficiency. We have already obtained a number of quantifiable benefits: our output and production efficiency are on the rise, while the turnaround time is decreasing,” said Viktoria Sharapova, the Vice-President for Human Resources and Organizational Development at ECO-Culture, commenting on the results. As for the systematic staff training, it is integrated into the work practice and closely synchronized with the stages of specific projects at all greenhouse complexes.

At the same time, the specifics of the greenhouse industry imply a considerable amount of manual labor. No matter how innovative the technology may get, it takes a caring human hand for the plants to grow. With this in mind, ECO-Culture makes a deliberate investment of time and resources in comprehensive employee training, with both material and non-material forms of motivation being introduced. This has already resulted in a 5-20 percent increase in labor productivity for different types of work within the holding over the past few years. These figures, however, are expected to grow, as long as the enterprises continue to participate in the national project.

For the full text of the article, please visit the Agroinvestor magazine’s website.