Food Processing's Processor of the Year Takes on Data, Employee Retention, and Workforce Issues

I was excited as I read the article our senior editor, Pan Demetrakakes, wrote about our 2018 Processor of the Year: Smithfield Foods. There was a section in particular, near the end, that jumped out at me in the plant operations part of the 3-part series.

“With the unemployment rate being low, which is a good thing for the economy, it becomes harder to find good employees,” says Todd Gerken, executive vice president of operations for fresh pork.

Bill Otis, Smithfield’s executive vice president of operations for packaged meats, goes on to add “We have to be competitive, and we have increased wages. Our benefits have always been strong, compared to our competitors.

“But then you have to make them feel welcome,” he continues. “How do you train them? How do you keep them? When an employee comes through the door here, an hourly employee, we’ve got to take the time to train them properly.”

Otis spoke about their training processing as well as their continuous process of review and improvement and how data-focused they are as a company.

Smithfield Foods offers a real-life case study in workforce retention and data-focused efficiencies and I wanted to be sure to share it with you in case this got lost in the pile. Take a look for yourself and see what Smithfield Foods is doing to improve their workforce and their efficiencies one data point at at time. Read the 2018 Processor of the Year Plant Operations story

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