“Real beer people with contemporary plant management experience”

At First Key we understand the struggles of balancing rising product costs, time to market, customer demands for superior service and quality, and corporate bottom-line requirements. Operations must become a competitive advantage, not a millstone around your company’s neck.

First Key has expertise in developing “roadmaps” for the future through a unique approach to Master Operations Planning. By helping you develop a tailor-made optimization strategy, our “Master Planning” program aims to extend the life of your facility and maximize your return on investment. We will assess your current plant and operating procedures, benchmark them against other brewery operations around the world, and provide you with specific actionable recommendations and solutions for improvement.

First Key operations specialists are real beer people with contemporary plant management experience. They assist clients to improve their cost competitiveness through progressive productivity improvements, modern product processing techniques, and superior brewing education and training.

Strategic Process Improvement
…First Key’s Total Quality Management solution.

Some companies around the world are reaping fantastic benefits because they have set aggressive performance standards and have trained all employees on how to continuously improve performance so they can attain those higher standards. The continuous improvement process has become a way of life in those companies. They know that continuous improvement relies on the commitment of empowered employees working in multidisciplinary teams to objectively measure and improve business processes to continually enhance customer satisfaction. So why do some companies get it right while others fail to reap the benefits?

At First Key we believe that the key reason for failure may have little to do with the methodology, techniques or tools used, and everything to do with the improper choice of improvement projects. When embarking on an improvement program it is critical to choose those strategic processes that will make a real, and visible, difference to the business. By focusing on areas that can have a major impact everyone is energized and solutions can reap big gains in performance and profit. A properly executed program (6 sigma) which targets both quality, cost improvements, and just plain simplification will typically result in savings of 25 to 40% of the cost of sales. Poorly chosen and implemented improvement projects create lots of useless work, endless meetings, minimal results, and generate frustration for everyone.

The First Key formula for successful implementation includes:

  • Selecting key strategic processes for improvement. Fish where the fish are, if you like.
  • Ensuring that the improvement team’s composition is such that it can effect necessary changes on it’s own. Leaders effect meaningful change.
  • Ensuring that improvement team members have a good in-depth knowledge (competence) of the various improvement tools, including problem identification and analysis.

Areas of Service

  • World-class manufacturing and business practices
  • Reducing process time and production losses
  • Capacity management – increasing throughput
  • Industrial maintenance techniques
  • Organizational change and performance measurement
  • Customer focused operations
  • Benchmarking
  • Operations master plans