In this article, we take an in depth look at Visual Management, answering some of the most common questions surrounding this subject.

In the fast-paced world of food and beverage production, it’s important that you can effectively communicate with your operatives. Failing to do so could result in an on-site accident, a compromised product, serious non-conformities, and low morale amongst your workforce.

But what is the best way to get your message across?

90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. The brain then processes these images 60,000 times faster than it does the written word.

With this in mind, we have created the ultimate guide to Visual Management, covering its purpose, potential uses, and the best way to introduce it to your factory. We’ve also provided a breakdown of the different materials and mounting methods for you to choose from. There are interesting takeaways in each section, but you can also click the links below if you would prefer to skip to the subject most relevant to your needs.

Why is Visual Management so important?

In food and beverage production, employee retention has become increasingly difficult. Fewer people than ever are entering the industry, making it harder to hold onto your operatives. This can result in a reliance on agency staff who may only be at your site for a couple of days at a time.

So, how do you tackle this problem?

Ranging from better PPE to ergonomically designed equipment, there are a whole host of ways for you to attract new operatives to your site and retain your current workers. One possible  solution is Visual Management – helping you to overcome language barriers, reinforce training, track progress, and prioritise the safety of your site staff.

Visual Management will also help to improve the quality of your product. Highlighting:

  • Critical Control Points
  • Important updates relating to production
  • Quality standards for your ingredients and finished products

In addition to this, upcoming audits will become a less daunting prospect, as visual prompts will help to impress inspectors. They will convey your site’s commitment to a culture of food safety, especially if they reflect the latest standards and specifications.

Finally, Visual Management could help your site to stay within budget. After all, an informed workforce will be less likely to make mistakes, resulting in a reduction of downtime and costs.

What are the different examples of Visual Management?

There are many different ways for you to introduce Visual Management to your site. Below are just a few examples of the boards and signs you might find within the industry:

Training & Visual Standards

Team Tracking & Shift Changeover

Health & Safety

Training and Visual Standards: Share a training matrix with your staff, along with visual standards for ingredient intake, the assembly process, and the packaging of your product.

Team Tracking & Shift Changeovers: Simplify your approach to management – use visual displays to convey important information about team activities, targets, and shifts.

Health & Safety: Sharing health and safety guidelines, PPE instructions, and information about what to do in an emergency will reduce the risk of an injury or even a fatality occurring at your site.

Quality Standards

Changing & PPE Procedures

Site Plan & Permit Boards

Quality Standards: Instead of just telling your operatives what ‘good’ looks like, you need to show them. Include photos that demonstrate the finished visual of your product. You could also share an Organ Electic – detailing its expected smell and taste.

Changing & PPE Procedures: Get the most out of your protective clothing by ensuring your operatives are wearing it correctly. This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate how highly you value the safety of your site staff.

Site Plan & Permit Boards: Protect your site from non-conformities and failed audits by establishing clear zones and ensuring your operatives only work in the areas they are permitted to.

SQCDP & SIC Boards

Performance & KPI Boards

Team Update & Notice Boards

SQCDP & SIC Boards: Track your team’s performance in the five key areas of Safety, Quality, Cost, Delivery, and People.

Performance & KPI Boards: Motivate your operatives with attractive boards that clearly outline their targets, track their progress, and celebrate their wins.

Team Update & Notice Boards: Highlight the arrival of new team members, identify Health & Safety Representatives, and increase accountability for managers and team leaders.

CCP & Food Safety Signage

Internal & External Area / Directional Signage

Material Information & Waste Control Boards

CCP & Food Safety Signage: Draw attention to Critical Control Points and Food Safety Measures relating to metal detection, PPE, temperature, and more.

Area/Directional Signage: Avoid confusion and accidents with signs that reflect the layout of your factory and reinforce segregation measures. Explore durable options for outdoor signage.

Material Information & Waste Control Boards: Promote the proper handling and disposal of food waste, and make sure your operatives are aware of any important information relating to the materials they are working with.

How do I introduce Visual Management to my site?

Commissioning your boards and signage

If you decide to work with Klipspringer when introducing Visual Management to your site, the process can be completed in five simple steps:

  1. Contact our team with your requirements.
  2. We’ll work with you and our Design Team to find the best solution for your site.
  3. Once we’ve received your PO, we’ll send out a design for you to proof.
  4. Following proof approval, your order will be manufactured in 3-5 working days.
  5. Your signage will be delivered, usually within the next working day.

Securing success with Visual Management

As with any new addition to your site, it’s important that you prioritise the training of your operatives. You need to make sure everyone at your factory is aware of the new signage and is using it to inform their daily processes.

Say you introduce a Quality Standards board, ideally, this should be accompanied by ongoing training on Quality Standards, with the board used as a visual aid. Equally, if you set up a board that features a detailed PPE procedure, your operatives should feel an expectation to follow this guidance – holding each other accountable and speaking up if someone’s PPE doesn’t mirror the photos on display.

You also need to think carefully about the placement of your signs. This is particularly important if you plan to fix them to your walls, instead of opting for a moveable mounting method. Say you have a sign that outlines the PPE requirements of a high risk area – hanging it just outside this zone will give your team the opportunity to address any issues before they enter. This logical approach should be applied to the placement of all your boards, with CCP signs next to the relevant equipment, KPI boards out where everyone can see them, and waste control boards towards the end of production.

Another important step is to talk to your Hygiene Team about their plans to clean the boards at your site. Walls and ceilings are an obvious indicator of cleanliness, with auditors unlikely to miss such a prominent feature. With this in mind, it’s vital that you select a mounting method that is conducive to an effective clean. You should also involve your Hygiene Team in this decision-making process.

What are the mounting options?

The mounting method behind your Visual Management could impact the cleanliness of your site and the success of your Hygiene Team. Your choice of mounting will be dependent on the wall space available at your factory, the layout of your production lines, and the time frame you are working with. Here at Klipspringer, we offer the following four mounting options:

Fixed to wall

If your site has plenty of wall space and you are unlikely to change the layout of your production, you might be tempted to choose a simple Fixed-to-wall Mounting. This option allows you to attach the board using your preferred wall fixings. We would recommend talking to your Hygiene Team first though, as they will need to establish a strategy for cleaning behind it.

Magnetic to wall

Early BRCGS audit data suggests more attention should be paid to the cleanliness and condition of factory walls. As our most popular wall-mounted system, a Magnetic Mount will help you to do just that. It allows for rapid installation and easy removal with every clean. The boards can also be moved around your site without leaving behind any harbourage points.

Freestanding Frame

Suited to factories with limited wall space, a Freestanding Frame gives you the option of printing a visual prompt on both the front and back of the board. The frame can also be placed close to your production line, making it easier for your operatives to see any instructions and engage with the content provided. Easy to clean, there is no installation involved.

Mobile Frame

Another strong option for sites with limited wall space, the key difference with this design is that a Mobile Frame can be wheeled around your factory. Once you have decided on a suitable location, simply use the braked castors to keep your board safely in position. No installation, easy to clean, and with the option of printing on the front and back, this frame is incredibly versatile.

What materials can I choose from?

Here at Klipspringer, our signs and boards are manufactured using certified, food-safe materials. Designed with food factories in mind, these materials will not peel, and do not present any foreign body or micro risks. Depending on the specific requirements of your site, there are four options for you to choose from:

Flexible Magnetic Vinyl

  • Food industry favourite
  • No fixings required
  • Direct-printed & sealed
  • Hygienic & versatile

Flexible Self-Adhesive Vinyl

  • Simple ‘peel and stick’
  • High-tack for a firm grip
  • Perfect for equipment and containers

Rigid Aluminium Composite

  • Heavy-duty and robust
  • For internal or external use
  • Variety of mounting options

Rigid Magnetic Composite

  • Strong and durable
  • Ideal for use with flexible magnetic vinyl
  • Can be printed with your design

So, that brings us to the end of our guide to Visual Management. We hope that you have come away with enough valuable information to inform your future decisions – finding the right signs and boards for your site. If there are any areas where you would like further guidance, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help with your enquiries. Simply contact us on 01473 461800 or Alternatively, you can fill out the form below.  

If you would like further guidance relating to Visual Management, the Klipspringer team would be happy to help. Share your details below to arrange a free consultation.