Pinakin Desai of Memes Associates is producing a series of process flow maps with support from the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative, the Fund for Our Economic Future of NE Ohio, and John Deere. The completed maps for fresh vegetable production and grape production for juice and wine are attached as PDF files to this posting. The maps for dairy operations and nursery operations will be posted in February.
Each of these maps is a template that illustrates the general flow of activities from month-to-month across a typical year. Specific details will frequently vary from one business to another. As such, the maps do not offer hard and fast guidelines for business operations.
If you already manage a fresh produce or grape production business, or you are considering starting or expanding to include one, use of the appropriate map offers a checklist of considerations with each step, for instance:
- Do I currently follow this step on the map in my operation? If not, should I?
- Do I have an effective, more streamlined process that eliminates or automates this step?
- Do I have someone else who can do this step more cost effectively than I?
In addition, once you have documented the process flow of your operation, you can then connect with others who follow similar steps or deliver to the same customer base. This interactivity opens the door to further collaboration, which has the potential to reduce operating expenses, increase market penetration, and improve adaptability. It also highlights opportunities where innovations in areas like logistics and distribution, transactions, and asset utilization would have significant, positive impact on business operations.
These maps are likely topics of discussion at upcoming county stakeholder sessions such as:
- Summit County - 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Tuesday, February 1, 2011, Boston Store, 1548 Boston Mills Road, Peninsula, OH 44264
- Lorain County - 3:00 - 5:00 PM, Friday, February 4, 2011, Lorain County Community Foundation, 9080 Leavitt Road, Elyria, OH 44035
In the meantime, if you would like additional information about the use of these process flow maps or the availability of maps for other business operations, please contact Casey Hoy, Nathan Hilbert, or Steve Bosserman.