November 4, 2008
State-of-the-art technology, skilled management key to Thailand Betagro's success
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In the face of stiff market competition and the ailing world economy, one food industry giant continuous to move forward, "Betagro," a recognized industry leader for more than 40 years. What's the secret of this company's stability and longevity?  The never ending quest for new opportunities, and the employment of efficient technical management skills and new technology in its operations - these help spur the company ahead.
Last year, the dangerous signs of the world economy plunges many businesses into insecurity.  But, the Betagro Group proved, again, that it can turn crisis into opportunity. The latest idea shows that TPm (Total Productivity Management) can lay the foundation for a more sustainable business for Betagro. Meanwhile, the company has an investment of around THB2,500 million to open two new factories. Betagro profits are expected to grow by 15 percent or around THB34,500 million this year.
"The competition - globally and locally - remains very stiff," says Nopporn Vayuchote, executive vice president for Group Business Development of Betagro. "With no new support to grow from the world economy, the Betagro Group has to adjust its management direction to make for a strong system and better efficiency. As in the past, we have always brought new technical tools - such as Kaizen (The Process and Efficiency Adjustment Project) etc. - to develop the company."
Nopporn said the company is now using cutting-edge management tools to lead them to the higher goal. "The TPm system will link with our planning and training every worker to think like a unit," he said. "It can communicate the whole planning to see the target deployment structure. If we expect that our profits will grow up to 15 percent (from THB30,000 million to THB34,500 million), then we can do it."
TPm was used as the pilot scheme at Betagro's processing factory (fresh chicken, frozen chicken and ready-to-cook of BFI). "The results of the entire planning and target deployment structure are very good," he said. "Target deployment from the business to the unit and productivity can link with our planning to the money target. Then, we will adapt TPm to other business. We will put the right system for the human resource and the other structure, but it depends on the business situation also."
At the same time, the company is leaning into the cost management direction, especially in the animal feed production, research and development of alternative materials and adding value to the company portfolio.
"As for investment, we are planning to build a new animal feed factory at Nakhon Ratchasima Province with a budget of around THB1,000 million and the productivity of 30,000 tones per year," he revealed. "The ready-to-cook chicken factory at Lopburi Province will have a budget of THB1,500 million and productivity of 30,000 tones per year, and we will expand the processing pork factory from 1,200 pigs per year to 2,000 pigs to support the export industry.
"Furthermore, we will give importance to our alliance with Japan through the restaurant brand "Ootoya."  We have been managing this restaurant for around two years and we have good feedback. The Ootoya is the one channel to show the ability and potential of Betagro to supply good quality products to the consumer."
While TPm is apparently leading Betagro to be successful and strong, the company still believes no company can grow without the latest in modern technology. Betagro is the first to create "e-Traceability" for checking out the chicken in 2005.  "Now, Betagro is getting ready for a completely new system "The Spy on Me Kiosk" for checking pork at every sell-point," he said. "It can make things convenient for the customer."
The "e-Traceability" system was developed to check the pork 100 percent, after it was used for checking chicken meat since 2005. Betagro is the first in the food industry to check on the quality and safety of chicken and pork. Customers can use "e-Traceability" or "Spy on Me Kiosk" at the department store. This project was jointly launched with the Bangkok Government to build up customer confidence.
"These things are important for consumer confidence and reinforce our slogan 'Life Quality,' which Betagro has been following in the last 40 years," said Nopporn.
"We have a policy to produce safe food for the customers, so, we developed the software system Betagro-Traceability (since 2002). We also did the  "Food Safety & Quality Assurance" (FSQA) project to make the standard of production uniform. 
"Anyway, customers can check the source of chicken and pork of Betagro products "S-Pure" by themselves," he said. "They can just scan bar-code at the Spy on Me kiosk at the supermarket and check it via the website"
Betagro's ready-to-cook chicken factory at Lopburi Province
     Betagro signs cooperation with the Bangkok government for E- Traceability System

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