Project category
Continuous Manufacturing
Edible Oils
Soybean oil
Throughput improvement
Vertical : Continuous Manufacturing

Sub-industry : Edible Oils

Product : Soybean oil

Project category : Throughput improvement


Surface Investments was a leading manufacturer of Soya bean oil in Harare, Zimbabwe. An Indore, Madhya Pradesh based entrepreneur owned the company.

Problem Context

Soybean is a major cash crop in Zimbabwe and a strategic location for Soybean Oil refinery in Zimbabwe. This was on the radar of the strategy map of global agri major Wilmar for a long time. However, political instability, currency devaluation, non availability of skilled and trained manpower made it too risky and unattractive for them to prioritize Zimbabwe. It took an Indian entrepreneur from Indore, India to go all the way to Harare and set up a Greenfield edible oil refinery - facing all the uphill challenges. While the entrepreneur was highly successful in establishing and operationalizing the plant, there was a bit of struggle in achieving desired efficiencies. LFC pitched in to help him improve plant utilization. Sensitive to the local culture, LFC’s Manufacturing Excellence model for Surface Investment helped them streamline their productivity systems and helped double utilization.

Services Offered

A thorough 8 week Diagnosis Study helped the company prepare a road map for doubling the plant utilization.

Key Levers for Improvements

A comprehensive diagnosis was done to identify performance killers:

  1. Lack of Planning Systems – Machine-Manpower-Material planning was leading to losses due to resource shortages.
  2. Each work stations objectives and KPI were not clearly defined- Ineffective process monitoring and controls resulted in frequent deviations that go unchecked.
  3. Lack of active supervision- Lack of GEMBA by the supervisory team blocks surfacing of problems and slow/ no resolution.
  4. Lack of active managerial intervention- Structured RCA and Review systems missing.
  5. Poor Maintenance Practices- Lack of Preventive maintenance practices.
  6. Engineering and Quality organization structure not aligned.

Results Achieved

Plant utilization increased by 102%

JV between Wilmar, a global giant and Surface Investments in which Wilmar buying 55% stake in Surface Investments.

At a Glance

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