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Case Studies / Largo Foods

Company Profile

largofoodSince the company was established in 1983 in Ashbourne, County Meath, Largo Foods has celebrated considerable growth, acquiring a number of respected brands; Tayto, King and Hunky Dorys. Largo Foods is the largest manufacturer on the island with a turnover in excess of €90 million largely derived from a number of private label business contracts with large retailers in the UK market, including Tesco and Morrison’s.


Project Summary

At the start of 2008, under the supervision of Largo Foods’ General Manager John Donnelly, the manufacturing site in Gweedore embarked on a journey of continuous improvement. Lauras International was invited to support the programme, ensuring integration across the site in order to deliver rapid and sustainable results. Identifying opportunities to improve is seemingly difficult in a site, like Gweedore, that was already performing well. Lauras International’s approach was to assess the size of opportunity available through a detailed assessment of manufacturing processes. This comprehensive understanding of the operational framework already in place enabled them to correctly identify and apply a range of lean based tools to optimise resources for every line. The next step was to appoint and train an onsite Continuous Improvement Champion to collate and analyse site performance data which could be used to inform an improvement agenda.

The Gweedore site had already recognised the importance of measuring plant productivity, efficiency and lost downtime and had a spreadsheet system in place. But whilst spreadsheets proved the ideal way to start inputting vital plant statistics, analysis of the data was proving both time consuming and complicated. Furthermore, deploying an international standard performance measure, OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), would enable Largo Foods to highlight improvement opportunities by compounding the effects of availability, performance and quality losses on a day to day basis. Therefore, under the guidance of Lauras, Largo Foods implemented Idhammar’s low cost OEE analysis package to replace their spreadsheets.



The Idhammar OEE System was implemented in February 2008 with installation and technical assistance from Idhammar Systems and project management and training services provided by Lauras International. This successful project enabled the easy input of data, and with powerful drill down analysis on the basis of product, shift and plant, Idhammar OEE identifies top losses of efficiency which drive Largo Foods’ Improvement Agenda. As well as providing vital operational data to inform day to day processes, the system also establishes trends over weeks and months in order to support the long-term hands on improvement cycle at Largo Foods.

Largo Foods is already achieving quantifiable financial savings and has plans in place to ensure ongoing waste reduction, increases in capacity and improvements in efficiency.

“We are pleased with the progress we’re making at the Gweedore site, indeed we’re so pleased that we’re planning to roll out the programme to our other manufacturing sites.”

John Donnelly, General Manager, Largo Foods, Ireland


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Before Lauras came we were a family run company and things had been done the same way for a hundred years. There was a lot of apprehension but the Lauras team had such a great way with people they won us over. People took to them. Lauras were great for our company and the systems they introduced are still in place.

Lesley Kercheval, Production Manager, KR Castlemaine

Inspiring the people in our business to understand how they can improve and the business can therefore develop, is an important building block in our drive for improving efficiency within our business. Engaging everyone in the business to realise that we can be better and any little improvement drives down to the bottom line. This has been seen both in the way the staff have engaged and enjoyed the experience and the evidence of reduced costs has helped the business to become more efficient. This process never stops but it is the tools that have been developed by Lauras International that has allowed us to deliver this important work at both our potato pack houses.

Fraser Scott, Head of Farming Operations Arable/Potatoes