Marel’s Global Supply Chain organization is responsible for manufacturing and procurement within the company. It is one of the foundations for improved efficiency and use of resources as well as being a platform for sharing best practices within the company. In 2016, Marel successfully concluded the consolidation of the organization in the United States. The operations in Gainesville, Lenexa and Des Moines are now a unified organization under a single management team. Investment in Marel’s facilities in Slovakia, as well as the drastic improvement in the utilization of the Iceland facility, resulted in a record number of standalone equipment being delivered in 2016.
The companywide implementation of a new Sales and Operation Planning System along with a Procurement Savings Program were two of the most successful projects implemented for the Global Supply Chain in 2016. Together, they contribute to optimal utilization of Marel’s capacity at its twelve production sites where solutions are manufactured for the company's three major industries: poultry, meat and fish.
Additionally, the introduction of a simpler method of financial performance tracking enabled the supply chain to increase performances while drastically shortening decision-making time frames. The deployment of a global structure for key performance indicators within the supply chain organization ensures that continuous improvement is always high on the agenda.
Marel’s global network of dedicated sales representatives is one of the company's strongest and most visible assets. The Marel sales operation consists of local representatives in 30 countries, 19 regionalized organizations and a global network of more than 100 agents and distributors. With such a large network Marel can serve large and small food processors and food retail companies on location wherever they are.
Each one of the industries Marel operates in is manned with specialized sales people working in partnership with customers around the world. They are dedicated to bringing top-of-the-line services, consistency and excellence to each project they participate in.
The service and maintenance operation is and will be one of the main sources of revenue and growth for Marel, delivering around 40% of the company’s revenues. The service and spare part business is a clear growth opportunity, driving value for both customers and shareholders. The company is now moving systematically away from a reactive service model towards a more proactive one. This includes long-term service contracts that are designed to serve the needs of customers that want to prevent downtime in their production facilities and secure peak productivity at all times.
In 2016, Marel took important steps towards modernizing and harmonizing the service business. This was done by implementing one global field service management platform across the company. The system provides a full overview and insight into the installed base, customers and workforce. It collects and shares data faster from the field engineers to the office, harmonizing processes and increasing efficiency delivering better and more reliable data.
By standardizing the company's processes and IT platforms, Marel is now in a better position to take the service network to a new level. The positive effects are already evident in improved service delivery and sustainable growth. Response times have shortened, on-time performance has improved and there are consistent productivity improvements in the field.
Service will continue to be a key source of revenue and growth for Marel in the coming years. Major investments have been made in business improvement in the last few years, including IT and employee development. This has created a solid foundation for future growth and profitability from the service part of the company.
Innovation at Marel is driven by constant collaboration between employees and customers and their desire to improve processing and solve challenges with a new approach. A myriad of innovative ideas were realized in 2016 with more than 25 new or upgraded products being launched.
New applications that tie into the revolutionary FleXicut fish pinbone detection and removal system were launched, as well as new portioning applications for salmon. In addition, new labelers and primary processing solutions as well as Innova Food Processing Software modules saw the light of day.
Marel launched the second generation of the Controlled Atmosphere Stunning system called CAS SmoothFlow for the poultry industry. It has been optimized by arranging the system into a single straight horizontal line, which sets a new industry standard.
A new portion cutter for meat processing, the I-Cut 130, was released. This machine uses the latest in laser vision technology to ensure optimal utilization of the raw material. It delivers fixed weight portions with unmatched accuracy.
Marel continues to invest in the further processing industry. A Universal Fresh Sausage Line was launched which enables flexible and highly automated production of fresh sausages in many different types of casings.
Marel’s innovation efforts focus on creating breakthrough innovations designed to meet the challenges facing customers. The company also focuses on creating product upgrades and incremental additions to existing machines and systems to make sure its equipment stays competitive.