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Productivity Forum to gather in April

The Packaging Productivity Forum shifts this year from fall to April 28 to 30. Participation in the Trends Indicator survey is up 20% over the last survey.
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"By shifting from a fall time period we can tackle key productivity issues while the technology we saw at Pack Expo 96 is still fresh in our minds" points out Dan Pollock of Roe Inc. chair of the sponsoring Industry Relations Committee of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. This year the Packaging Productivity Forum will be held April 28 to 30 at the Wyndham Hotel in suburban Chicago just minutes from O'Hare Intl. Airport.

"Manufacturers end users and materials suppliers interested in improving packaging productivity should red line this change on their calendars" Pollock emphasizes. The highlight of the Forum will be the release of data compiled in the 1997 Packaging Productivity Trends Indicator survey.

At year-end PMMI disclosed that the detailed survey includes some 525 packaging managers from seven key packaging markets. Participation is up by 20% over the last survey in '95 and the results "provide a substantially improved cross-section of the packaging community" Pollock reports. "Each year participation has increased and the results [have become] more encompassing and beneficial."

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What affects productivity?

The opening session of the Forum will provide an in-depth look at the survey's major findings. This will be followed by an industry-wide panel who will explore in detail several of the questions answered by the respondents.

Four major topics will be covered including: How packagers measure line productivity; The impact of equipment and material technology on productivity; How outside sources affect productivity; and The impact of production personnel on productivity.

During lunch the program will appropriately focus on the foodservice market. John Gray executive director of the Intl. Foodservice Distributors Assn. will reveal the findings of Foodservice 2005 a study sponsored by IFDA and several other food and grocery organizations. The study details some dramatic shifts in packaging types market outlets and purchasing patterns that will directly affect packaging line operations.

A follow-up afternoon session Gearing Up for the Future of Packaging Productivity will probe how foodservice market changes will affect food processors and their suppliers. It will also examine Supply Chain Management an outgrowth of the grocery industry's Efficient Consumer Response (ECR) initiative.

Interactive participation

The first day of the Forum concludes with a truly interactive session Productivity Tour of Ideas small discussion groups of attendees bringing their personal experiences and ideas to the issues brought up earlier. These groups will be led by members of PMMI's Forum advisory committee.

This same spirit of airing and sharing ideas carries over to the next day. It begins with a spirited session Productivity Lessons Learned an opportunity for attendees to exchange both their views and their company's experiences in dealing with productivity.

The Forum will conclude with a bevy of practical ideas from two veteran manufacturing managers in a session titled Cranking Up Productivity for Survival. George Perry president of Siemens Automotive and Richard Knowles Ph.D. a recently retired plant manager for DuPont Co. will share their real-life experiences. At one time each of these managers was in charge of operations that faced closure due to low productivity.

Attendees will learn how Perry and Knowles improved and motivated their plant's personnel so that the operations not only survived but excelled. These professionals won't offer theories but battle-tested practical solutions that worked in their plants. They'll also answer questions from the audience.

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