Emerald Bay Allows Fisherman’s Friend to Breathe Easy
Originally developed almost 150 years ago and now exported to more than 100 countries worldwide, Fisherman’s Friend is not just the name of an effective throat lozenge …..it’s a global brand. Production of the small grey cough sweets is still based in the Fisherman’s Friend original home in Fleetwood, Lancashire, and the factory now produces a staggering 240,000,000 packs of Fisherman’s Friend lozenges each year, enabling around six billion individual lozenges to be consumed worldwide!
With a worldwide network of distributors relying on regular shipments of Fisherman’s Friend, the production site has to remain fully operational and efficient all year round, as small delays in production could have a big impact on the delivery chain.
As a food production site, the factory also has to maintain impeccable levels of cleanliness as Engineering Section Leader, Mike Faiers, explains: “In some countries the Fisherman’s Friend is classified as a sweet, in other markets it’s classed as a medicine so we have to meet numerous accreditations including ISO:9001 2008, MHRA Medicines Inspectorate and BRC Supermarket Standards. All of this means that our business critical maintenance schedule has to include the fabric of the building as well as the smooth running of our production lines.”
To help the in-house team at Fisherman’s Friend address the constant need to assess and carry out maintenance requirements, the company has been working with Emerald Bay for more than 13 years. Emerald Bay has an experienced member of its maintenance team permanently based on site five days a week and brings in additional skilled operatives on a flexible basis as and when Fisherman’s Friend needs them.
Mike continues: “Eric, our Emerald Bay maintenance operative, is there to help with whatever we need him for…..and it’s a very varied list! We might need him to put a picture up in the board room, fix a leaky gutter or sort out a burst pipe. He has such a wide skill set that we can trust him to tackle anything we need him to do and be proactive in spotting jobs that need doing. And if he doesn’t have the specialist skills required for a specific job we know we can trust him to bring in the relevant expertise instead.”
Eric is the frontline face of the Fisherman’s Friend relationship with Emerald Bay but the contractor’s work with the manufacturer is on a much larger scale. For example, Emerald Bay fitted a code-based security system throughout the Fleetwood site and it now falls within Eric’s remit to maintain the system, ensuring that all the locks are in full working order at any given time. Emerald Bay has also been responsible for helping to deliver the Fisherman’s Friend commitment to becoming a safer site by implementing a number of safety-led improvements, including the positioning of hazard tape and colour-coded paintwork to alert site personnel of risk and the formation of speed bumps to slow down traffic on site.
A Rolling programme of routine maintenance also falls within Emerald Bay’s remit and this is planned in advance to ensure that any disruption to production scheduling can be avoided.
Mike continues: “Emerald Bay helps us to ensure that the fabric of all buildings on site is in tip top condition. The maintenance programme includes things like painting and roof repairs and, because we’re in a coastal town where there are lots of seagulls, ensuring that seagulls nests are not on our buildings, also falls within Emerald Bay’s remit.”
In amongst all the routine maintenance activity carried out by Emerald Bay, the contractor is also on hand to help with larger ad hoc maintenance projects. For example, the company recently provided two squads of painters to spruce up the site prior to an auditors’ visit.
Mike adds: “It is the reliability and flexibility of the service that Emerald Bay offers us that makes them such an important part of our operation. We know that we can trust them to put the same level of professionalism into a small job on site as they would into a major project. And because they are a relatively small, locally-based company we can also be confident of the personal involvement of the senior team so if we ever do need to draft in extra help or bring in specialist support we know that a decision maker is only a phone call away.”