GAME FEED – RIGHT PRODUCT, RIGHT PLACE AND RIGHT TIME
When manufacturing animal feed, it is of upmost importance that the correct product is delivered to the right place, at the right time. Due to the relatively narrow sales window for game feed – compared to, say,dairy feed – this becomes even more significant. Therefore, proper protocol is essential to meet our high standard of customer satisfaction.
If game farmers and keepers are left without adequate game feed for their birds, the knock-on effect can be serious. If the birds don’t receive the right feed on time, this can affect their development and their health. If the birds become stressed and unwell, medicated game feed is often required. And, with the game bird industry making every effort to cut down on the use of antibiotics (AB), this goes against our AB reduction targets. Antibiotic issues aside, if the keepers and game farmers don’t get their order on time, it can create needless stress and problems for them – something we do our upmost to avoid.
Due to the time sensitive and highly important nature of every game feed order we receive, we have in place a simple system that relies on regular communications between departments, including sales, production, quality control, deliveries, customer service and management.
First, sales agents automatically receive notification of their customer’s orders. This simple step means that the agent can review the order that has been placed, if there is something not right with the order, the agent can immediately contact customer services, who will then rectify the issue. This ensures that what is produced is correct, without any time being wasted. Once the order has been placed and is in production at the mill, our customer service team contact the customer 24 hours before the expected delivery day togive estimated ETA. This allows the customer to plan their upcoming days around the delivery time.
A further element that assists our excellent customer service is the short chain of command at Keepers Choice. We have three transport managers and three mill managers across our three mills, and just a single customer service point that everything is channelled through. By only having one customer service point we are able to keep all customer service issues among one team, which helps us see any consistent short comings or complaints. In some instances, production and transport even share the same office. This short chain of communication ensures efficiency and prevents the problems which inevitably occur when there are too many people involved. We also have a very experienced sales team that react quickly to any issues that may arise. Our customer service team are able to issue prescriptions for Flubenvet – this has helped speed up the process when only Flubenvet is required in feed.
For orders to be completed as smoothly as possible, the ideal scenario is as follows:
The Customer or agent places an order on a Thursday or Friday for delivery by the following Friday, with a two-day delivery window. Customer service put the order on the system, which is then allocated to production and transport – standard feed should be with the customer within 3-5 working days of placing order.
If the order is for medicated game feed, customer services will request the prescription from the customers vet; we DO NOT make or dispatch medicated feed without a valid prescription. If the prescription is received the same day, production can begin to plan to make the medicated feed, which involves ‘flushing’ the line in order the stop any cross contamination. As difficult as we know it is to plan for medicated feed, please allow 5-7 working days from placing the order, often deliveries are made well in time of delivery window.
Although we do everything that we can to assist customerswho order late, sometimes this is out of our control. The transport team plan two or three days ahead and any late orders can result in other customers loads being cut back, or late delivery of the ordered load – neither make us very popular! Regardless of any problems, we endeavour to keep the customer informed and up-to-date on the situation and to ensure timely delivery.
Another benefit of dealing with Keepers Choice is that we are able to make bespoke batches of game feed in as little as two or three tonne lots for individual requirements. Regardless of the batch size, a sample (or several samples depending on the size of the batch) is taken and held for three months in case the batch needs to be referred to. Every single bag of Keepers Choice feed has a batch number on and therefore can be traced back to time of production, formulation and even who was working on that shift – this helps considerably with quality control issues.
Quality control is a cornerstone of Keepers Choice feed and something that we pride ourselves on. Our quality control begins with the all-important raw materials. All of our raw materials are sourced on specification, for example protein and energy levels, therefore every load of raw materials received is tested for the specification. This means that we are making our feed with high quality, tested raw materials. Another aspect of our quality control regime involves screening and sieving our feed to ensure over, or under-sized foreign bodies do not make it into the bags. As we know, dusty gamefeed is something everybody wants to avoid, but over-sized pellets or bits of feed can also prevent the birds from consuming the feed.
Keepers Choice are certified by The Universal Feed Assurance Scheme (UFAS).