Toward good management practice

Issue 4/2003 | Archives online, Fiction, Prose

A short story from the collection Värjättyä rakkautta (‘Dyed love’, Otava, 2003). Introduction by Harry Forsblom

Because queries from the field have recently been received concerning the allocation of investment resources in our production facility in a business environment that is undergoing pressures for change, we have in close collaboration with other production organisations, drawn up a booklet on good management practice whose intention is in broad outline and by production sector to delineate in what way the current market situation should be taken into account in the practising of our trade.

The booklet Toward good management practice. Functional spatial planning, utility-oriented measures and allocation of production aims, in keeping with its subtitle, to present, by utility sector, the latest research-based knowledge in the field and thus offer our membership aids to decision-making in designing organisational innovations that demand investment.

One of the impulses toward the compilation of this leaflet has been the worsening of the world market situation in respect of, among the main production sectors, surface material. This suddenly realised development may be traced to the advent of new facilities aiming at mass production in the Far East. In Qiqihar in North China in particular a production facility concentrating on retrievers has played a significant role in causing the market disturbances that have been experienced in recent times.

By increasing the intensity of measures taken and by investing in questions of quality concerning breed and colour-tone it is possible to preserve current positions. There is reason to raise production capacity by, among other things, intensifying initial and final storage spaces.

According to the latest international research, storage spaces for golden retrievers and labrador retrievers, in particular, may be significantly reduced. By placing partition walls made of strong webbing in the storage spaces at intervals of approximately 35cm, considerable advantages are also gained in feeding expenses, as the retrievers’ unnecessary lateral movement is thus in practice completely prevented. Upward movement can also be limited by placing a web roof at the production animal’s shoulder level.

Using these spatial limits, superimposed storage space can be designed with as many as ten production levels. The problem of excreta dripping through the web floors can be reduced by administering feed that is as low in fibre and liquid as possible.

If the storage space solution allows, surface material production units may also be permanently fastened in place, so that feeding can be arranged by drip-feeding direct into the veins. This arrangement prevents erosion of the skin by urea and also enables optimally timed doses of quality-improving medication.

In addition to the traditional surface material breeds and colour-tone, retrievers, dalmatians and pointers, the market also exhibits increasing interest in longer-haired alternatives such as Afghan hounds, collies, bichons and various poodles. The papillon, chihuahua and the dwarf spitz, used in the decorative details of clothing will, according to barometers of consumer taste, become increasingly popular on, among others, the North American and West European markets.

In designing initial and final storage spaces, future production changes must be estimated using the contribution margin method. In compiling an investment program, it must be taken into account that tools and machinery used in breeding, slaughtering and skinning must be measured according to the size, special characteristics and intended use of future production units.

In order to achieve financial benefit, specialisation in a few breeds at a time is recommended. Basic expenses per unit can be minimised by increasing production quantities and price-efficiency. An example of modern use-efficiency is a production facility in central Finland which can take more than 10,000 labrador retrievers and smooth-coated retrievers in an integrated process in the same final storage space entirety. By optimising dimensions and using high superimposed structures, the entire production mass has been accommodated in an area of less than one thousand square metres. Notable in the detailed production design of the facility is, among other things, the care taken to eliminate the cumulative noise nuisance, which is achieved by removing the retrievers’ vocal cords in the initial storage space after parturition.

Another main production sector, food production, is not comparable in its sensitivity to economic fluctuations to surface material production and can therefore be used to balance profitability over long periods. In combining branches of production, however, the limitations caused by storage space design and breed-based special demands must be taken into account.

The main breeds used in surface material production has not traditionally been optimally adapted to the needs of food production, but in this respect progress has occurred in recent times, when retriever and pointer meat has begun to be used in domestic food production as a raw material in ready meals.

Export prospects for frozen meet are increasing and the market situation steady, but the range of breeds may result in many specific additional costs. The slaughtering, handling and continued processing chain of pugs, snautzers and pekinese is difficult to combine with the production logistics of the hounds and sheepdogs intended more for the mass market.

With current capacity, it may be an overwhelming task to attempt volume intensivity with minimal investment, because the dogmeat production of North America, the Far East as well as Russia has incomparable advantages particularly in the price wars for acquisitions by international store and fast-food chains. For this reason, it is necessary to invest in quality-intensification and specialisation.

An example of the exploitation of expertise in Finland Proper is a medium-size meat farm located in Punkalaidun, which began about a decade ago with snautzers and pinschers but then moved on to spitzes, specialising exclusively in liver. In conditions that are maintained with almost laboratory accuracy, the farm now produces more than 90 per cent of the spitz liver on the West European market. The production animals are tethered permanently to a feeding line and their movement members are amputated as unnecessary in the initial storage phase. High-fat feed developed to grow the liver is administered as a heated solution directly into the gullet.

Finnish organic products are valued on the European markets. The image of the untouched nature of the pure arctic must be exploited more effectively than before as competition increases. New experiments in specialisation must be undertaken without prejudice.

A good example of this is the Karelian spitz testicle project, sponsored by Helsinki’s largest delicatessen; this is expanding to provide a sideline for dozens of farms. Toasted and marinated testicles have become a truly exotic product which seems to have almost limitless markets in both Italy and France and the eastern seaboard of the United States.

An additional advantage in the Karelian spitz testicle project is its versatile production. The testicles may be harvested at almost any stage of the process and the rest of the animal may be used a matter of months later. This makes efficient use of the self-preserving property of the live production unit. In the final stage, the surface material may be processed in, for example, a sports textile production facility. The foodstuff segments, on the other hand, are comparatively well adapted for domestic markets, at least, in the production of cold cuts and ready meals.

In addition to the traditional main production sectors, complementary partial and sub productions have arisen in recent years, demanding individual specialisation. In planning these branches of production, the use of the dog fundamentally affects the location of storage, slaughtering and processing facilities. In estimating the need for investment, peaks in demand related to the economic cycle must be taken into account in terms of space.

The extensive production of organs is becoming the most important of the specific sub-productions. This may be considered a developed continuation of the production of complete animals for laboratory testing. When the laboratory animal production has been sold by the farms as puppies in the initial storage phase, units producing individual organs may even be kept in final storage spaces for a couple of years.

Breeding value may be raised still further by manipulative organ production, in which distinct processes are used to influence the quality, size or testability of production organs. An extensivestudy of dachshunds has revealed that the tongue and lips, for example, may be extended using weights to multiply their surface area. Thus easily utilised epithelium test material for the cosmetics industry, for example, may be produced. It has proved possible to improve the sense-efficiency of sniffer dogs, too, by splitting the muzzle and palate of alsatian dogs during the puppy phase.

Worth a special mention is a rottweiler and dobermann farm in Parikkala which has developed an organ-production line in which the penises of male dogs are enlarged beginning with the initial storage phase using permanent weight and lateral traction mechanisms. Excellent prices are paid for penises thus enlarged, after harvesting and drying, on the Asian and Central European markets.

In addition to dogs, cats are also becoming an important subject for production, but their sector-related allocation areas will probably remain fewer than those of dogs. For example, possible uses in the food industry are currently limited to the production of edible fats.

On the other hand, in surface material production, the cat has, on our farms, been recognised as a possible direction of development, at least to some extent. The world market situation is good, frankly excellent, and international studies of barometers of consumer taste universally confirm the cat’s growing popularity as an embellishment in clothing.

In addition to the traditional long-haired varieties, such as Persians and angoras of different hues, short-haired models such as the British, the Russian blue and the Somali have risen to positions of increasing importance. Domestic equipment for the slaughtering and skinning of both groups is now available.

Translated by Hildi Hawkins


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