David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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Member Profile – EasiYo

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EasiYo are a classic home innovation story with their founder Len Light creating the first ever non electric yoghurt maker in his garage to feed his eight children. Since then it has evolved into an export player and the Light family has been bought out by Westland Milk Products, a process completed in 2010. This was the catalyst for a push for a faster growth track.

As CEO Paul O’Brien explains this new period of expansion has required a different approach.

“Governance, strategy, training and a workplace vision have allowed a more rapid phase of growth,” he said.

This started by opening up the business to attain some outside help – EasiYo teamed with Massey University to look at the exact make up of the EasiYo products and received some assistance from NZTE.

The process was transformed again, as O’Brien explained, with some market research to find out what was important to yogurt consumers. The research revealed that it was taste that attracted people to yogurt, more than the health benefits as they had imagined. That meant that tastings, rather than research into the health benefits of the yoghurt, became the priority.
A series of tastings around New Zealand followed to get feedback on their flavours.

From there EasiYo embarked on a programme to increase efficiency in 2010 - they aimed to achieve operational excellence.

“That efficiency helped EasiYo to deal with the double whammy of high milk prices and a high exchange rate in early 2011,” according to O’Brien.

“We never predicted the tough conditions that came, but the changes we had made stood us in good stead to deal with it.”

O’Brien describes the relationship with Westland Milk Products as one of EasiYo’s competitive advantages with the makeup of their yoghurt tied to the unique milk from Westland. He maintains it is the wet climate on the West Coast that allows a grass fed milk supply year round, whereas other areas must switch to silage, hay or grain feeding in winter.

“This allows EasiYo to retain the same formula all year round and consequently achieve a setting rate of 99.99%,” O’Brien said.

EasiYo also provide a natural hedge for Westland Milk Products as they become more profitable when milk prices drop.

EasiYo have now created a facility to carry out their own market research and offer promotions to customers with an 80,000 customer database. This combined with sponsorship of the EasiYo Tactix netball team and Junior Masterchef has helped to maintain a marketing drive in New Zealand.

The next phase of growth may involve some more change according to O’Brien.

“It may be a partnership with a bigger player, a licensing agreement or just more assertive organic growth,” O’Brien explains. “We are on the lookout to find a way to accelerate growth again.”

tags: easiyo, paul o'brien, westland milk products, yoghurt maker


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