Cierpa blog - Interview Met Dawn Foods

Dawn Foods makes muffins and American cookies for the food industry. HSE coordinator Sander de Geus focuses on improving safety during the manufacturing process. Cierpa Kaizen supports that, enabling Dawn Foods to reduce more than 625 dangerous situations in just one year! Create a safe, accident-free production process to improve their product's food safety and quality.


Dawn Foods is located in several countries, while you mainly manufacture baked goods in Steenbergen. What does the production process look like?

"Our process is largely automated, combined with required human actions. We process Dawn batter with butter, margarine, chocolate, and flavorings to create semi-finished and baked products. After baking, the products are packaged individually or in bulk and then frozen. We supply companies all over the world, from NS to McDonald's."


An improvement action without a clear owner or follow-up is never permanently solved.


How do you improve at Dawn Foods?

"In the past, we focused on improving, but a lot remained unresolved. If your improvement action doesn't have a clear owner or has no follow-up, you won't solve a problem permanently. 

Six months ago, we started implementing Total Productive Maintenance (TPM). It's a Japanese method to improve machine and installation availability, thereby reducing downtime. Kaizen is essential in achieving that goal."


Food safety, quality, and customer wishes: they are at the heart of our improvement process. 


What improvement goals does the company have?

"We focus on a safe and healthy work floor where food safety, quality, and customer wishes are key. One of the goals I'm closely involved with is to work accident-free next year and to identify and resolve at least 625 dangerous situations."


Technical operator Ali Oumhamed (left) and Sander de Geus on the work floor.


Why did you choose Cierpa Kaizen?

"Our plant manager already knew the software. It's really user-friendly, and after a short briefing, anyone at any level can use it. With Cierpa Kaizen, we can register problems on the work floor and, as a manager, properly deal with them."

Cierpa Kaizen makes people see how useful and important improvement actions are. That's a significant motivating force.


Is it challenging to implement a new way of working?

"Although the software itself is straightforward to operate, people have to let go of their way of working, which takes some switching. No more e-mailing, just record everything in Kaizen. 

It works very well because people see the relevance and importance. Ideas from the work floor are now visibly picked up and solved. Everyone can follow the status of an improvement action and see that their effort produces results. That's a significant motivating force. It starts a chain reaction, where more and more ideas are submitted, and that is exactly what we want."


What has Kaizen brought you so far?

"We focus strongly on knowledge on the work floor. Management may think they know a lot of things, but the people who work the process daily know precisely where the problems are. And that's becoming more and more clear.

We have asked our 130 employees to flag five dangerous situations or behaviors per year, so we can solve them. And they are providing far more ideas than we expected. Some situations were already known, but a lot of them were not. That’s very valuable and offers us the chance to take significant steps towards improving and securing them."


The power of Cierpa Kaizen for the food industry

The food industry is challenging! You have to respond to market demands, work with strict legal requirements, and be flexible in your manufacturing process. With Cierpa Kaizen, you discover where waste occurs and how you can optimize your process. That offers many opportunities!


  • Better quality
  • Less waste
  • Good HACCP quality assurance
  • Faster shifts in both product and packaging
  • Audit-proof improving