Our impact, Their voices

Adopting new management practices and safety systems leads to improved productivity, food safety and worker motivation

A well-established and growing dairy company in Myanmar took advantage of ILO SCORE Training to modernize its production and management systems, increase product quality and safety to catch up with customer needs, and improve worker engagement.

Article | 01 December 2021

Company Profile

Win-Agro Livestock Company Ltd. (WALCO)
Enterprise Sector Manufacturing
Year of Establishment 1992
Location Yangon, Myanmar
Number of Employees 105  (43% women)
Products Pasteurized milk, yoghurt, butter, pudding

Win-Agro Livestock Company Ltd. (WALCO) is a leading dairy company in Yangon, Myanmar. Established in 1992, it specializes in fresh dairy-based products such as pasteurized drinking milk, yoghurt, puddings and butter. Prior to SCORE Training, the company was experiencing inefficient production and management systems, which made processes labour- and time-intensive. On the human resource front too, worker-manager cooperation remained weak, resulting in high absenteeism and low worker motivation. All these adversely affected the scale and quality of production as well as customer satisfaction.

In its effort to address these challenges, modernize its factories and set a strategic direction for the company, WALCO turned to ILO SCORE Training. It implemented SCORE Training modules covering Workplace Cooperation, Productivity, Quality Improvement, Occupational Safety and Health, Workforce Management and Food Safety.

The first training module that the company adopted was the SCORE Workplace Cooperation module. Thanks to this, workers and managers of WALCO learned the basics of cooperative working relations and set up an Enterprise Improvement Team (EIT) – a key feature and essential tool of SCORE Training – to identify existing issues and opportunities for improvements. Assessments carried out by the EIT uncovered “low hanging fruits” and addressed them swiftly. For example, WALCO established daily and weekly meetings between management and workers in all its factories, offices and stores, which in turn encouraged employee suggestions, transparent communication between different units/departments, and instilled confidence among its staff members. In fact, WALCO grew from 65 employees before SCORE Training to 105 employees post the intervention, and absenteeism among workers dropped to half from 24 per cent to 12 per cent.

WALCO’s Managing Director, Dr. Khin Hlaing (left) and ILO SCORE Trainer Ms. Ngwe Nyunt Shin

To maintain the momentum, WALCO decided to follow up the Workplace Cooperation training module with modules on Productivity, Quality Improvement and Food Safety. They wanted to focus on reducing waste, improving material productivity and creating a quality assurance culture to meet customer needs. After attending the training workshops, the company realized a need for an “Engineering Team” and promptly formed it. This new Team comprised of 4 workers and 1 supervisor, and overlooked all equipment purchases, maintenance and repairs, and established new cellular layouts, better workstation designs and product handling guidelines. They also tested and analysed their products from start to end to ensure high quality and safety standard.

How did these operational changes benefit the company?
  • Daily milk production doubled from 1,600 litres to 3,000 litres.
  • Pudding and yoghurt production increased by 20 per cent with no change in input quantity, thanks to the new pasteurization machine.
  • Introduced two new flavours of drinking yoghurt in all its markets.
  • Company income increased by about 5 per cent.
What is remarkable here is not just how WALCO expanded its range of products while maintaining profits, but it also significantly improved its product quality which translated into better shelf life (from 8 to 11 days) and higher customer satisfaction.
“Normally, during the hot season and frequent power cuts, we receive three to four customer complaints. But since the beginning of 2019, we have not received any complaints. That is the benefit of good guidance and practice of SCORE in the factory.”
Dr. Khin Hlaing
WALCO Managing Director

After this, WALCO decided to focus on health and safety measures for its workers to realise the full potential of productivity and quality gains from the previous modules. For this, they participated in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) and Workforce Management modules. The first change that the company implemented after SCORE Training was to form a ‘Joint Safety and Health Committee’ and a ‘Committee for Prevention of Sexual Harassment’ to identify and address the different types of OSH risks.

Through these, the company took active measures to step up its safety and health practices such as new hand wash stations with clear instructions, strict sanitation controls, appropriate clothing, footwear and hairnets for workers on the production floors, and regular cleaning of all production areas. At the same time, the company also organized firefighting and first-aid trainings, developed emergency procedures and marked fire exits for clearer visibility, and installed machine guards for exposed moving parts in order to isolate workplace accidents, minimize equipment damage, and maximise worker safety. Not just this, WALCO also arranged for medical check-ups for tuberculosis and HIV as well as vaccination drives for Hepatitis B for all its workers.

WALCO workers and managers adhering to safety and health practices on production floors

WALCO’s commitment to SCORE Training proved useful later during the COVID-19 crisis too, when the company was better prepared with necessary tools and training that allowed them to reopen their factories as early as in mid-2020 and stay open safely amid multiple lockdowns. WALCO today continues to participate in different SCORE Training workshops and, in fact, also provides practical advice and support to other small and medium enterprises to enhance productivity, improve working conditions and promote decent work.

“If you like to embrace a culture of continuous improvement, you must attend the SCORE Training.”
Dr. Khin Hlaing
WALCO Managing Director