An internal competition to promote innovation and continuous improvement
Fostering operational excellence within the company
The internal innovation competition, which was introduced in 2008, allows all employees to suggest innovative ideas for the continuous improvement and operational excellence of the teams. Held every year and fully integrated into our R&D approach, the competition helps to improve the company's performance and encourage innovation.
This process values the suggestions of employees, which are implemented in concrete projects. There are a variety of themes, such as working conditions, the use of tools, the efficiency of an activity or one's activity, the safety of oneself and others at work, the organisation of one's tasks or relational skills. The suggestions for improvement concern all the company's entities, whether our industrial sites, our laboratories or our head office.
At the beginning of the project, the formalisation of an idea
This internal competition invites each employee or a company team to propose an innovation project in response to everyday obstacles or an identified problem. First, the suggested idea is analysed by the management team. It examines the idea together, assesses its benefit and the means and resources required for its potential completion.
"Through this internal process, each employee is invited to be an actor of change and a driver of continuous improvement within their activity and work environment.” Myriam Fliss, R&D Manager.
Promising ideas rewarded
All of the ideas submitted are then entered into the internal innovation competition for their entity. A jury made up of the site's or entity's management team then chooses the two best ideas proposed and carried out by the employees at their site, and awards a monetary prize to the people who came up with the idea. A second election is then organised to highlight the best innovations at company level.
The two best ideas from each site therefore enter this global competition at company level. The criteria used are the transferability of the idea and its benefits in terms of personal or food safety, productivity, environment or savings made, for example. Participation is constant from one year to the next with an average of 150 ideas submitted. 74% of those selected will be implemented.
In recent years, the internal competition has led to many advances, such as the air humidification system for the germination boxes at the Nymburk plant in the Czech Republic. Rewarded for its efficiency and automatic control of the amount of water added according to the actual humidity of the air, this innovation generates an annual water saving of 4,000 m3 for an investment of less than €1,000. In 2020, the replacement of an existing valve with a new motorised valve at the Nogent-sur-Seine malting plant was also adopted. Today, it prevents overpressure during ventilation or CO2 extraction during the steeping stages.