During its internal Production Management School, July 23-28, in Iaşi, Romania, Aviagen welcomed eight Customer Service managers from across Europe and the Middle East to explore effective live bird processing solutions. The hands-on training took place on site at the Fermador SRL plant in Iaşi, enabling students to gain first-hand experience and see live bird processing in action.

Aviagen has experienced resounding success with its internal Production Management Schools since 2013. The internal processing module addresses another important component of the training needs of Customer Service managers and is a powerful addition to the school’s existing “effective communication” and “nutrition skills” modules.

Strengthening valuable customer service skills

The school’s processing module was designed to boost the knowledge and understanding of Customer Service managers in the critical issues surrounding a live bird processing plant, equipping them with the skills to offer practical solutions and extra value to their customers. The objective is for students to depart from the course with a strong understanding of how a plant works and the critical control points within the plant, and they should be able to pinpoint areas where yield is being lost and can be gained.

Networking with colleagues from around the globe

Gathering with colleagues from around the world, students were presented with a unique opportunity to understand the business and personal challenges faced by Aviagen Customer Service teams in other regions. They were able to share ideas and knowledge and together come up with workable solutions to various issues and scenarios.

Experiencing each step of live bird processing

Students were welcomed and introduced to the processing plant by owner Catalin Mihalache. During the course, they experienced each step of live bird processing, guided by useful tips and advice from Dr. S.F. (Sarge) Bilgili, Emeritus Professor in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University, U.S. Dr. Bilgili also led informative sessions on topics such as “catching and transportation” and “practical processing plant auditing.”

Learning from external expertise

Aviagen regularly calls on experts from the industry and academia to share the latest poultry findings and innovations, using this information to broaden its internal knowledge base and continually improve its customer support. 

School attendees benefited from the in-depth expertise of Dr. Bilgili, who has more than 30 years of experience in research, teaching and extension work in the areas of broiler processing technology, meat quality and yield, product safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and animal welfare. 

Feedback from school director and attendees

School Director Michael Longley says, “I’m extremely pleased with the results of this year’s internal processing school. Our Customer Service teams are among our strongest and most important assets. The school is intended to sharpen their knowledge so they can provide customers with useful advice and support to ensure quality meat products are produced. Our ultimate goal is to drive the business of our customers forward, because when they succeed, we succeed.”

Customer Service attendees relay added value they gleaned

Stuart Thomson, Customer Service manager for Aviagen UK Limited, looks out for customers in the UK and Scandinavia. “The processing module of the Production Management School added to my knowledge of broilers in a processing context,” he says. “I also enjoyed exchanging experiences and knowledge with my colleagues from other countries.”

 “I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the economics behind poultry processing,” adds Pavel Shkarlat, an Aviagen veterinarian who supports customers in the Middle East and Africa region. “I always look for ways to improve efficiencies in processing as well as other links in the poultry supply chain so I may assist customers in increasing their bottom line.”