It is planned instead to make a site visit to Whitby Seafoods on 20 June 2013. More details will be available on the site soon.

A Fishy Business

An Intriguing Tale of Dr. Deming and Scampi at Whitby Seafoods

Thursday 21 March 2013 – at 9.30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. start at Junction 25, Brighouse. Lunch at 1 p.m. Free for first-timers.

Walk into the reception at a Whitby Seafoods plant, or wander into the Board’s meeting room and it’s easy to imagine that you have gone through some Narnia-like portal and come out in the premises of a Japanese firm. For you will see on the wall, given pride of place, a framed photograph in memory of W. Edwards Deming. WED, to give him his three-letter acronym, is certainly revered by Japanese managers and workers for his contribution in the 1950s to their post-Second World War economic recovery, so much so that there is still a much coveted, annual Deming Prize.

WED first made a mark at Whitby Seafoods about 20 years ago when Graham Whittle, the owner of the then 5-year old business, became aware of his teachings. In came a new ‘all one team’ ethos with a single canteen for all staff, everyone on first name terms and paid on a weekly basis; and out went bonuses for salespeople, piece-rate work and most importantly, Fear – which WED highlighted as a major barrier to everyone being able to work effectively for a company. These changes had a lasting effect on the company’s culture, but after some time the Deming influence fizzled out. Until about two years ago. It was then that Edward Whittle, who had inherited day-to-day operations from his father, became curious about what else there was to learn from WED that would underpin continual improvement from the bottom-up at his family’s business.

Our Speakers

Edward  Whittle, Whitby Seafood’s Technical Director, will reveal what the re-acquaintance with WED has meant in practice – the successes and challenges – as well as telling us about the business of getting  scampi, and their ilk, from the sea to consumers’ plates. You will leave wanting to enjoy the fresh taste! He will be ably assisted by two colleagues:

Xavier Benz – who has been with the company for two years and is now their Demand Planner and Business Analyst, a role he stepped into after completing a one year management trainee programme.

David Wormald – who has a non-executive position on Whitby Seafood’s Board of Directors and acts as a personal mentor to Edward. Before he retired a few years ago he was the CEO of Scarborough-based Raflatac, producer of the sticky labels applied to a multitude of everyday products. As long-standing NET2 members will know, this has given him a wealth of experience and insights to share about implementing Deming’s Management Method.


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