Streamline Farm Management is a consultancy business offering training and management coaching in the use of lean principles and tools. We work with clients who aim to improve operational efficiency in order to achieve the best technical outcomes and high levels of resource efficiency, covering the use of all inputs, including water, energy, soil and people.
Kay is an Agricultural Economics graduate from Reading University with a PhD in Economics from the University of Manchester. Her early career was in public service for MAFF (DEFRA) and then for the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture. She has been working for the British dairy sector since 2006 when she joined DairyCo after a career break to raise a family. While at DairyCo Kay developed Milkbench+, the online dairy costs benchmarking service.
Kay started the Streamline Farm Management consultancy business in April 2009. Since then she has specialised in helping farmers pursue operational excellence using lean management principles, tools and techniques.
Kay has written a chapter on “Effective and Efficient Operations Management for Farm Staff” for the new edition of the American Dairy Science Association Large Dairy Herd Management eBook.
To read this chapter for free, or for more information, click below:
"Dr Kay Carson of Streamline Farm Management and Reaseheath College working at Clive Hall in Winsford, Cheshire, delivered cost reductions of 5% and an increase in net margin from 6ppl to 9ppl between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years."
"This led into another meeting on Monday morning with Kay Carson, a dairy farming lean management expert, another superstar worth having a chat with. It’s the ladies who will fix this industry; we men have too much pride."
“A small steering group saw Phil, Grasslands managing director Andrew Fletcher, local farmers and industry representatives, set out to establish the farm’s objectives. The group helped to identify specialists to meet these goals and struck upon the principles of lean management and the work of agricultural economist Dr Kay Carson.”
The principles of lean manufacturing are well understood and have delivered higher production efficiency in countless process driven businesses.* In the first place, lean enterprises maximise value in every activity and seek to eliminate waste, where possible, and minimise it when it is not. Secondly, management leads a culture change across the business which creates the conditions for continuous improvements that release resources for business expansion.
* There is an extensive literature on lean manufacturing but good examples are presented in “Lean Thinking” by J P Womack and D T Jones, Simon and Schuster, 2003.
Putting these principles into practice on dairy farms is possible and has been happening to differing degrees on many farms for some time. However, achieving the culture change necessary to generate continuous efficiency improvements is more difficult. In manufacturing industry, with total management commitment and shorter production cycles, it takes at least three years to move a business to a lean basis. This is where external support to maintain the focus and pressure on the necessary changes is needed. This is what Streamline offers: the training and management support to take a farm’s performance from good to excellent through continuous efficiency gains.