Ledo: Functional workwear has an impact on productivity
Ljudevit Komušar is the Chief Production Technologist in Ledo, the biggest Croatian industrial producer of ice cream and frozen foods. He has built up his professional experience there for a full 24 years, during which time he has grown into a good team leader who is concerned about the working conditions of his production team. Until just a year ago, before the firm started working with Finnish Lindström, the production workers wore standard white overalls.
As head technologist, Komušar started bringing in workwear from Lindström gradually to test out the opinion of his production labour force, aware that their satisfaction has an impact on productivity. Very soon, they had a positive view of the benefits of using the new workwear, which, among other things, had inside pockets so that items held inside them would not accidentally fall onto the production line. And the buttons were not plastic but instead metal and they attached more securely to the cloth. And then, to add to the popularity of the new outfits, there were the Lindström lockers where the workers would put their used clothing at the end of the shift, and where, when they arrived at work again, there was a new perfectly clean set waiting for them to start the new working day with.
“The old outfits had pretty wide sleeves that were so bulky that they hindered the movement of the arms. The first time I put on the Lindström clothing, I saw at once that the sleeves were narrower, and the whole cut was much more functional, making it easier for me to move about while I worked,” recalls Katarina Petraš, Chief Operator in ice cream production.
Lindström’s workwear for Ledo consists of trousers and a short jacket, designed in such a way as to meet the international standards HAACP, IFS and BRC, which Ledo, as part of the food industry, has to adhere to. For example, during the production of ice cream, the clothing gets fairly dirty, because it is a semi-liquid mixture, which means the clothing has to be regularly changed and kept immaculately clean. “At the beginning, we had a phase of adjustment with Lindström to do with particularly heavy chocolate staining on our work clothes, because of which Lindström had to find a different cleaning method. We were pleased when they pretty soon got rid of those stains, and since then our clothing has come back faultlessly washed,” notes Komušar with satisfaction.
Seasonal production determines how many workers there are, and the numbers and quantities of workwear outfits change dynamically, even on a weekly basis. “For this reason, we started working with Lindström carefully and gradually because we were not sure if they could keep up with our needs in season when we would have up to a hundred employed in production. But we arrived at what for us was an important agreement, that alongside the lockers for the permanent staff, there would also be lockers for the seasonal workers, to which Lindström brings models of men’s and women’s clothing in various sizes that are distributed to the seasonal workers according to need. This collaboration turned out to be satisfactory because in addition to excellent service, we also experienced Lindström’s flexibility and their willingness to adapt rapidly to the characteristic requirements of our production. In our line, we absolutely need partners who can keep up with us. As my workers in production confirm, Lindström’s workwear and the additional services of laundry and the personalised use of lockers does not only make everyday operations in production much easier from a functional point of view, but also contributes to intangible values, such as our care for our workers and responsibility for preservation of the environment. So in the upcoming period, we are probably going to step up the scope of our collaboration with Lindström,” shares Darko Trkulja, Ledo Production Manager.
Ledo in brief
During the 1950s, Ledo developed into the biggest producer of industrial ice cream and frozen food in Croatia – including fruit, vegetables, fish, pastry and ready meals. The 500 refrigeration trucks in the Ledo fleet make sure that products reach sales outlets in the shortest possible time. It is no wonder, then, that its products are part and parcel of everyday life in Croatian households. Ledo maintains its competitive position thanks to continuous control of all raw materials and procedures in the productive processes, as well as of services provided by partners. Investing in new technologies and advanced operational processes, human resources and customer satisfaction, Ledo is a much sought-after employer and is the brand leader in its market segment.