Addressing staff shortages

Woman transferring oysters from the basket

Addressing staff shortages is an issue plaguing businesses across the world, and industries that rely on seasonal workers, such as agriculture and aquaculture, feel these staffing problems more fiercely.

Many farming operations have turned to automation to help alleviate the pressures of finding seasonal workers, especially in roles that require a level of skill or experience, such as oyster grading.

Automation is defining the way larger oyster farming businesses operate. It is enabling greater efficiency and productivity along with alleviating the pressures of finding suitable seasonal staff when it comes time for oyster grading.

People working in the oyster farming industry know that oyster grading is a time-consuming and labour-intensive task. However, it is one of the more critical functions for successful oyster production and for ensuring the farm sends a quality graded product into the marketplace. This is where automation has become a necessity rather than a luxury.

Automation is not always about replacing people with machines

There is no argument that in some sectors, automation has made positions redundant. However, within an oyster farming operation, the process of grading the oysters often requires furloughing qualified and experienced staff from their main duties to work in the grading process. This has become more mainstream as farms have struggled to attract seasonal workers, further compounding the issue of staff shortages and highlighting the need for automation.

Oyster grading is long and laborious and can be demotivating for high-performance farm personnel. It is no secret that very few want to do it. It is also open to safety issues and inconsistency when staff aren’t fully invested in the task.

The reasons for continued hands-on oyster grading are dwindling quickly, and regardless of the size of the farm, it is inevitable that automating the oyster grading process will become essential to recruiting and retaining key staff in the farm’s future.

Improved staff retention

Getting great staff is hard and keeping them can be harder. Ensuring your staff work safely and have access to tools and resources that enable them to continually perform are high-level considerations for any business. Automation is playing a significant role in the retention of staff, not only in oyster farming, but in various sectors where hands on expertise is essential.

Automating mundane and laborious functions helps keep key staff on the jobs that they do best.

They see the farm as keeping pace with technology, growing its footprint and being progressive. These are all motivating factors that keep key staff engaged and cemented to the business.

At SED Graders we have been delivering automated oyster grading machines to the oyster industry for over two decades. Our vision oyster grader has been thoroughly tested and our own data and customer feedback illustrate its benefits.

Automation makes a significant difference in not only addressing the issue of staff shortages but also the increased profitability, efficiency and consistency that our clients experience when they shift their traditional hands-on oyster grading to an automated system.

On average, farms are grading from 14,400 up to 28,000 oysters per hour. That level of production would take 13 experienced graders. The SED Vision Grader separates, cleans, measures, sorts, counts and bags, allowing oyster farmers to increase their productivity by up to 48%. Cushioned air – scientifically proven to be far more gentle than sorting by hand – sorts oysters with a count accuracy of up to 99%.

Full technical support anywhere in the world

SED Graders has been working with domestic customers in Australia and international customers in Japan, New Zealand and North America for many years. Our technical team uses TeamViewer software for remote video diagnostics. This allows us to identify the problem quickly and provide you with a speedy resolution to get you back up to full production in no time.

Our remote video diagnostic support has successfully conquered language barriers, time zones and the trickiest of situations to deliver fast and efficient solutions.

SED Graders Australian and family owned

SED Graders is an Australian and family-owned company. We provide worldwide after-sales support and fully train you to use and optimise the vision grader for maximum output.

Contact us for any questions. When your farm is considering a SED Graders oyster grading machine or upgrading your current machine with an overcatch treatment bath, we can advise the perfect solution tailored to your needs.


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