Chemistry: Relevant to Fast Moving Consumer Goods Companies
A continuous improvement expert, Mr. Peter Albert, was in Covenant University recently for a Town and Gown Seminar which focused on the ‘Importance Of Chemistry In Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) Companies.’ He described fast-moving consumer goods as products that are sold quickly and at relatively low cost, which offer quick turnover to the manufacturers. Examples include non-durable goods such as soft drinks, toiletries and grocery items. “Quite a lot of people depend on the FMCG products for their daily operations,” he stated.
Speaking at the seminar, Mr. Albert, who has had several stints with multinational companies, explained that fast moving consumer goods companies include the Coca-Cola Company, GlaxoSmithKline Plc., Nestle Plc, Kelloggs, Procter & Gamble, PZ Cussons, Unilever Plc., etc.
He mentioned that there was high level process flow in FMCGs, but professional qualification/certifications places one at a competitive advantage for employment. Nevertheless, he said, “every multinational have a robust training programme for their employees.”
While answering questions on the relevance of Chemistry to FMCGs, he pointed out that Chemistry as a course provides one with a wide margin of job specifications in FMCG companies. Some of them, he noted, include positions as ‘Laboratory Analysts,’ who analyse raw materials before they are used for production, as well as packaging materials required for the production. They also analyse the intermediate to ensure conformance, and the finished products before they are released for shipment.
One of the job placements he mentioned was the position of a ‘Process Chemist’ who carries out periodic in-process checks during production, conducts process confirmation –adherence to equipment specifications and ensures proper online and real time documentation. The Process Chemist also arranges series of internal audits to ensure compliance to local & global regulations, and tracks key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor operational performance.
Mr. Albert also listed a ‘Continuous Improvement Expert and Manager’ as one of the positions for Chemists in FMCGs, stating that they focus on waste elimination and complexity reduction using the lean six sigma tools i.e. the way we work and behave to achieve zero accident, zero defect and zero waste.
In his remarks at the event, the Head, Department of Chemistry, Professor Kolawole Ajanaku, appreciated the Guest Speaker, members of the Department and the University Management for the success of the seminar while urging the students to make maximum use of the information received in order to develop careers that would make the University Management proud.