World Class Food Supplier
The many shoppers who choose fresh frozen and ready-to-bake dinner and snack foods at leading retail grocers aren’t thinking about the door and dock operations at the manufacturing plant. They’re thinking about the dependable quality, convenience and value that these food products provide for their households. That’s just fine with the food manufacturer, one of the foremost companies of its kind in North America.
Happy to be the “brand behind the brand” for its customers, this manufacturer has achieved success and growth by developing and producing quality food products on a large scale with efficiency and reliability. The company partners with regional and national grocery chains, wholesale clubs, convenience stores, and foodservice channels to deliver restaurant quality food to their customers under store brand names.
Extensive Door and Dock Operations
The first-class staff at the 100,000+ square foot manufacturing headquarters in Chicago’s suburbs have a lot to do with this success. One of these professionals is Frank J., Facilities Manager. He’s an enthusiastic fan of his company’s food products and someone who thinks a great deal about the door and dock operations at the factory.
It’s his responsibility to make sure all doors and docks perform effectively, efficiently, consistently, and safely at the manufacturing facility and (also 100,000+ square foot) distribution center. Anything less could put the entire operation at risk, which is why he depends on American Door and Dock. How does American Door and Dock help?
“It’s about responsive service and getting help at the factory or distribution center when we need it,” says Mr. J., who has worked closely with American Door and Dock since 2008. “ American put our preventive maintenance plan in place and helps us anticipate problems and changes. When a problem occurs all I need to do is call or email my account representative. I know it’ll be taken care of when we need it. If a repair is required that night, we get a service technician out that night. If the repair can wait until the next morning, we know it will get done promptly the next morning.”
This is no small task given the company’s scope of operations. The preventive maintenance plan covers 45 dock doors, 12 sliding freezer doors, and 5 high speed doors across both facilities. Most of the docks also have levelers and restraints which need to be maintained. The manufacturing plant alone handles up to 40 inbound and outbound trucks per day. It’s a high-cycle environment with internal temperatures as cold as 10 below zero.
Problem Solving: Before Preventive Maintenance
Regulatory food safety compliance requirements add to the operational challenges. Like other food manufacturers, the company is responsible for achieving and maintaining food safety certifications. They work closely with regulatory bodies to meet or exceed standards and promptly address safety issues. The slightest gap in a dock door seal must be fixed immediately to protect the manufacturing environment. American Door and Dock has made a substantial impact on its customer’s successful safety and regulatory compliance track record.
“Food safety and hygiene are paramount here,” says Mr. J. “If any forward doors are damaged they can’t be used even if they remain functional. They must be fixed immediately.” “In these situations responsive service is not a buzzword. It’s something American Door and Dock lives and breathes for our clients,” says Ben Witek, American Door and Dock Account Representative. “When a door or dock is down, safety and productivity are at risk. Our preventive maintenance plan has effectively minimized emergency service calls while helping our customer meet or exceed regulatory requirements.”
Before the preventive maintenance plan was put into place the customer’s needs were being met. But American Door and Dock saw opportunities for greater efficiency, time and cost savings. For example, before the preventive maintenance plan, equipment warranties were not carefully tracked. Periodic unforeseen problems with the freezer doors created operational backlogs and food safety concerns. It was difficult to determine what equipment was going out of warranty and when. Service calls were reactive and costs were difficult to anticipate and control.
Rytec PredaDoor NXT®
Problem Solving: After
“American Door and Dock proactively showed us all our costs and outlined the benefits of the preventive maintenance plan.” says Mr. J. “In a matter of a few months we began to see the return on investment. The plan saves us time and money by catching issues before they become problems. This has also helped us do a much better job maintaining and extending the life cycle of our door and dock equipment. We have a system in place for identifying and prioritizing problems. We have a three month rolling forecast which covers issues to be addressed and related costs. We’ve seen a substantial decrease in reactive service calls and related costs as we’ve increased our ability to effectively plan, budget and fulfill our regulatory responsibilities.”
“American Door and Dock is always identifying opportunities for greater efficiency and cost savings, even in terms of accessories and non-obvious areas of our operation,” according to Mr. J. “They upgraded our freezer sliding doors with specialty tape to prevent ice build-up which was of concern to the regulators. American obtained initial guidance from Rytec, the door manufacturer, on a foam covering solution approach. But American went one better. They crafted a custom seal over the foam to prevent flaking which could result in impurities in our manufacturing environment. This extends the life of the solution, helps ensure food safety, and helps us avoid a potentially reactive situation in the future.”
Success and Progress
“We know our customers have a choice in door and dock services,” says Brian Bertoia, American Door and Dock’s Director of Sales & Marketing. “We like to let our quality service do the talking. But our edge is proactive strategy which helps our customers achieve maximum return on their equipment investments. The preventive maintenance plan for this world class food manufacturer is just one of many examples of how we help our customers succeed, while mitigating costs to the point where it would be very difficult for another vendor to match the overall value we deliver.”
“American Door and Dock is a key behind-the-scenes partner in our success,” says Mr. J. “American’s Service. Trust. Partner mission and vision goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to producing delicious, innovative food products.”
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