Blommer Chocolate’s specialty coatings facility in Campbellford, Canada, was recognized by the Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC) with an Award of Excellence at the association’s national manufacturing conference earlier this week. EMC, Canada’s largest manufacturing consortium with more than 900 manufacturer members, cited the Campbellford plant for its lean manufacturing, leadership and cultural excellence.
Since its purchase in 2006 from World’s Finest Chocolate, Blommer has expanded the 85,000-sq.-ft. facility threefold. During that time, by embracing lean manufacturing methodology, the company has made substantial productivity gains and performance improvements. Those gains include the following: process waste reductions of up to 70%, process productivity improvements up to 109% and an order fulfillment rate consistently in excess of 98%.
“I credit the employees, their strong work ethic and their commitment to the kind of culture evolving here as the key to the company’s success and growth,” says Doug Harper, Blommer’s general manager. “For any manufacturer looking to be more productive and competitive, they need to engage the human side of their organization. We significantly reduced our labor and overhead costs while increasing our capacities and capabilities.”
Harper, who heads up cultural development and lean manufacturing efforts at all four Blommer plants, points out that “the culture is built around driving decision making throughout the organization so decisions are made by those best able to make them, where and when they need to be made. Employees are empowered and are part of the solutions towards continuous improvement every day.”
“Blommer Chocolate and Doug Harper really stood out as the winner for this year’s EMC award for excellence in lean, leadership and culture,” adds Al Diggins, president and general manager, EMC Canada. “The company’s accomplishments clearly speak of their success, and equally as important is the culture established for the employees. People are happy to go to work there, and it shows.”
The company’s specialty coatings include colored and flavored compound coatings, high-protein coatings, white/yogurt coatings and all natural and unique coatings to meet specific customer needs. The Campbellford facility has the capacity to produce smaller runs for special products and specific projects. Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America.
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