Santini Foods, founded in 1987, was a successful San Lorenzo−based maker and distributor of sauces, syrups and milk products but in recent years profits were flat despite healthy sales. Internal analysts suspected product waste and sewage treatment costs were to blame. A new management team recognized they needed to make improvements so they sough expert advice. A visit to the bank resulted in a referral to EASTBAY Works partner Alameda County Workforce Development Board’s (ACWDB) Business Assistance Program (BAP), which connected Santini to lean manufacturing consulting firm, manex, the corporation for manufacturing excellence.
Manex, whose consulting fees were entirely underwritten by ACWDB, conducted assessments to determine the nature and severity of Santini’s problems. Four areas for improvement were identified and two areas were selected as projects. Problem solving teams were mobilized and trained in the Six Sigma lean manufacturing methodology and set to work collecting and analyzing data to identify root causes.
Based on their findings and assistance from manex, Santini set goals to reduce milk loss by 50% and maintain no more than 25% scrap for the year. They also modified their product packaging process.
After completing the program, Santini Foods projected savings of $527,400 by reducing milk waste and another $158,473 by reducing overfill.
CEO Tyler Abbott says,
“From helping us develop appropriate metrics and Lean Simulation Training to DMAIC and Practical Problem Solving, the pros at Manex have made a tremendous contribution to our manufacturing processes, not to mention our bottom line. They were able to dial in and help us see right where our main issues were, in so doing allowing us to go from two to three years of barely breaking even to clear profitability. Their focus on data driven decision making and continuous improvement will affect our company for years to come. They also energized our staff — even though our contract ended months ago, we continue with regular “manex” meetings, and have two new promising projects underway.”
The benefits Santini Foods received came free of charge courtesy of EASTBAY Works partner ACWDB. Their Business Assistance Program is a true public private partnership with multiple public agencies collaboratively investing in our region’s small businesses and food manufacturing sector.