Helping a Baby Food Manufacturer Grow its Global Operations

The Client

A top North American baby food manufacturer

The Challenge

Although the client had a long history of producing quality products, it had recently been acquired by a European-based corporation seeking expansion. As a result, the company needed to globalize their supply chain. By the time USC Consulting was asked to help, they had already shut down two older plants and were building one newer, more modern facility. Two years into construction, the transition to the new facility was over budget and behind schedule. The new plant was capable of producing just 30% of deliverables. Rather than increase production capacity as planned, the new facility had in fact resulted in a production decline.

The Solution

Our first step was to prepare a detailed business plan, taking into account all details of the transition from inventory and production requirements to sales and marketing campaigns. Our goal was to ensure the transition took place by the newly established deadline, while avoiding customer service interruptions.

Next, we completely overhauled the company’s inventory management operations to account for our client’s broader reach. Under the existing model, the older facilities would process one kind of product only when certain raw materials were in season, storing what they couldn’t sell immediately for use throughout the year.

Our new plan called for purchasing raw seasonal materials from different locations in North and South America. These could then be processed, packaged and sent directly to a third-party distributor. This not only eliminated the need for storage, but by using fresh produce throughout the year, quality would vastly improve.

Performance Results

30 job descriptions were consolidated into four tightly defined roles, increasing workforce flexibility

The new facility achieved 100% product capacity 45 days ahead of schedule with:
No disruptions in customer service
No shortages in product availability


First hour productivity increase

The recommended changes netted an additional $1 million in saleable product


Forty-five days before the startup deadline, the older factories were completely shut down and the new facility produced 100% of the product line with no disruptions in customer service or shortages in product availability. When, several months later, the new plant still wasn’t operating at the hoped for levels, we went back in to analyze the situation. By reassigning some startup tasks to the third shift, first hour productivity increased with a carryover effect throughout the day. After our second engagement, the new plant was producing more products of a higher quality than ever before.

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