Barry Callebaut was formed just over seven years ago when two powers of the chocolate industry, Callebaut the Belgian chocolate producer and Cacao Barry the French manufacturer, joined forces. With 30 production sites worldwide, sales of 2.5 billion and over 9500 employees, Barry Callebaut is recognized as the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products. Most recently Barry Callebaut acquired Stollwerck Group, a German manufacturer and marketer of chocolate and US-based Brach’s Confections Holding Inc. With their recent acquisition of Brach’s, Barry Callebaut USA now runs and operates seven US based facilities, of which two are located in the state of New Jersey in the towns of Pennsauken and Swedesboro. The Pennsauken location is used as both a production site and a sales office which employs 85 workers and generates roughly $30 million in sales.
In early 2003, NJMEP received a phone call from Barry Callebaut’s, then current, Site Manager. He had worked with NJMEP while under the employ of another company located in New Jersey and was extremely impressed with the assistance he received. Based on this positive experience, he felt NJMEP could be of great assistance to his new employer Barry Callebaut. His initial areas of interest and concern were Human Resource and Lean related activities but he acknowledged that several areas were in need of improvement. Ronald Eleuteri, the NJMEP Field Agent assigned to all Camden County manufacturing companies, responded immediately to the initial phone call and was able to set up a plant tour with the Site Manager for early April. During the plant tour the Site Manager introduced Ron to the Quality Control Manager who mentioned that she was trying to get the Pennsauken facility upgraded to the most recent ISO 9000 standards. Recognizing that the upgrade was not only a requirement by their parent company but the deadline to become compliant was rapidly approaching, Ron offered to spearhead this effort and task.
After careful analysis, Ron Eleuteri assessed Barry Callebaut’s needs, presented a clear plan of action to their management and when given the proper approvals, contracted with Prism eSolutions, NJMEP’s strongest partner of ISO experts. Based on NJMEP’s past client successes with Prism, Ron was sure he had retained the perfect third party resource. The plan involved three steps; preparation of a Gap Analysis report to determine how much time would be needed for training, consultation and training by Prism to upgrade Barry Callebaut’s procedures to the 2001 standard enabling them to achieve recertification and finally, training and implementation of SPC controls in the manufacturing area. The time frame estimated to complete these tasks was six to eight months.
In less than four months Barry Callebaut’s requirement to become recertified and compliant to the new 2001 standards was achieved. Shortly thereafter, SPC controls were successfully implemented. Completion of these tasks enabled the company to increase sales by over $100,000, reduce labor costs by $10,000, and retain the jobs of all 85 employees.
Bill Hayes, Barry Callebaut’s present Site Manager stated, “We have been extremely pleased with Ron’s assistance. In both cases Ron was able to assist us in getting the help we needed and did so quickly and at a reasonable cost. We will use Ron and NJMEP whenever possible.”
“Ron Eleuteri and NJMEP have proven to be a valuable resource for Barry Callebaut. As a service provider with government funds, it is important that Congress continues to allocate funds for their existence. They are a valuable asset to the manufacturers of New Jersey.”