The best part of Together 2022 – at least for us – is the TraceGains Annual Business Ingenuity Awards session, where we honor the individuals who’ve championed the implementation and internal process review at their organizations to drive success at their organizations.
We evaluated this year’s nominees on their resourcefulness in applying TraceGains solutions to achieve business growth and agility. In addition, TraceGains customer success managers nominated our finalists this year.
“We saw a few patterns across this year’s winners. They partner with their CSM and invest time in setting up TraceGains the right way,” TraceGains CEO Gary Nowacki said during his Together 2022 session announcing the winners. “They rally to get multiple departments using TraceGains. And they look for clever ways to make the tool work for them. This dedication has led to some exciting growth for them over the past few years.”
Our first winner – in the Protein Processing category – is Stampede Meat. They earned recognition for using TraceGains as part of their expansion strategy.
Stampede Meat Inc. is a state-of-the-art protein solutions company focusing on custom protein development and processing. Founded in 1995, Stampede – the country’s top pre-portioned protein supplier – serves restaurants, retailers, club stores, food service distributors, home delivery customers, military channels, and other budding market segments.
Stampede produces seasoned and prepared value-added meats, portion cuts, and fully cooked beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. The company boasts four facilities in the Chicago area with a combined size of about 285,000 square feet. That adds up to a combined production capacity of more than 190 million pounds annually.
The TraceGains champions at Stampede – Adam Miller and Ann Clarton – brought the food safety, quality, and purchasing departments onboard.
“TraceGains has been a big help,” Miller, VP of quality and food safety at Stampede, explained. “Over the last four years, we’ve gone from two facilities to six, and TraceGains makes it easier to share critical information between plants since it’s all housed in one location.”
Stampede’s also built a successful foundation that helps them quickly onboard acquired companies. Clarton, director of quality, added that TraceGains has helped streamline the acquisition and integration process.
Camerican International – this year’s winner in the manufacturing category – has been able to align companies and departments better as they expand.
The company sources canned and frozen fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, and grains from more than 40 countries worldwide. As a result, Camerican works with more than 125 active suppliers. The manufacturer prides itself on working with a carefully selected number of processors in each country that meet strict standards for quality control, performance excellence, financial stability, and business integrity. Camerican’s customer base includes many of the largest U.S. food companies.
The company’s TraceGains champion, FSQA analyst D’yana Gerda, established some unique dashboards to help streamline business processes for the QA team and has also taken advantage of the new features released with TraceGains Gather™.
“We use TraceGains as our Bible,” Gerda said. “It’s been beneficial for everyone. The other departments can see everything in TraceGains without having to wait on someone else.”
Ferrarra Candy Co.
TraceGains’s last champion – in the confectionary category – has remained exceptionally dedicated to implementing TraceGains correctly. And it’s no coincidence since Contract Manufacturing Quality Manager Brendan Stover has overseen the implementation of at least three different TraceGains modules.
Ferrara Candy Co., a subsidiary of The Ferrero Group, is an emerging powerhouse in the North American confections and sweet snacking categories. A passionate team of more than 6,000 employees works together to produce a diverse portfolio of nearly 35 brands that include SweeTARTS®, Trolli®, BRACH’S®, Black Forest®, and NERDS®, along with iconic favorites like Lemonhead®, Red Hots® and Now and Later®. Ferrara also manages the Keebler® and Famous Amos® businesses for The Ferrero Group. Headquartered in Chicago, Ferrara has an operational network of 20 North American locations, including manufacturing, distribution, and R&D facilities.
Stover has worked diligently with CSM to ensure Ferrara’s business processes and data were structured to fit the TraceGains solutions.
“Listen to your CSM,” Stover advised, “because a lot of my success stems from us being in a room together and tailoring the conversation to our specific needs.”
As a result, Stover uses TraceGains as his process playbook and achieves greater efficiencies and time to focus on strategic projects.
A common thread that runs through all these winners is their ability to secure company-wide participation while working closely with TraceGains CSMs.
You can watch this entire session – or any other part of Together 2022 – on-demand right now.