Simplicity as the key to alignment

by Dan Malovany
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Mission Foods production facility
Out of the nearly 7,000 employees at Mission Foods, almost 6,000 of them report to German Chavez, vice-president of manufacturing.

The best way to keep operations moving in one direction — the right direction — is by simplifying processes wherever possible. Out of the nearly 7,000 employees at Mission Foods, almost 6,000 of them report to German Chavez, vice-president of manufacturing. Simplicity truly is the key to alignment, not only for manufacturing but also for the company as a whole.

“One of my goals is to systemize what we do,” Mr. Chavez told Joanie Spencer, Baking & Snack’s editor/managing editor recently.

Mission Foods has a long history of longevity when it comes to employee tenure, and Mr. Chavez has worked to take the intellectual property that comes with 20 to 30 years of employment and carry it into a system of success well into the future. By creating a standardized system for operations, he explained, it not only makes it easier for people to join the company, but it also makes it possible for employees to successfully work in any area of a plant, in any plant location. Likewise, after a process of s.k.u. harmonization, Mission Foods reduced its number of s.k.u.s by about 50% to 60% to hone its product offerings and eliminate some of the dead weight.

“It’s not that we reinvented ourselves; we went back to what we do best,” he said. And that’s producing fresh tortillas for the North American and global market.
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