What ifs? What’s next?
With the new bun line, Turano Baking strived to achieve a number of top priorities — most importantly, contingency capacity. Normally, conservative companies consider contingency options as Plan Bs, or backup strategies. That was certainly part of the case here, Mr. Desrosiers said. The bakery wanted to make sure it had sufficient backup with Line No. 2 to support production on Line No. 1, especially for its primary customer supplied by Turano Baking in this core market.
However, the additional capacity also involved a Plan A, as in the ability for the entire company to supply new customers while supporting its existing base with new products. Since Baking & Snack first visited the Orlando bakery in 2011, third-party business in the region has grown significantly.
“We were skittish about taking on new business without contingency capacity,” Mr. Desrosiers said. “With our internal customers, we were finding lines in our other Turano facilities reaching capacity. We were looking to build contingency capacity within our entire system to handle those opportunities.”
In addition to reducing the volume of interplant shipments, boosting capacity also brought production closer to the Orlando plant’s core customers in the Southeast and even expanded its geographic reach to Texas and parts of the South.
Yet another top priority involved engineering in the flexibility to scale up artisan-style products or place buns and premium rolls in new packaging formats. Specifically, the bakery expanded bulk packaging and added bagging capabilities for food service and retail customers. It also introduced Turano branded products to new markets.
Moreover, during the past three to five years, limited-time offers (L.T.O.s) have become the fastest way to build sales in the quick-serve restaurants (Q.S.R.s), casual dining chains and other food service channels, where Turano Baking does a majority of its business.
“With L.T.O.s, restaurants aren’t looking for me-too products,” Mr. Desrosiers said. “They want products that are really unique and have their distinctive signature on them.”
Specifically, the versatile new line allows the bakery to diversify its portfolio of buns and rolls with such items as brioche and other premium baked goods.
When it comes to new products, speed to market — along with quality and variety — is also critical in today’s fluid marketplace.
“We understand that many of our products have a life cycle, so we continue to work on ‘what is that next new trend?’” Mr. Turano said. “What is that next, new popular line of products so we can be ahead of the curve in the marketplace?”
Moreover, as these restaurants expand their menus, chains may require packaging in various formats, including smaller packs — instead of bulk packs — to maintain freshness as new items gain traction among consumers.
“In the past, manufacturing drove what packaging systems you used,” Mr. Kozloski observed. “Now, it’s the customers driving how products are packaged.”