Getting It Done for Doane Pet Care Company

By IBT Inc

October 01, 2005

Supply Chain

In America, we love our pets. That’s why we share our lives with more than 58 million dogs and 71 million cats. In fact, forty percent of the households that have pets own both a cat and a dog. Cat lovers, in particular, are highly committed: half of all US cat-owning households have an average of four cats each.

That adds up to a lot of hungry critters. And ISG client Doane Pet Care Company produces the food and snacks to take care of a substantial number of those furry little friends that add so much to our family life.

Doane Pet Care Company, based in Brentwood, Tennessee, is the largest manufacturer of private label pet food and the second largest manufacturer of dry pet food overall in the United States. Doane sells to about 550 customers worldwide, including many of the top pet food retailers in the United States, Europe and Japan.

Doane’s manufacturing plants make a full range of dog and cat food products, including dry, semi-moist and soft dry foods, soft treats and dog biscuits. They have products that meet customer specifications for all retail channels and price points. The company also manufactures, packages and ships dry pet food and treats for four of the six largest national branded pet food companies through co-manufacturing agreements.

When Doane Pet Care wanted to improve the productivity of the MRO process at their 24 manufacturing plants, they looked for a potential supplier. After evaluating a series of alternative companies, they choose ISG, based on the service they required – and that ISG could provide.

DPC felt that IBT’s Integrated Services Group (ISG) could help them further expand “The DPC Advantage.”

ISG took to the task with enthusiasm, energy and expertise, and all the focused determination of a Jack Russell terrier.

They started by bringing IBT’s knowledge of manufacturing to the assignment, looking for ways to rationalize Doane’s MRO – starting with store room integration.

First, they went and gathered all the different spare parts that had been spread out throughout the plant. By putting all of the material in one location, it became easier to figure out just what the company owned.

Then, ISG created more compact storerooms, through installing shelving and using mezzanines. The result was the ability to store more goods in less total floor space.

They set up the storage system by commodities, putting all the bearings together, all the motors, etc. This made it even easier to truly understand what was on hand.

Next steps involved consolidated and orderly inventory records, using consistent numbering systems and nomenclature across all locations. A bar coding system was also installed, making all parts easier to identify at all times.

At this point, it became possible and desirable to build a consolidated database, and then identify overstocks, under stocks, supersessions and obsolescent and obsolete items. Cleaning up that inventory further compressed and reduced the amount of parts (and dollars) sitting on factory shelves.

Part of this whole process included creating a company-wide roster of production equipment. Having that information centralized with ISG also led to additional further benefits.

The information about the machinery can allow for forecasts of repair and replacement part usage, leading to even more efficient stocking and purchasing practices.

The same database can also lead to better scheduling of predictive and preventive maintenance and to scheduled – as opposed to unexpected – periods of downtime.

The final implementation step ISG took with Doane Pet Care Company was the establishment of an internet-based parts ordering system.

At full implementation, it is easy for the plant people to get what they need, when they need it, with no wasted time, motion or paper pushing, at an economical price, through an extremely dependable source: ISG’s network.

This is performance that can be measured. Key indicators include procedural improvements, reduced inventory stock outs and lowered inventory dollar commitment.

Overall ISG will affect Doane throughout its entire operations – not just in isolated plants. The outcome is that Doane Pet Care will operate with a preventive maintenance program, have decreased the need for emergency spot buys, eliminated down time and, as a result, increased the plants’ profits.

Productivity advantage starts with the processes described above. But, a good program requires upkeep and maintenance.

In the case of Doane Pet Care Company and ISG, the work is ongoing. ISG site managers, through internal communications, keep the regional representative well informed of the program’s status and needs for subsequent refinements.

The regional representative keeps the client informed, and the result is a system that brought dramatic improvements at the start, and stays on track, getting consistently better as time goes by. So, all the pets and pet owners depending on the Doane products can rely on the company to do its part in continuing to keep the bowls full of nutritious foods and tasty pet snacks.

For more information about ISG, contact us.