PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 15

PLANT PROFILE

the meat of the

METRICS
Dog treat maker Phelps Pet Products drives double digit growth
with open book approach to company performance data.
By Jennifer Semple | jsemple@sosland.com

A

Although Phelps Pet Products has a 52-year history of
producing meat-based pet treats, almost everything
about the company is new including its name. A rebranding from Phelps Industries to Phelps Pet Products
in March was the culmination of an intense focus on
growth that began in 2014. Company founder Dick
Phelps sold a majority stake in January 2013 to the private equity group that is now known as Granite Bridge
Partners. The next year under its new leadership, the
company expanded its Rockford, Illinois production
space with the addition of an 80,000-sq.-ft. building next
door to the company's original 10,000-sq.-ft. facility.
And then in 2016 the company added 40,000 sq. ft. of
warehouse and distribution space with a third location
in Caledonia, Illinois.
Phelps manufactures specialty pet treats, jerky sticks,
strips and tenders sold under private label and contract
manufacturing agreements to leading retailers and pet
food brands in North America, the European Union
and Australia.
"Anybody who is in the better-for-you space, like
Sprouts and Newman's Own, that's what we're really good
at," says Rick Ruffolo, CEO and president. "We are USDA
certified organic as well as Safe Quality Food Level II
(SQF) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified.
We produce conventional products also, but the certifications are one of the key areas that separate us."

Another is the company's focus on performance metrics. Pet Food Processing was invited to join Phelps' daily
stand-up meeting and witness the metrics the management team and key leaders review on a daily basis to
gauge the company's progress toward its target goals.
Numbers, customer names and discussion topics are
written on the dry-erase boards lining the perimeter
of a conference room along with print-outs of colorful
graphs. This wall of information is updated daily with a
broad range of metrics offering a snapshot of the company's performance. The group reviews quality alerts from
the day before, daily SQF training topics, start times
of each processing line for each shift, last batch time,
number or racks per shift per line, production output in
pounds, changeover efficiency by customer name for the
previous day and what is planned for today, total dollar
value of shipped product per day, per line and per shift
as well as the current monthly sales total and maintenance items for the day... just to name a few.

Left: With the focus of
making the business
scalable, the management group started by
identifying the information they needed to track
in order to make databased decisions. From
left: Scott Anderson,
Dave Dent, Rich Bartuska,
Rick Ruffolo.
Photos by Gabmaster Photography

The metric method
For Phelps, this daily performance review becomes both
strategic and tactical. The metrics are not confined to a
conference room or a computer file. Metrics are shared
with employees during monthly all-staff meetings and
each production line in the plant has a communication
board that identifies the goals for each shift. "The boards

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PET Food Processing - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - June 2019

PET Food Processing - June 2019
CONTENTS
OFF THE LEASH - FEAR FREE
TRENDS - IN THE HOUSE
PLANT PROFILE - THE MEAT OF THE METRICS
FOOD SAFETY - VERIFIED ACCOUNTABILITY
INGREDIENTS - DEFINING CHELATION AND ENCAPSULATION
FORMULATION - FULL DISCLOSURE
EQUIPMENT - EXTRUSION INNOVATION
ON THE MOVE
OPERATIONS - CONTROL ISSUES
PACKAGING - MEDLEY OF MEALS
BEST IN SHOW
PATENTS TO PONDER
EVENTS
SIT, STAY, READ
AD INDEX
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - PET Food Processing - June 2019
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - PET Food Processing - June 2019
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 2
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 3
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 4
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - CONTENTS
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - OFF THE LEASH - FEAR FREE
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 7
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 8
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - TRENDS - IN THE HOUSE
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 10
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 11
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 12
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 13
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - PLANT PROFILE - THE MEAT OF THE METRICS
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 15
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 16
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 17
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 18
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 19
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 20
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 21
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 22
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 23
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 24
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - FOOD SAFETY - VERIFIED ACCOUNTABILITY
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 26
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 27
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 28
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - INGREDIENTS - DEFINING CHELATION AND ENCAPSULATION
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 30
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 31
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 32
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 33
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 34
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - FORMULATION - FULL DISCLOSURE
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 36
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 37
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 38
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 39
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 40
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - EQUIPMENT - EXTRUSION INNOVATION
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 42
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 43
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 44
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 45
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 46
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 47
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 48
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - ON THE MOVE
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 50
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 51
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 52
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 53
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 54
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - OPERATIONS - CONTROL ISSUES
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 56
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 57
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 58
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 59
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 60
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - PACKAGING - MEDLEY OF MEALS
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 62
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 63
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 64
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 65
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 66
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 67
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - BEST IN SHOW
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 69
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - PATENTS TO PONDER
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 71
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - EVENTS
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - SIT, STAY, READ
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - AD INDEX
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 75
PET Food Processing - June 2019 - 76
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2020_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_10_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2019_03_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_12_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_09_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_06_01
http://digital.petfoodprocessing.net/sosland/pfp/2018_03_01
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