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Growing For The Future

K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®

Companies share their insights on investing in their infrastructure and capabilities to meet growing and changing consumer demands.

Florida-based Enzymedica has been an industry leading innovator of enzyme-based products since its founding in 1998. The company provides a wide range of products representing complete digestive health, food intolerances and a host of therapeutic formulas. In 2008, it launched an online interactive Enzymedica Learning Center (www.learnenzymedica.com), which is designed to help students learn more about enzymes, their benefits and the products the company offers. Further, Enzymedica supports the industry with a robust Enzyme Certification program and touring educational seminars.

In April 2013, the company officially opened its new corporate headquarters following its relocation from Port Charlotte, FL to Venice, FL. Built for LEED certification using environmentally friendly materials and optimized for energy and organizational efficiency, the company received Gold Certification on its state-of-the-art facility in October 2013. 

Enzymedica CEO Scott Sensenbrenner offered NIE insights on the process of expanding the company’s capabilities and facilities to showcase its corporate green initiatives, while creating a more efficient and inviting work environment. Further, through this transition, Enzymedica never experienced a disruption of service to its loyal customers and clients.

NIE: When did Enzymedica first realize that demand was pushing beyond its original facility’s capabilities?

Sensenbrenner: Over the last several years Enzymedica has broadened its marketing presence in the natural channel, leading to a considerable increase in overall demand. Beyond our marketing efforts, Enzymedica products are second to none in efficacy, which has resulted in consumer conversion from trial to long-term loyalists. As this demand built, we increased our internal capabilities, especially in key areas like R&D and production, which required a new home to house the future of the company. To maintain the momentum, Enzymedica is committed to providing constant innovation in both our existing products and new products … all supported with industry leading marketing and education.

NIE: Did you consider upgrading/ renovating your existing facility?

Sensenbrenner: Our ultimate goal was to achieve a LEED Gold Certification, which is extremely difficult to attain when you are starting with an existing building. Enzymedica’s former Port Charlotte, FL campus was spread out over four buildings totaling 15,000 square feet. After an extensive review of our options, we acquired an existing building in Venice, FL. The new building represented a shell that We could populate based on our specific needs. The primary considerations in selecting the facility were driven by a need to avoid interruptions in meeting the demand of our customers and also a location that was central for our employees so that we could retain our valued talent.

The new Venice facility effectively triples the space to 45,000 square feet. Our research lab is four times larger in the new location and enables the company to conduct product validation and in-house research and development trials. As education has always been at the core of our growth, we built a new retailer training center designed to educate up to 50 retailers at a time and provide continuing education and introduction to new technologies.

NIE: How did the company prepare for the transition to ensure its customers were still properly serviced while time and resources were devoted to the upgrade?

Sensenbrenner: With our overarching goal to create an environment that would inspire our staff, we took a step back before moving forward. This began with hiring a Lean Six Sigma consultant to help us map our existing processes and identify opportunities to both improve efficiency and overall quality of our products. We kicked off the planning process with an off-site meeting between representatives from Each department, with a goal to provide collaborative feedback on what was working at our old site and what needed to be improved for the new facility.

The Lean-guided effort allowed us to map optimal process flow to enhance interdepartmental working relationships. The outcome of these planning efforts was translated by our architect, who then created the physical layout of our future home. After an extensive review of builders, we elected to use a group that specializes in green construction, My Green Buildings, located nearby in Sarasota, FL, which allowed us to meet our ultimate goal of achieving a LEED Gold Certification.

NIE: Did this place an added burden on your team? How did Enzymedica work to minimize this and keep them motivated through the process?

Sensenbrenner: To prevent a burden on the team we retained our Lean expert for the entire year that the facility was being planned and constructed. In addition, we developed a “relocation plan” that established a schedule of when and how each department would be moved with a goal to avoid disruption in our ability to service our customers. Ultimately, the plan exceeded our expectations—we were able to accept and process orders while the entire company was moving to our new home without interruption.

NIE: Shooting for LEED Gold Certification, clearly sustainability and eco-friendly aspects were top of mind. What does this mean for Enzymedica as a company, as well as for its customers?

Sensenbrenner: From the beginning, we were committed to building a more sustainable, ecologically conscious facility. At the core, our company has always put a tremendous value on responsibility: from the quality of products, to how we use resources and how we run our business. This commitment is exemplified by Enzymedica’s leadership position in the industry—as a company that does not compromise on its core values, providing the purest products, produced in a facility that matches the same standard. With this in mind, we hired My Green Buildings as our contractor emphasizing our goal to achieve a LEED Gold Certification, which was recently awarded to us upon Meeting a stringent third-party certification process.

NIE: What are the sustainable highlights of the new facility?

Sensenbrenner: The goal of LEED Gold Certification factored into every element of the new facility, in ways that are both visible and invisible to the naked eye. To achieve the prestigious rating given to buildings for being highly energy efficient and minimizing environmental impacts, Enzymedica implemented numerous sustainable capital improvements, including:

• Installation of 113 solar panels produce 7,000 kilowatt hours and save an average of five tons of CO2 per month;

• Gaining “Carbon Neutral” certification by Green Mountain Energy, with continual offset of its carbon footprint;

• An on-site recycling center where paper, plastic, aluminum, glass, cardboard and toner cartridges are recycled;

• Water-wise, low-flow plumbing fixtures;

• Solar block shades and energy efficient window tint;

• Customized insulating curtain over the shipping dock bay doors, to prevent cool air and energy waste during normal delivery activities;

• Low-energy use florescent lights throughout its new facility;

• Concrete poured walls for superior insulation;

• Building the new facility utilizing all recycled steel;

• Ice coolant adapted air conditioning units;

• Utilizing only VOC-free (voltile organic chemical) paints, drywall and carpet to reduce chemical release into air; and

• Installing motion detection lights throughout the building.

Today, we are proud to display our LEED Gold certification, a program administered by the Green Building Certification Institute, in our lobby for our customers to see that we are a company who embodies our commitment to be a true citizen of the natural products industry.

NIE: Please discuss the investment Enzymedica made. What difference has this made to your operations?

Sensenbrenner: An initial budget was set for the build out, but as we continued down the path, we recognized additional opportunities to invest in Upgrades that would make the facility even more eco-friendly. While resulting in an increased budget, we achieved our ultimate objective to provide a home that both our employees and the industry would be proud of!

After investing considerable time and money into our new headquarters, we could not be a happier or healthier company. From the moment you walk into our lobby you will be captivated by a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly facility, which shows our company’s commitment to green initiatives; and a home that both inspires innovation and stimulates our team’s relentless effort to produce the finest enzyme products on the planet. Further, when our customers receive a bottle of Enzymedica product they know it came from a company that places tremendous value on quality, efficacy, education and innovation.

NIE: With this project complete, are there any plans for future potential upgrades?

Sensenbrenner: As part of our Lean preparation, we mapped out built-in growth opportunities for each department in the company. This will allow us to seamlessly continue a high level of service output. One area in particular is our R&D center, which is continuously adding equipment and capabilities to strengthen our ability to drive meaningful innovation. In addition, we are in the process of remodeling our production areas to increase output and capacity that will come in the very near future!

Acquiring Abilities

Sometimes growing a company’s capabilities means finding what it’s lacking in another entity. This was the case for Kentucky-based WILD Flavors, Inc. (WILD), a subsidiary of WILD Flavors GmbH in Switzerland.

The WILD Flavors product portfolio includes full flavor and ingredient solutions, known as flavor systems, fruit juice concentrates and blends, as well as other food and beverage ingredients, including natural flavors and extracts, mint oils and flavors, colors from natural sources, sweetening systems, seasonings, specialty ingredients, taste modifiers and fermentation technologies. WILD Flavors GmbH provides the global beverage and dairy market, as well as the baked-goods, confectionery and ice cream industry with its products. In the U.S. and Canada, WILD Flavors GmbH is a supplier for the cereals, snacks and processed food markets.

In November 2013, WILD acquired Alfrebro, LLC, a leading manufacturer of natural extracts and aroma chemicals, advanced proprietary technologies and expanded processing capabilities. With this positioning, WILD will further its development and product lines to expand not only into unique flavors, extracts and aromas for the food and beverage market, but also to strengthen its health-andwellness focus and initiatives.

“WILD was looking to enhance our position in the natural extract and aroma chemical arena. With Alfrebro being one of the largest suppliers in the industry, it was perfect timing,” said Donna Hansee, WILD’s senior director of marketing. “This will increase the WILD portfolio of offerings to the market while also broadening the materials utilized internally for our own creative palette.” 

Vince Macciocchi, COO of WILD Flavors, Inc., added, “The opportunities with Alfrebro represent vertical integration, access to new flavor ingredients, increased manufacturing capabilities and additional cost savings.” Alfrebro’s name will stay intact and, where it is optimal, WILD will integrate the administrative and production functions, Hansee explained.

“Alfrebro, LLC runs a very lean manufacturing facility—acquiring them will only increase the WILD North American staff by approximately five percent. While the two companies already share some of the same customers, Alfrebro will bring WILD some new customers. We expect to have seamless transition that is completely transparent to our customer base.” 

“The Alfrebro organization is excited to become part of WILD globally,” said David Moats, owner of Alfrebro, who will continue to serve as president of Alfrebro, LLC and will report into the WILD organization accordingly. “The company has long-standing national, regional and international relationships with many large flavor and CPG companies; the combination of WILD’s Aroma Chemical Business and Alfrebro will provide unique and value-added ingredients. Our new relationship with the WILD organization allows us to continue to develop novel flavor ingredients.”

This transaction marks latest milestone in WILD’s global expansion. The company continues to invest in the strategic expansion of its global business. In July 2013, WILD announced its equity partnership with Amazon Flavors in Brazil to establish local production capacity while expanding its development base in this important growth market. In May 2013, WILD announced investments at its production, development and sales locations in India, as well as the opening of a new subsidiary in Singapore. In 2012, the company acquired the assets of the former Cargill juice business, which has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the Netherlands, Japan and the U.S. In 2011, WILD acquired the A. M. Todd Group, a global leader in natural mint oils and ingredients with production sites in India, Germany and the United States. In addition, WILD China is expanding its facility to incorporate the production of mint, which will allow WILD to supply mint oils, extracts and flavors to this region as well.

As the company looks to the future, “WILD will be infusing the business with resources—both people and money—and integrate the offerings into our total portfolio of offerings,” said Hansee.

For more information, visit www.wildflavors.com.

K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®