Closing a plant is a huge endeavour and never an easy process. Whether because of growth or an inability to compete in today's every changing global marketplace - there are so many mitigating factors that company owners must weigh in their decisions to do the right thing. Large or small, companies form the basis of our communities and become an integral part of the fabric that makes up our towns and cities and much like a tree this trunk supports not only branches for the suppliers and customers of the organization, but also for the employees and their families, for the community perhaps by involvement in Chamber or Manufacturing Associations, for the municipality by economically contributing through taxes and utilities, and so forth... Sadly, like other plants before them, Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Brands in Peterborough recently had to make that very difficult decision.
After 40 years of business in Peterborough, the Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Brands plant outgrew its facilities and closed its doors for the final time on Friday, September 28th, 2012. This building held a very close-knit, engaged and well-trained staff of 80 employees who are now looking for employment opportunities. EMC was honoured, if not humbled, to work with the Management of Baskin Robbins and the Coaching Team in a very special networking opportunity designed to bring Employers and potential Employees together - in essence, an opportunity to grow new branches...
This special event not only provided a forum for potential candidates to meet prospective employers and vice versa it exposed the needs of so many Manufacturers across the Province who are searching for ways and means to build their labour pools and fill skill gap shortages within their companies from one end of the Province to the other.
The General Manager and Director of Operations, set the stage of our session with a general overview of the company. Baskin Robbins is a fast paced, globally focused business with well-trained and motivated personnel. Product is shipped world-wide including countries such as Vietnam, the Middle East and South Africa. They have adopted the ability to be flexible to meet customers' needs, regardless of where that customer may be located, developing recipes and products as required.
The people are well trained in a variety of disciplines including Lean and TPM, troubleshooting and project planning. Mini-kaizens and suggestions boards created a culture that embraced change. The folks on the shop floor worked as a Team to create a Theory of Operations Manual that brought their combined experiences together. There was a formal process in place for daily shift and management meetings. This drive to adapt and be more efficient and capable in their performance led to 5-10% annual growth year over year.
A combination of 220 - 45 - 35 dials the wealth of experience and available talent of the Team at Baskin-Robbins! Combined Senior Management experience equated to almost 220 years! For those seeking candidates, there are 45 manufacturing positions and 35 office representatives that are currently seeking employment including experienced personnel from Plant Management, Operations, Controller, Accounts Receivable and Payable, Supervisors, Labelling personnel, Production, Shipping and Receiving, Lab and Quality Control, HACCP Coordinators with GFSI and SQF experience, Food Technicians and Maintenance.
After an overview of the company, the culture, the training initiatives and available staff for employment, Members present were pleased to hear on an individual basis from a number of available Baskin Robbins employees with respect to their training and qualifications and at the conclusion of the session were able to mingle and network and share resumes with interested employers. An excellent, excellent, excellent opportunity for the potential candidates and the companies represented!
As mentioned above, we were pleased to have had interest in available candidates expressed from as far as North Bay - through Chatham - to Ottawa - and so many places in between! If you are interested in learning more about possible recruitment opportunities, please let me know and we will do our best to connect you with a representative.
Complimenting our discussion on recruitment strategies, for those interested, the Canadian Manufacturing Network Job Board (http://www.emccanada.org/group_spaces/canadian_manufacturing_network) provides a forum for Employers to post jobs and for those looking for Employment to review positions and apply accordingly. This is a FREE resource for Manufacturers to utilize and we encourage you to use it in your search for new hires. EMC Members may also tap into our Member Needs Help service for additional suggestions in this regard.
Special thanks to JT Badiani, the General Manager and Director, Operations and Nancy Anderson of Anderson & Associates the Coaching Team both who have worked tirelessly with the staff of this plant as they "branch" out beyond Baskin Robbins!
This is a world class manufacturing facility with world class employees - and on behalf of EMC and our Members, we wish them the very best in their future endeavours! It was truly a humbling experience to facilitate such an opportunity!
All the best!