Food & Drink Process & Packaging Issue 8 2016 - Page 56

Leading U.S. Pork Producer Optimizes Supply Chain From the popularity of baby-back ribs to the national obsession with bacon, Americans have an avid appetite for pork. The Maschhoffs -- the largest family-owned pork NOTE WRITTEN BY Rockwell Automation PHOTOGRAPHY BY Rockwell Automation Challenge Running any large farming operation is a complex undertaking. That’s particularly true in modern pig producer in the United States – helps satisfy that hunger raising, which entails a continuous from its headquarters in Carlyle, Illinois. logistics challenge: the need to move In 2014, the company sold nearly Today, The Maschhoffs’ pig operation different stages of growth. $1 billion in pork -- enough to feed employs about 1,500 employees. over 16 million average consumers Contracting with production partners annually. – about 550 family farmers across Like many major agricultural the Midwest – the company sells operations, The Maschhoffs started about 5 million live hogs annually. with a single family farm. For five The buyers are packing plants and generations, The Maschhoffs grew food producers such as Cargill, row crops and raised cattle. Hormel Foods and Farmland. But brothers Ken and Dave The Maschhoffs provide pigs and Maschhoff returned to the farm feed to their production partners, and home from college with bigger pay the farmers for the time, labor dreams. In 1991 they bought their and space necessary to raise the parents’ share of the business and hogs. began expanding the operation. pigs to specialized farm sites at Solution The Maschhoffs analyzed different supply-chain modeling packages in tandem with a group of graduate business students from Washington University at St. Louis. As part of a special project with the company, the students evaluated dozens of solutions. Arena®software was their No. 1 recommendation. Results The Rockwell Automation team met the accelerated deadline. The result? Regional modeling and analysis pointed to four management regions, balancing efficiencies in flow, transportation and feed costs with the utilization of contracted sites. Rockwell Automation The results mentioned above are specific to The Maschhoffs’ use of Rockwell Automation products and services in conjunction with other products. Specific results may vary for other customers. 56 FDPP -