What results do you expect from your training?

See what Stockton Cheese has achieved!

Stockton Cheese Incorporated (SCI), located in Stockton, IL, produces varieties of Swiss cheese products, cream and whey concentrate and operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week with one down day each year. It is critical that each employee be fully engaged in process ownership.
Upon my arrival as plant manager in March of 2000, I spent time with the management team and employees of the various departments. While it was apparent that there were training needs throughout the facility, I determined that the highest priority was to develop a cohesive management team. The Business Institute was contacted.

They surveyed each member of the plant Leadership Team (staff reporting directly to me) and found that communication and problem identification/problem solving were the skills most needed. Two classes were presented, Communication For Managers and Performance Management leading to better goal setting and performance review sessions by the Leadership Team.

The impact of training cannot always be measured in the weeks following training. Reviewing performance measures over the last five years, these indicators determine programs’ success:

  • The cost of producing each pound of cheese increased 5.68%, however production increased 13.6%.
  • This was achieved this in the face of dramatic increases in employee benefits and utility costs during the last five years.
  • Customer complaints reduced from 67 per year to 6 per year for whey concentrate shipments and from 13 per year to 4 per year for cream shipments.

The quality improvements led to a stronger financial balance sheet as well as satisfied customers.

SCI is currently working with the Business Institute to provide additional Leadership Team training regarding conflict management. The financial and quality returns can conceivably be greater then those resulting from the previous training completed by management.

SCI will continue utilizing the Business Institute at Highland Community College to train plant employees and assist SCI in becoming the highest quality and most cost competitive Swiss cheese manufacturing facility in the United States. The training services being offered by Highland Community College are a necessary ingredient to the future success of SCI.

Charles Loehr
Plant Manager
Stockton Cheese, Inc.
Stockton, IL
January 5, 2007


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January 2007