Wholesome snack and baked goods manufacturer Schulze & Burch’s expanding cold process bar business needed additional capacity and flexibility to produce a wide variery of bars.
PTL’s barline design could be tailored to meet Schulze & Burch’s specific requirements.
PTL has set the benchmark when it comes to how Schulze & Burch expect to deal with vendors.
“Working with PTL is the benchmark for how we expect to work with other vendors. Their biggest standout is their ability to rapidly deal with issues and adjust with changes when needed.”
Director of Technical Services
With over 95 years’ experience in the food manufacturing industry, Schulze & Burch is a premier supplier of wholesome snack foods. Founded in 1923, the company now produces in three locations across the US. They have played pioneering roles in the automation of production lines, revolutionised the daily baking of bread, and raised the bar on quality standards around the development of wholesome snack choices. The company has long history of quality and innovation, including producing the first Saltine Cracker, Toaster Pastry, baked granola bar and dual texture chocolate chip cookies.
When they decided to expand the business in the area of cold barline products, they went on the hunt for a machinery supplier that were open to customising solutions.
Schulze & Burch were facing a challenge around how to expand their operations in the cold barline product area. “We were looking to install a larger modern line,” recalls Director of Technical Services, Steve Egizio. “We had heard of PTL through a vendor who’d been working with them on cooling tunnels and melting systems a few years back.”
In fact, PTL had worked with Schulze & Burch when they installed a new melter, and their previous experience with PTL was one of the things that drove their decision.
Still, Schulze and Burch did their due diligence and considered several options for the new barline. “We looked at other systems,” says Steve. “Other vendors that we have worked with in the past had the attitude that ‘this is what we make and how we make it’, and they were not as open to new ideas as PTL.
“We had a need for a highly flexible yet still high thru-put system, which tends to be challenging. What made PTL stand out was their openness to customizing solutions that worked best for us. It was clear that they believe in continuous product improvements, and that was a key factor for us.”
The new barline, was implemented over the past year. When dealing with complex challenges and support issues, Steve recalls PTL’s capacity to respond. “We did run into one issue where a piece of equipment was not capable of meeting the needs of production,” he explains. “PTL worked diligently to design, manufacture and ship out a new piece that could accommodate our needs. They were capable of turning this system around faster than any other vendor we have worked with.”
Steve goes on to highlight the importance of PTL’s attitude towards business partnerships. “They demonstrate their belief in a partnership with their customers by how they respond to issues and requests,” he says. “And they are always open to providing customised solutions, which is a key indicator of how they view customer requirements.”
Like many of PTL’s customers, Schulze & Burch is located in the US, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. However, PTL’s New Zealand location wasn’t a concern for them. “Their technical team is in the US regularly and they visit the plant often,” Steve explains. “They also contact us on a regular basis to confirm that all of our needs are being met and to review any concerns that we may have.”
Steve goes on to emphasise the fact that PTL equipment is designed with sanitation in mind. “They supplied as part of their system all the pieces to take the line apart for cleaning,” he says. “Other vendors charged extra for these components. We felt going into this project that the PTL system was designed better around daily operations, making it easier for operators to make line adjustments and run the line efficiently.”
“We have had excellent remote support from the home office all the way to the on-site support,” adds David Fulham, Senior Project Manager. “The quick response time is something that we don’t receive from all of our vendors.”
Both Steve and David are keen to emphasise how crucial it’s been for them to work with a partner that’s open to new ideas and are willing to tailor their equipment based on them. “Working with PTL is the benchmark for how we expect to work with other vendors,” Steve explains. “They listen to our comments and requests, and they make changes to their equipment based on our feedback. For us, their biggest standout is their ability to rapidly deal with issues and adjust with changes when needed.”
“Their professionalism and knowledge of the system has been second to none,” David adds. “They’ve really stayed on top of all their projects with us.”
It’s a business relationship that Steve is keen to continue, having no hesitation to use PTL as an equipment manufacturer for future projects or to recommend to other businesses. “They work really well with their customers,” he says. “Customer success is a priority for them, as well as the success of the business relationship.”
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