Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 78

featured technical expert

REISER: JIM FONTAINE
Improving a bakery's operations starts with asking the right questions.
As one of Reiser's bakery specialists, Jim Fontaine knows how to do
just that. By asking insightful questions, everyone involved becomes
more educated, and processes improve.
If there is a production judgment error on a line, Mr. Fontaine has
a short conversation with the operator to probe into why the line is
not working. What's the consistency of the product? How is it reacting
over time? Does the dough get drier, harder or stickier? What adjustments have already been tried?
Sometimes, getting the answers isn't so easy. Other times, it takes
some convincing to help bakers improve their operation. That's where
Mr. Fontaine makes a difference. He not only helps bakers determine
the proper equipment but also helps them get the most out of their
current machines.
"We will ask many questions such as current needs, future needs,
and how many hours a day or week do you wish to make this product,
sanitation requirements and maintenance capabilities, and so on to
help the baker make the correct decision," Mr. Fontaine said.
This may require a visit to Reiser's Customer Center for additional
testing, or Reiser can work with the baker to do it on site. Beyond initial testing, Reiser also offers factory acceptance tests (FATs) and educational workshops, which help bakers more thoroughly understand
how to properly optimize formulation and batch size to make a line
run at peak efficiency.
"Reiser bakery specialists are on-site during FATs so they can
provide guidance on formulation, mixing procedure and so on,"
Mr. Fontaine explained. "We also will be on-site during startup

78 Baking & Snack October 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

to run initial production tests and help bakers meet their product specifications."
There are other instances when Mr. Fontaine has worked with bakers to increase production and decrease manual labor to simplify processes. He's also helped bakers install equipment to improve ergonomics for employees, and he's showed them how to manage the current
skilled labor gap in the industry.
All the things Mr. Fontaine does as a liaison between bakers and
Reiser's engineering and sales department stems from his curiosity
and desire to educate the industry.
Mr. Fontaine began working in wholesale baking in 1983 at the
age of 16. He volunteered to work a doughboy stand at a church festival one summer for a local bakery, now Calise Bakery, Lincoln, RI.
This led to a job at the bakery itself while he completed high school
and continued through college while he pursued his business degree.
These formative years of hands-on work with Italian and Portuguese
bakers helped shape Mr. Fontaine's future career. At the same time,
Mike Calise, the company's president, wanted him to learn everything from proper plant sanitation to maintenance to production to
packaging and sales. Eventually, the bakery offered Mr. Fontaine a job
as production manager, with the caveat that he study the science of
baking at American Institute of Baking (AIB), located at the time in
Manhattan, Kan.
"So, I signed a five-year contract with them and off to AIB I went,"
he said. "As I look back, it was one of the best decisions I made to further my career in baking."
After Calise, Mr. Fontaine went on to work in managerial roles


http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - October 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - October 2020

Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 1
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 2
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 3
Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 4
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