Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 18

JAMES SKINNER BAKING CO.
The bakery has engaged with some local programs to
help provide a conduit for new employees. One provides
culinary training for Omaha youth, and another is an upgrade
to an area technical school that will provide training
in automation, something Skinner Baking has identified as
a critical need.
" We had to increase our bench strength when it came to
this area, " Mr. Keaton said. " I sit on a couple of boards that are
local universities. We didn't have a curriculum for robotics. "
The Fremont, Neb., Public Schools passed a $123 million
bond issue facilitating automation and robotics training in
the school's Career & Technical Education Center. Skinner
Baking will provide a jobs partnership.
" We knew we had a need, and we're real excited about
this opportunity, " Mr. Keaton said.
Pandemic loss prompted
bakery to be proactive
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
hit James Skinner Baking Co. hard
before most businesses either shut
down or implemented big changes
in March 2020. One of the bakery's
longtime employees was hospitalized
and died after contracting COVID
on vacation earlier that year, which
prompted swift proactive changes.
The company created pod
programs in which workers were
divided into groups, worked together
and isolated from the rest of the
facility. They had color-coded T-shirts,
which made it easy to keep track of
the groups. The bakery put up glass
curtains in the lunchrooms and
employed an outside service to clean
surfaces every couple of hours.
" They sanitized the line, went to
lunch and breaks together, " Tom
Lensing, vice president of operations,
said about the groups. " If someone
in that pod got COVID, we isolated
the rest of them from the line, so we
didn't take that entire line down. It
worked well. "
He said the pods policed each other
The case packer
automates the case
forming, erecting,
loading and closing
for strip coffee cake.
A key automation ally
Another important partnership has facilitated the need
for automation and robotics help at Skinner Baking, and
that's with Schubert North America, which installed
three pieces of equipment 18 months ago on the strip
Danish line: a depanner, packaging machine and a case
packer. It's a partnership Mr. Keaton intends to expand
into the foreseeable future.
" When they say turnkey, it's turnkey, " Mr. Keaton
said about Schubert. " It's like painting. Ninety percent
of painting is prepping. It's the boring parts. It's all the
meetings, all the time, all the talking, everything that
goes into it. Schubert puts that 90% in. "
Schubert is providing packaging equipment for a
18 Baking & Snack September 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
and kept infection numbers down.
Audie Keaton, president and chief
executive officer at Skinner Baking,
estimated that just a couple dozen
employees contracted COVID out of
more than 800.
Because the bakery dealt with
COVID early on, the company was
able to share its safety program
with other Omaha companies. After
an early escalation, the infections
dropped.
Also during the pandemic, the
company reduced SKUs to pick up
efficiencies and put out more cases.
For instance, the company had been
making 16 different flavors of coffee
cakes but discontinued three.
" We consolidated some of the slow
movers, " Mr. Keaton said.
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - September 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - September 2022

Baking & Snack - September 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 5
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 6
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 7
Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 8
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Baking & Snack - September 2022 - 20
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-september-2022
https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-august-2022
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-september-2021
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