Panelists discuss rebuilding the state’s manufacturing supply chain

By Christi Milligan

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A panel of experts from some of Delaware’s top manufacturing companies offered real-life experience to show  how the state can rebuild it’s manufacturing supply chain.

The discussion was part of the 2016 Spring Legislative Brunch and Manufacturing Conference on Tuesday, sponsored by the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and Delaware Technical Community College along with presenting sponsor, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Included in the panel was Kraft Heinz Plant Manger Justin Cressler, who shared how the company was able to purchase the manufacturing line for Kool-Aid, which was operating in Mexico, after three other successive attempts had failed.Thanks to an $11 million investment to address conversion rates, packaging, transportation, and business interruption, the company was able to move the operation to its Delaware site, and introduce three new pieces of technology.

“We have a reputation to for solving difficult challenges,” said Cressler, who offered tips for rebuilding Delaware’s supply chain: know what you’re going after; socialize your  strategic plan; leverage partnerships; and be ready to pounce on the right opportunity.

The panel also included Buff Bruno, operations director, Edgewell Personal Care, LLC.,  Dipok Mia, engineering and maintenance manager, FMC BioPolymer and Barry Sharpe, vice president of manufacturing, Bloom Energy.

The conference recognizes the important contributions that manufacturers make to Delaware’s economy, and provides business leaders the chance to network with legislators and state officials.

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