Dan Consiglio, production manager at AdvancePierre Foods, discusses how the company has driven success at the Caseyville, Ill. plant by improving the ratio of fulltime workers to temporary ones, reducing waste and creating a lean culture.

Andy Hanacek: Dan, thanks for joining me and taking a couple minutes to answer some questions about the corporate culture, the plant culture here at the Caseyville, Ill. plant. Thanks for having me out to tour as well. I appreciate it. You guys have had some real good success in the last year. Talk about some of the initiatives that have driven that success and reinvented the culture here.

Dan Consiglio: Like you mentioned, we’ve changed tremendously in the last year or so. I’ve been able to see some major transition and [see] what’s going on in Caseyville. We’ve rolled out a Get Well Program for waste efficiency, labor and lean. This is a program that gives us some direction and shows us which goals to strive for. We had a lot of opportunity at the Caseyville plant, and we’ve been able to turn things around. We’ve been able to reduce our waste and improve out efficiencies. We’ve made a movement in the labor pool. We’ve gone from an 80 percent temp environment to 20 percent full time ratio to roughly a 50/50 [ratio] year to date right now, which improves our workforce and gets a steady individual working here. The last one was lean, being able to create a lean culture here. That kind of stuff does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication from the management team to create that type of culture here.

Hanacek: I would imagine the labor situation—improving the amount of fulltime workers you have—helps along with the culture. Theoretically, a fulltime worker is going to be a little more invested in doing a better job. It doesn’t mean non-fulltime workers are that way, but talk a little bit about how that transition has been for the plant workers themselves out on the floor to know that they have a little more invested in the job. The APF [AdvancePierre Foods] Way if you will comes into play there to keep them on task and on these goals.

Consiglio: When you are an AdvancePierre employee, there are tremendous benefits that come with it. We strive to have everyone hired on fulltime here. It gets them invested. It shows that we want to invest in them as well by training them in multiple positions, posting jobs for job opportunities for increased pay and increased skill set and that helps with the culture absolutely. You’re getting an individual that shows up to work every day and wants to do a good job. We want to pick the cream of the crop.

Hanacek: Talk a little bit about the labor market here in Caseyville and the region. Has it been a challenge to get those fulltime folks? Has it been easier? What is the market like for the type of worker you are looking for and especially the ones you want to invest in yourself and train to be better workers?

Consiglio: In the Caseyville area here, we’ve had to cast a wide net to get the individuals we are looking for here. We have intense competition from other industries in the area. They are willing to pay seasonally, and we’re trying to give them fulltime positions all year round with benefits and competitive compensation and to give them a steady place to work every day, not just in the temporary or seasonal positions.

Read how AdvancePierre Foods’ initial public offering (IPO) in July 2016 was a success for the company.

Read how APF has put the former Landshire Caseyville, Ill., plant on a stable track.