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Gallo Winery Essay

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E&J Gallo Winery Plant Tour paper

The Gallo Winery plant tour was an awesome experience for me. I have always been curious about how a product was made from start to finish, and after the Gallo tour I have many questions answered. In this paper you will learn many different things about how a production plant runs and what they continually do to make improvements in all aspects of their business. Some focal points of this paper will be on the Gallo Winery operational strategy, what type of processes are utilized in the plant, and whether this company uses a lean production process or not. So how big of a company do you think E & J Gallo Winery is in the wine business? Well let me give you some background information about Gallo Winery before we get into the core of their operations. E & J Gallo Winery is a name that originated from the east coast. The company started in 1933, as a small winery on 11th st in Modesto, California. Now in 2013, the company is the largest winery company in the world. With a wide variety of products such as Boones Farms, tequila imported from Mexico, rum, brandy, sangria, and chardonnay.

There biggest selling product in the world is currently Barefoot. They distribute to ninety countries world –wide, mostly shipping out of the Oakland port but do also work out of the New Jersey Port. Gallo has a company goal to launch three to five new products a month, and to double their business every ten years. The company employs 5000 people, which 3600 of them are located at the Modesto Gallo Winery plant. Of these Gallo employees sixteen percent work in bottling and cellar which is one of the most important departments in the company. Some important things that bottling and cellar employees do are they execute the plans to produce the products safely and efficiently by receiving, processing, blending, and bottling high quality products as scheduled in order to meet the customers demand. This department also works to improve the company’s capability to execute better each day, while working to achieve safety, quality of service, and cost objectives. The group must be flexible and able to adapt to meet changing business requirements in order to still achieve their work goals. Gallo runs fifteen lines of production, where each line is unique using having different technology and capabilities. The bottling floors are run twenty four hours a day, split up in three different eight hour shifts. The staff on the bottling floor consist of three different levels of employees.

The top level employees are the area managers that manage all the workers and bottling operations throughout their shift. Then you have the team leaders which are given three or four lines to oversee and make sure they operate properly, also you have the operators which run the machines. Gallo has a couple policies that they take very serious one is there safety policy, which includes wearing the proper clothing as well as hair nets, beard nets, and safety glasses. Also part of the safety policy hands must always be washed and you can’t have any gum, food, or beverages on the bottling floor. Another policy that Gallo takes very serious is the 0% defect policy; the company holds themselves to a high standard of business. Gallo Winery has some core processes that they use to run their businesses regularly. It starts with Depalletization which automatically removes bottles from the pallets they are received on. A relatively new process that has just been started is Bulk Glass which removes the bottles and feeds them into a conveyer. This process takes two operators one on each side to stand there and remove the bulk glass.

Next there are two methods used for feeding the glass to the filler, one is mass accumulation where multiple glasses are fed through at one time and the other is called single fire which is the safest route to handle the bottles, because only one bottle is being processed at a time. The next step in the process is called the rinser, where the bottles are then inverted and rinsed to wash away contaminants most importantly any excess pieces of glass. Then the bottles are moved to the eight different types of fillers that Gallo uses, the fill height is either adjustable or depends on the pressure of the wine in the surge tank. Once the bottles are filled with the selected product, they are then fed from a hopper upstairs in FW to be corked or capped. After being closed and completely sealed, the products is transformed to the Labeller machine which either uses cold glue or pressure labels. The labels are either spliced or continuous, with the front label pressured on and the back label is put on with cold glue. Once all other steps are completed the final process that Gallo uses is the packing step which all bottles are placed into the box, and the box is glued and closed mechanically. Some lines use a Palletizer machine which is a device that is used to stack factory goods and products on to a pallet.

To make sure everything runs smoothly and on time Gallo has a good support system to help them continually moving forward. It starts with the Production Engineer that has the task of making sure everything is running sufficiently. There is a section called Training and Technology Integration, which manages the staffing and skills development of all operational employees. Then Tech Service communicates with all x-functional partners of the company to smoothly implement blend and production. Maintenance is scheduled at regular times every day to ensure the machines are running properly and on schedule to produce the quality the company is looking for. When wondering if Gallo Winery uses a lean system this should tell you it all, the company had a bad error rate in 2012 with a waste of about eight million dollars. The company looks about three months ahead when producing there products. To try and improve their lean a bit, the company has a team of about twenty people that their job is just to try different projects and such just to help cut waste as much as possible. Other things the company does to try and help improve their lean is they buy data from major retail stores that have store cards people sign up for to save money, such as Safeway cards. Also they have started an inventory control program with state run liquor states such as Pennsylvania, which have partnered with Gallo to feed information back into the Winery system to let them know how much product of theirs has been sold.

The reason for this is Gallo can see which of their products the customers are purchasing more frequently. When considering the raw materials they are stored in base wine tanks of all sizes in Wineries owned by Gallo in Fresno and Livingston, California. They are run through a MES operating system which runs about twenty analytics to get things such as alcohol and sugar levels. Once correct the whiner will then sign off and say they are ready to go. When materials are being shipped if they go east of Colorado they are transported by train, but if they are going west of Colorado they are shipped by truck. In reality it only takes about sixteen days to make one work order of whine, but it takes anywhere from ninety eight to two hundred days per wine to hit the shelf. To keep up with everything from the raw materials to the finished product and how much the company will make they use Value Stream Maps. This chart breaks down the operation step by step and helps them look for any insufficiencies. Gallo Winery does different things to help prevent issues and when they have issues to address them. One the most common solutions is employees collaborate together and work towards a solution by using a fishbone diagram which helps them get to the cause and effects of the issue. To fill in the diagram the team uses the five why technic to make sure they address all aspects of the issue.

They also have hour by hour performance sheets, which chart if they produced the goal that was set for production that hour. If they did fulfill the requirements then they will fill in the box green, but if they didn’t they will fill in red and explain reason why they got behind. Once they go in the red for being behind they must use the action item sheet to explain how they resolved the issue and rather the issue was fully resolved or did they just duck tape it for the time being. The line is then tested to make sure it will run the bottle specifications, and the set up sheet is used to get any needed tweaking done. They also run “OE” reports to determine how well the machines are running, like I have been emphasizing quality of Gallo products are at the top of the list of the companies most important traits. Gallo Winery goes by the Kaizen philosophy, which is a system that is based on making positive changes on a regular basis, as to improve productivity. When there is a mistake with their product, such as the shipment that was defective that went to Japan the company takes this as a very serious problem and go great lengths to correct the problem. In the case of the bad shipment to Japan, Gallo made up a team of about seven employees that have been with the company from anywhere a year to thirty years.

This group set out to accomplish three goals: identify causes for the defect, identify countermeasure, and identify an action plan. When identifying the defects they looked for push, tear, flagging, and missing pieces. The countermeasures were the issues B&E (benefit and issues), which each person in the group were able to vote for the last effort. Then the action plan was put into effect first they modified the soft-handling conveyance system to reduce back pressure on bottles. The conveyance rails were then modified to how the team needed them to work. Dials were then fixed and set up to allow operator to adjust the glue to release proper settings. One of the biggest problems with the settings were each line had four or five profiles made up to run that line, instead of just one standard one that everybody uses. The team then used a Pose-Yoke Iney, which is a system used to check for any missing labels.

They discovered that the fault issue for the Japan shipment was with the blowers, which blows condensation off of the bottles. The finally process in the action plan was developing standard work for the splicing. When the team was finished with all of its analysis and corrections they then ran two different test on the products to make sure they fixed the problem they had at hand. The first test was forty five cases grabbed every ten minutes, the test showed no major defects just minor ones, with a 1.5% defective rate. When the second test was ran it was with seventy five cases this time grabbed every ten minutes also. This test showed no critical defects, five minor, one major, and had a defective rate of .0071. The test showed that the team had a successful operation in fixing the problem that happened with the batch sent to Japan. Rather how many products were defective in the whole shipment to Japan, they still were able to keep all the messed up shipment, and were completely reimbursed by Gallo. Once all the corrections were made and the Japan Company was reimbursed, Gallo actually flew representatives out from the company to sit down with in person and explain exactly what happened to the bad shipment. The leader of the group that headed the operation to figure out what went wrong with the system said, “Gallo wanted to correct this problem for all customers, not just for the one bad shipment to Japan.” Safety and Employee recognition/rewards are a very important part of Gallo Winery as well.

To ensure the safety of their employees everything must be in place at all times. As well as there is a big Safety Board up in the middle of the plant that tracks how many days between any safety incident, employees are rewarded with lunch and other incentives for going so long without any safety problems. Recognizing each individual’s contributions for Gallo is said to be a very important part of their tradition. It can be something as little as a group celebration, to something as big as the individual being asked to work on a special project. An established program at Gallo is called All the Best, which recognizes employees who have gone above in beyond for the company, and which hard work has resulted in a meaningful impact on the company’s business. Awards for this program come in prizes and money bonuses that are rated at five different levels depending on the level of achievement for the individual. The Varietal award and the Estate awards are the biggest achievements for an individual. These awards can have up to $1000 bonus for achieving this high of success. Gallo winery started from a small winery in Modesto, and has grown into the leading supplier of wine in the world. In this essay you have learned the same things I have learned about the operational strategies, the process used to make their business go, and the fact that Gallo Winery is not a lean production company. Also in this essay you have learned the methods used to receive, store, process, and ship raw materials needed to produce the Gallo products.

You have also been informed with a good example on how Gallo goes about fixing a problem with a bad batch of product. It is a long and detailed process, but it showed how high expectations and the quality that Gallo holds their standards and expectations to. My overall experience on the Gallo plant trip was a very pleasant and positive one. Every person that we talked to was very nice and really wanted to make our experience as pleasant as possible. The gentleman explained some of the career opportunities available with Gallo and I would have to say I gained interest on a possible future position to go for. All my curiosities about how a manufacturing plant is operated and run were successfully answered. I feel Gallo is a very good company with a great worth ethic, that has exceptionally high goals to make their company double every ten years.