The Heinz plant in Massillon, Ohio, produces Smart Ones frozen meals. The building proudly embodies its rich history, having been used for everything from a local frozen pizza production facility to being the home of Weight Watchers in the late 90s.
The onboarding process at Massillon enabled us to shadow staff members from various departments throughout the factory. The experience allowed us to garner an understanding of how the different functions of the plant integrate cohesively. We spent time learning how wheat flour was tracked by the material planners, how allergens were stored by the warehousing department, how the quality department ensured the factory complied to USDA standards, and about production costs.
The facility runs a variety of products that require their own production techniques and methodologies. The daily changes in production allow the staff to continuously engage in optimization opportunities.
However, while the food produced here is mostly frozen, the people are always heartwarming.