ESCO Corporation prides itself on being a global company that still has the ability to meet regional and local needs. “We’re very focused on meeting customer expectations,” says Jon Owens, COO of the Portland, Ore.-headquartered company. “All of our divisions try to be as close to the market and as close to our customers as possible so we can have the best information about the demand for our products going forward and make adjustments as necessary to align with that demand.” 

The company operates 80 locations on six continents, including 25 manufacturing sites. The manufacturing sites supply both large distribution centers as well as smaller sites known as ESCO supply & service locations. These locations are strategically located near large customers or in parts of the world where ESCO’s products are in high demand, and offer service and products specific to the needs of those customers and regions.

A diversified holding corporation, Cogeco Inc. (Cogeco) is a leading telecommunications and media company in Canada. Based in Montreal, Cogeco provides residential and business customers with television, Internet and telephone services through its two-way broadband fiber networks. It also provides business customers with information technology services, and it operates 13 radio stations across Québec and an out-of-home advertising business specializing in the public transit market.

“We provide customers with flexibility and extensive product offerings, and we are a very community-minded and customer service-focused organization,” Chief Procurement Officer Erin Geldard says.

Despite being a global company specializing in infrastructure for the energy, power generation, aerospace and defense industries worldwide, CIRCOR International did not begin efforts to unify its international supply chain until late 2013. That was when the new President and CEO Scott Buckhout joined CIRCOR International and hired Sumit Mehrotra as vice president of the company’s global supply chain. 

“The story here is that this company has been a public company for 16 years now, but it was running until about 2013 more like a holding company,” Mehrotra relates. CIRCOR International has facilities strategically located around the world and sells its products through more than 950 distributors to approximately 7,000 customers in 100-plus countries.

Calfrac Well Services understands the stakes in today’s unconventional oil and natural gas marketplace. Wells are expensive, commodity prices can be volatile and service efficiency is critical. As a result, industry participants must minimize risks and maximize results, gaining the highest possible well productivity.

Calfrac Well Services shares those goals, describing itself as a customer-centric organization. Everything the company does is driven by a commitment to help customers succeed, the company says.

Calfrac Well Services understands far more than just pressure-pumping equipment, the company says. Instead, it has a deep understanding of oil and natural gas reservoirs, including the complex shale and tight sand/siltstone intervals currently being pursued. Additionally, the company continually works to develop the right fracturing programs, integrated with evolving in-house chemistries, to deliver the optimum well-completion results on which its clients rely, the company says.

Whether it is in the United States or overseas, Ardisam Inc. maintains control by doing all of its product designs in house, Director of Import Compliance and Transportation Sandra Roberts says. “This is one of the many things that really sets us apart from other companies,” she says. “It’s not just off the shelf from China, with us.”

Based in Cumberland, Wis., Ardisam Inc. designs and manufactures outdoor products, including lawn and garden, hunting, fishing, ATV, apparel and heating items. The company started its operations as a fabrication shop in a small garage in 1960 by Dick Ruppel and two other gentlemen from Cumberland, she says.

Dick Ruppel ultimately took over the company, which initially manufactured products such as its ice auger. This product was the starting point for Ardisam’s Eskimo Ice Fishing line, which “is now rated as one of the highest brands out there in the ice fishing market,” Roberts says.

The supply chain at Ardent Mills continues to strengthen the company’s capabilities after it was formed nearly one year ago from a joint venture between ConAgra Foods, Cargill and CHS Inc. To drive simplicity and better transparency, the company is transitioning to one common ERP system that it expects to have fully operational by next spring. 

“The legacy companies that formed Ardent Mills were strong competitors right up until May 29 of last year,” Vice President of Supply Chain Jeff Zyskowski says. “We have formed a joint venture and are working through all those things that go with starting up a brand-new company.”

Ardent Mills offers a broad range of flours, mixes, blends and specialty products with a coast-to-coast network of 43 community mills, three bakery-mix centers and a specialty bakery. Headquartered in Denver, the company operates as an independent joint venture of its three parent companies: Omaha, Neb.-based ConAgra Foods; Minneapolis, Minn.-based Cargill; and St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS. Ardent Mills’ mission is to maximize the combined capabilities and experience of its parent companies to bring innovative flour and grain products, services and solutions to the marketplace. 

Accucaps Industries Limited got its start 25 years ago producing two very different products: paint balls and bath beads. Today, the Windsor-based company manufacturers a wide range of soft gelatin capsule products for the pharmaceutical industry and the consumer marketplace.

The company’s over-the-counter (OTC) products include nutritional supplements, vitamins, cough and cold medications, allergy capsules, female hormonal products, prenatal vitamins, analgesics, pain medications and skincare products. Both the pharmaceuticals and OTC products are produced at Accucaps Industries’ facilities in Windsor and Strathroy, Ontario. 

After more than 150 years, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) can boast of strong brand equity in its market. “We are a very well known grocer,” Vice President of Strategic Sourcing Jeffrey Ball says. “There’s a cherished value that’s associated with the [A&P] name and grocery shopping.”

Based in Montvale, N.J., the company operates more than 300 stores under the A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s, Super Fresh, The Food Emporium, Food Basics, Best Cellars and A&P Wine & Spirits banners. Ball notes that A&P’s history goes back to 1859, when tea and spice merchants George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman started it as The Great American Tea Co., a mail order business.

By 1881, A&P had become the first grocery chain with 100 stores. “It was Walmart before there was even a Walmart,” Ball says, noting that A&P is now a $6 billion company with a staff of 30,000. “A lot of people recognize [our] legacy.”

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