any category there are a halfdozen to a dozen players, he says, “and we want to continue to differentiate ourselves from the ‘allothers’ and get closer to the big guys, so that we have a real opportunity to play the market. Generally, the majority of companies go out and conquer retail, then fi ll in the gaps with everything else, whereas we see that retail’s a great market, but it’s expensive, with thin margins, so if we can do some fl anking by developing our other categories and create awareness for our brand, and demand for our product, then we can continue to methodically grow our retail alongside. “And so,” he continues, “whereas fi ve years ago I said, in so-many years here’s where we want to be, continually out-pacing the market, growing our share as a percentage of everybody else, and delivering innovation in a way that differentiates us from the rest of the players—today, based in the central US, we literally have a distance to go to get that done.” Distribution is not a problem. They use several third party haulers that have “stepped up to the plate” to partner with them and put equipment in place to handle ice cream, which takes different equipment than freezing— so delivery operates as a well oiled machine. The St. George facility has an excellent transportation infrastructure to minimize delivery costs to west coast regions. “But what drives this to the next level,” he says, “is the fact that we’re all getting squeezed for margins; the level of competition is stiffer. There was a time that quality was a defining point of difference, which was great because you could margin up a bit, but quality’s pretty much a cost of entry now. And there’s pressure in the marketplace—you can only price so far, which means you have to work internally to get your costs down. The challenge is to couple better forecasting with getting leaner in operations. Years ago if your forecasting wasn’t very accurate, you covered November 07 Businessexcellence 45 WellsDairy As long time providers of consistently high quality aseptic fruits/fl avors, Fruitcrown has a special relationship with Wells Dairy, fostered through our exclusive association with our technical sales partners, Brotech. The combination of Fruitcrown’s outstanding products/service and economics, together with Brotech’s unique cultured dairy product know-how and technical expertise is unbeatable, providing the best value available in the industry to Wells. Fruitcrown Products Corp.