Client-Centric Company Hopes To Service Industry With Full-Line Solutions
Deville Technologies has been serving the world’s dairy industry out of it’s headquarters in Montreal since the 1970’s.
Today, driven by tremendous sales growth of high capacity shredders and turnkey solutions, as well as the ongoing strategy of being closer to its customers, Deville recently opened operations in Kenosha, WI.
“We have experienced some great growth over the past five to six years,” said David Penta, president of Deville. “In the spirit of being real partners to the industry, we felt an operation that mirrors our facility in Canada, was the best way to serve our clients and the best way to step up our game even further.”
“We are a very client-centric company,” Penta said. “Being located in the Midwest is important because cheese is a very important part of our business.”
From a current strategy stand-point, Penta said Wisconsin is the best new location for the company and for its clients.
“That is the main reason we chose the location in Kenosha and expand and open offices in Wisconsin and the US,” Penta said.
Deville enters all segments of the food industry, but the company was born out of the cheese industry, Penta said.
“Our knowledge and expertise of cheese is very elaborate,” Penta said.
Deville got its start in the 1970s when Angelo Penta started a manufacturing fabrication shop for the food and beverage industry where he got started making milk silos, cheese vats and other dairy equipment.
The company started getting into the cutting and size reduction of food back in the 1980s.
“Cheese is and will continue to be the flagship for us and a very important vertical.” Penta said. “We do excel in the cheese indus- try and we provide full solutions in that area.”
Expansion to the US was sim- ply a natural phase for the business and for continued growth.
“Even though we were selling a lot in the US already, we just felt that, getting closer to our clients, being able to provide accessibility to our facilities and our labs there, it’s part of that client-centric, cli- ent service and client partnership that we have,” Penta said.
The Kenosha operation is strategically located for both the US market as well as international market, Penta said. Kenosha is located within an hour from Milwaukee’s Mitchell Field airport and Chicago’s O’Hare airport.
“People from all over the world are using our equipment and more and more are streamlining that equipment,” Penta said. “They want to be able to have local representation. And that is essentially what we are doing here.”
The Deville Kenosha office will provide manufacturing, engineering, sales and distribution services.
“We need to invest in the market just like the market is investing in us,” Penta said. “I think from a corporate responsibility stand-point, everyone wins. It will create jobs in the US. The more jobs you create, the more they will be able to buy food and that ultimately trickles back to us. Everyone gains in that system.”
The Wisconsin operation will also house a client center or test laboratory where clients can run trials on the equipment, perform test cuts or train employees.
“It’s really for our clients,” Penta continued. “When we did our first expansion in Canada, we made sure the lab was part of that expansion.”
Terry Baggott, operations manager at Deville, said the center is busy on a daily basis and offers clients virtual demos of the equipment.
“We can take our customer’s product and run it through our equipment while they are in the comfort of their own office,” Baggott said.
Penta said the client center also affords customers the opportunity to do test runs without stopping production in their cheese operations.
“It allows our customers to run certain cuts without stopping production in their own facilities,” Penta said. “It costs a lot of money to stop production, changeover, and run trials.”
Fewer Systems Provide More Hygiene
Penta said it is very important, given the nature of the end-user, for Deville to be innovative.
“Our clients are at the mercy of the end-user where price is very, very important,” Penta said. “The only real way we can help them be profitable is to put in a solution, an innovative solution that helps them cut costs.”
He said it is important for OEMs like his company to add value without increasing the price.
“We take a very focused and serious role in investing in our engineering department and investing in innovations that keep us and our clients ahead as we anticipate the future,” Penta said.
The growth market of prepared foods has really been exponential over the past 20 year, Penta continued.
“We hear from our customers that consumers want more and more prepared foods. I also think health and food safety are big concerns to the consumer.”
That is where Penta believes Deville really stands out.
“Our equipment is designed with hygiene in mind,” he said. “If you are a supplier with multiple lines, you are more exposed to contamination. So the least amount of equipment you run, the better off you are from a hygienic standpoint. Less surface areas, less equipment to clean, less chance of contamination.”
Baggott said management has always taken the service aspect seriously.
“Our goal is obviously to reduce the amount of equipment needed in the production line. Our lines are designed to try and touch that cheese product the least amount of times as possible.”
Penta said all of Deville’s shredders and other size reduction equipment are engineered with the hygienic approach in mind.
“The equipment is scrutinized from the way it is cleanable, operations, maintenance and design,” he said. “It’s important to look at all of those angles when you’re designing those machines.”
“Management here always focuses on the quality and safety of the equipment. From a per- formance standpoint, we look at hygiene, cut quality, product handling. Therefore we are better able to deliver those complete turnkey solutions at the highest quality and with a very good ROI.”
The evolution from cheese shredders and dicers to complete systems came from the suggestion of Deville’s customers, Penta said.
Today, Deville provides complete systems from the cubing or shredding of the cheese, to conveyors, tumble drums and powder applicators.
“We were asked to provide the complete system, but we have pretty high standards. If you can’t find others who meet your pickiness, you do it yourself.”
Penta said the company really understands cheese, from the actual production of it to the cutting aspect.
“We’re really offering the cli- ent a true expert solution. If you only offer cutting machines and not the ancillary equipment, then you might not be obtaining the cut quality you are looking for, or the capacity you are looking for. You want to make sure the whole system, especially in cheese, is designed and conceived as a sys- tem. As opposed to independent units that are a hodgepodge put together.”
Penta said it’s really done with a holistic approach in mind.
“At the end of the day, you’re system is only as good as your weakest link.”