Perry's Ice Cream has been a family-owned ice cream maker in the Buffalo, NY Metro area for over 100 years. They were operating on a traditional schedule of 8 hour days, Monday-Friday, but growing demand for their product was forcing the need for more production hours. The company was utilizing voluntary and forced overtime operations on Saturdays to meet seasonal demand for their product, leading to employee fatigue and frustration from working that 6th day. Perry's management team asked Coleman Consulting Group to design schedules that could meet increased demand and still protect their employees' need for work life balance.
Perry's Ice Cream
INDUSTRY: producing ice cream and novelties since 1918
EMPLOYEES: approx. 320 employees
REVENUES: approx. $112 million annually
PRODUCTION: over 13 million gallons per year
HEADQUARTERS: Akron, NY
The goal of this project was to offer a schedule solution that meets growing demand while providing the employees with predictable time off. The new schedule will allow for increased production, will improve retention of trained and established workers, and should attract new employees by making Perry's the premiere employer of choice in the area. The Coleman team set out to implement a solution that
provides opportunities for increased capacity of high-quality ice cream and novelties, production lines
that can handle seasonal fluctuations in demand, and schedules that improve safety and morale for
shift workers. Coleman Consulting Group needed to help build trust between the union and the
production team to achieve training goals and to reconfigure production lines and schedules.
As the neutral advisors, Coleman Consulting Group was able to keep the Union at the table for all
relevant discussions, resulting in a winning solution for both sides. Changing sanitation cycles,
cross-training, qualified employees to run more than 1 line, and understanding this workforce's desire
for predictable time off allowed CCG to create a new schedule during unprecedented
Covid-19 protocols. A potential increase of $1,534,000 in capacity is predicted from running 1 line 24/7, reducing forced overtime labor costs and empowering employees with a better skill set.
"Our team members who have changed schedules have no interest in going back,
and the ones who are awaiting changes are eager to make the change."
Josh Siemens, HR & Labor Relations Manager
Over 45% of Perry's employees agreed that "A better work schedule would improve my chances of staying at Perry's", as compared to a national average of 30%. Another important issue to address was that over 60% of Perry's shift workers responded that they were working more overtime than they would like. Employees responded positively to opportunities for cross-training and were in favor of 12-hour shifts with the benefit of additional and predictable days off.
"The Coleman Group was great to work with. They did a great job clarifying our needs
as an organization, the desires of our team members, and how to improve health & safety
from a scheduling perspective. They helped us work through the process of negotiating fair pay
and work coverage policies for a win-win situation with the Union."
Josh Siemens, HR & Labor Relations Manager at Perry's Ice Cream