Stampede Meat, Inc.’s newest facility in Sunland Park, New Mexico is weeks away from opening for production. This expansion is driven by the company’s dynamic group of customers and their need for additional capacity and capabilities from their partnership with Stampede Meat. Stampede Meat operates as an extension of their customers’ strategy, and as their customers continue to grow and have success, so has Stampede’s commitment to proactively seek innovative and cost-efficient supply solutions to fully address their needs. As Stampede readies for the imminent startup of the facility we must stop and reflect on just how far we have come from where we began with this project just four short months ago.
On July 13th, 2018 Stampede Meat announced its plan for expansion outside of the Chicago-land area for the first time in 24 years. “It is a $36 million-dollar investment and an expansion to create immediate growth,” Stampede Meat President & CEO Brock Furlong said at the groundbreaking ceremony held in July.
With the company’s core values in mind, Stampede team members hit the ground running and developed a project plan to Embrace Innovation and Improve Daily. “While we had every confidence in our plan we knew from the start that it would take a Herculean focus on all 5 of our core values to pull off an opening in only 4.5 months,” Furlong said.
Current expansion efforts are just the first of three phases to occur at the facility with Phase 2 starting soon after the plant begins production. Phase 1 included a full renovation of the production plant, including a new roof, walls, and flooring. Additional updates were made to other employee and visitor areas. Once all three phases are complete Stampede will have doubled their production capacity. Stampede Meat Director of Operations at the Sunland Park facility, Victor Granados said “With the new facility it’s a WIN-WIN situation. For Stampede Meat it removes factors limiting growth, and for Sunland Park it increases economic development opportunities for the entire community.”
There’s a lot that goes into expanding a facility 1,500 miles away from the corporate office in Bridgeview, Illinois and distance did not stop Stampede Meat COO, Jim Scott and Facilities Engineer, Lee Koepke from leading the expansion. “Before the installation of new walls and ceilings, we needed to ensure the floors were properly paved throughout the facility and the final top coat application occurred just last week. Production equipment began arriving this week and that’s making us smile from ear to ear. It’s an exciting time,” Lee Koepke said.
Each functional department played a critical role in this first phase. As the construction crews continued renovating the facility, thousands of employment applications began pouring in during various hiring events held by the Stampede Meat HR Department throughout the community of Sunland Park, New Mexico. Selecting innovative machinery for production to envisioning HACCP plans were amongst the many tasks at hand for Stampede Team members, collaboratively working towards the common expansion goal. Koepke said, “We have been waiting a long time to bring our true potential to fruition. This facility gives Stampede the ability to make the unimaginable, imaginable.”
In anticipation of the grand opening, Stampede’s bi-annual Sales Team meeting will be held at the new Sunland Park facility the first week of November. This will allow Stampede Meat Sales Representatives to familiarize themselves with the production floor plan as well as new capabilities coming in Phases 2 & 3. “We have been pleasantly surprised by the strong and immediate interest from both current and new customers. Our entire team can’t wait to welcome them into our new home in Sunland Park, New Mexico and show them some exciting new cook capabilities!” Furlong said.