Plant Tour: Miller Poultry
July 10, 2017
Miller Poultry offers 70 to 80 unique items that make up between 450 and 500 SKUs.
Scale and Service
While Miller Poultry doesn’t enjoy some of the powers and advantages that the biggest commercial players do, it doesn’t necessarily want them, or the things that often come with them. Being smaller affords the company certain perks that aren’t available to the largest producers as well. “One of the things we enjoy is that we’re a small niche player and people like to work with smaller producers of premium products,” Miller says. However, Miller Poultry is large enough to operate in a way conducive to its success.
“At this particular location, we’re running enough volume that it gives us enough economy of scale to go out and buy a lot of different equipment that we need and the facility we need to give those kinds of products to customers,” Miller says. “And to give them continuity of supply. So, we’re kind of in a nice spot in terms of size.”
That sweet spot remains important to the executive management at Miller Poultry, not only in terms of service to the customer, but also in the ability for staff throughout the entire company to communicate and make decisions with efficiency, and especially the trust that everyone at the company embraces so dearly. Too much growth, too soon, with more production and sales might necessitate another layer of management, Miller says. Which might eventually lead to more politics and friction.
“So it’s a balancing act between all those things,” Miller says. “Unique products, high quality, good service and yet a management and corporate structure that provides a good atmosphere.”
All that being said, it’s the service piece and team dedication from every Miller Poultry player top to bottom standing as the foundation that the business is built on.
“All that other stuff’s important and gives us a step or two up to get into the door, but to stay in the door you still have to have great customer service and a great product,” Miller says. “Because if either of those is bad, you’re going to lose the business.”
“We’re not trying to be the biggest, we’re just trying to be the best,” Diehl adds.