Before getting into the story that gives us the name of this post, it is important to share a big announcement. The Bacon Jams will be appearing on QVC on Monday, October 13th at 5pm Eastern. QVC is the largest multi-channel retailer in the country and they are always looking for new and exciting products to bring to their audience. When QVC tasted The Bacon Jams, they immediately wanted Mike to come into the studio and make a whole bunch of delicacies to share with their audience. So, please watch for us on QVC on October 13th!
The logistics to get a product into a large vendor like QVC are quite daunting, and it provides a substantial challenge for a small company like The Bacon Jams. The offering on QVC will consist of a 3 pack of Bacon Jam with our beautiful, new recipe booklet. So, not only did we have to design, layout and produce a recipe booklet, but we had to design special boxes, and put them all together. It may not seem obvious at first, but for us to do a variety 3 pack requires taking large amounts of each flavor and then building the 3 pack boxes, and putting one of each in with a booklet and then closing the package. It is a daunting task for a small company like ours to handle. This is where SUNCOM comes into play. I think their website says it best.
“SUNCOM Industries is a nonprofit, human services agency, which helps people with developmental and physical disabilities improve the quality of their lives.”
We heard about SUNCOM from some friends and contacted them about helping The Bacon Jams package thousands of units of product in preparation for our QVC debut. After shipping thousands of jars of The Bacon Jams, boxes, and recipe books to SUNCOM for assembly, I showed up on the appointed day to make sure all went as planned. I must say I was totally unsure of what to expect going into the day, but I felt ready for anything. After all, The Bacon Jams was building our largest order ever to deliver to a premier retail channel.
“SUNCOM workers deliver a quality job on time, and at a competitive price.” - SUNCOM website
SUNCOM is a very large facility with separate project areas set up and workstations for all staff members. What I rapidly discovered is unique about production at SUNCOM is that the work is divided into component tasks since an assembly line is not possible. Each worker goes at their own speed which can vary widely, hence an assembly line process is not feasible. So, workers were set up in areas to assemble boxes, cut bubble wrap segments to size, assemble complete packages, and seal packages. The area where they handle The Bacon Jams project had about 20 workstations and each worker was ready to go as we confirmed the final process and began production. Some were quite fast, and others took their time to get comfortable, but a pace was quickly established. Counselors assisted workers as needed and checked all work as it progressed to record the productivity of each production worker so they can be paid for their work. It was a very simple, clean, and practical environment without any frills or fancy extras. Check out the video if you would like to see the environment.
After getting started and into the groove, the SUNCOM production force began to ask questions about The Bacon Jams. They wanted to know what it is, where it is sold, how we invented such a tasty treat, and most important of all, the name of our mascot. The joy they showed upon learning that the name of the our pig mascot was James was infectious. Sometimes simple joy can provide a stark reminder that there is much to be happy about in life overall. When the SUNCOM staff learned the product they were working on was going to be on TV, they were thrilled to be working on something so glamorous.
One of the best parts of the day for someone like me, who has been caught up in the daily pressure of planning for a big project like this, was when members of the SUNCOM staff approached me and genuinely thanked me for bringing such exciting work to them. The joy they expressed when completing the job made my day an uplifting one. We made sure everyone who worked on the project was offered a jar of The Bacon Jams to take home & next time we produced there, Mike has promised to make a Bacon Jams themed lunch.