Chances are good that sometime today you ate or purchased food made by SugarCreek, a privately held, family-owned food company based in the farming heartland of America. With annual revenues of more than $650 million, SugarCreek is the largest privately held producer of bacon in the nation, and a manufacturer of specialty, snack, and other prepared foods. And if you’ve never heard the name, that’s because, as Edward Rodden, SugarCreek’s CIO, says, “SugarCreek is an exceptional company. You’ve never heard of us because we have no brands of our own. We partner with our customers to co-develop products that are worthy of the nation’s largest brands.”
High Tech in the Heartland
SugarCreek has built its sterling reputation for quality on some of the most sophisticated, advanced, and innovative systems in the food industry. In 2015, it opened what is quite possibly the world’s most technologically advanced food processing, cooking, and packing plant in Cambridge City, Indiana. It is also the largest manufacturing facility in the United States for sous vide, an increasingly popular water-based, slow cooking method that provides higher yields and nutritional content, better consistency, and superior quality when compared to traditional cooking methods.
SugarCreek uses advanced technology to drive its goal to be the premier producer of the highest quality raw and ready-to-eat foods. “From an IT person’s point-of-view,” says Todd Pugh, the company’s IT director, “we are on the leading edge.”
But, as Rodden explains, SugarCreek never uses technology for technology’s sake. “We focus on how the technology drives everyone toward the strategic goals of the company,” he says. The company is dedicated to providing its customers with food products they can be proud of.
“SugarCreek meets the demands of our customers by working with them,” says Dan Sileo, SugarCreek’s vice president of manufacturing. “We are a co-manufacturer, not a co-packer.”
Watch the video to learn more about how SugarCreek uses advanced technology to achieve its goals. Then continue reading to learn how SugarCreek is improving its “Brandworthy Food Solutions” with VMware NSXⓇ.
Improving Brandworthy Food Solutions With VMware NSX
As evidenced by the company’s motto, “Good Enough Is Not Enough,” SugarCreek is relentless in its commitment to the highest quality standard in everything it does. VMware is proud to help SugarCreek meet its high quality and production standards. “VMware has always been a significant part of our environment,” says Rodden. The company’s data center is already 99 percent virtualized on VMware, and now SugarCreek is reinforcing that partnership with a major investment in a software-defined data center (SDDC), and specifically NSX.
“We live in a dangerous world today,” says Rodden, “and from a security standpoint, we have to be concerned, not only with our data, but with our customers’ data as well. NSX with micro-segmentation will allow us to secure data like we never could before.” Increased automation is another reason why SugarCreek is implementing NSX. “From a business standpoint, I’m always looking for ways to manage the costs as we grow,” Rodden continues. “VMware products give us that type of automation. With NSX, we see the opportunity to further that automation.”
Wes Dawes, SugarCreek’s senior network administrator, adds a final benefit: “The SDDC with NSX is helping us break down any silos we have within SugarCreek, and it allows us to bring the teams closer together.” VMware is committed to helping SugarCreek deliver on its goals by bringing the right technology to the fields and farms of America’s heartland.