Schaeffer Berger is a company founded by Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger. The company specializes in producing the high quality chocolate utilizing the finest cacao beans available. The company differentiated itself from their several others competitors, by being one of the first to produce chocolates “From beans to bar”, meaning that Scharffen berger, unlike its rivals produced the chocolate by doing all the processes in the chocolate production itself.
The chocolate market is segmented into 2 main categories, the mass market and the premium market. The mass market and premium market represent respectively 75% and 25% of the whole market. Being a company that specializes in high quality chocolate, Schaeffer Berger positioned itself in the premium chocolate market; this market is considered to be the growth segment of the industry with 15-20% annual growth from 2000 to 2010.
The production cycle has 8 main processes.
In this first process the imported beans are cleaned, to separate the beans from the unwanted materials like twigs, small stones. The cleaning machine could process 200KG (2 Bags) of beans at a time, and takes 15 minutes to do it. 4% of the beans are lost in the cleaning process. Afterwards the beans were deposited into large beans ready to be transported to the next process.
At this stage the cacao beans are sent to a roasting machine in order to optimize the flavor. The company uses artisan production methods to measure the process at each stage. The roasting machine roasts 25KG (0.25 bags) for 1.25 Hours, after this the bags needed to cool for 15 minutes.
Here the beans were cracked to separate the nib from the shell, using the nibs for production. The machine processed a 450KG of beans per hour in batches of 250Kg only 74% of nibs were recovered.
In the melangeur the nibs were grinded to transform the nibs into chocolate paste. The melangeur ground nibs in batches of 115KG, and this took 1.25 hours . Here the beans of the same recipes were put together, since there is no more need split them anymore. Afterwards the chocolate paste to a holding tank until there was enough for a conche recipe (1400 KG).
On the couche the chocolate is mixed and refined and ground the remaining nibs that require further grounding. Each batch of 1400KG spent nearly 40-60 hours. For this case we are focusing on the 62% recipe, which included 850KG of nibs and 550 KG of other ingredients and took about 50 Hours to grind.
Tempering and Molding
At this phase the chocolate liquid is turned into solid state. The tempering machine could process 200KG of chocolate per hour but it operated under max capacity at 140KG per hour. After tempering the chocolate took 20 minutes to solidify, after this the chocolate was send to molding to prepare the chocolate for packaging, the molding process 140KG for hour.
The company packages 35% of its own products, the remaining its outsourced to other companies. Harris believes that the competence and mission of the firm is to make the best chocolate possible, leaving the packing process to other companies that better specialize in packaging. But also recognizes that by doing this, its more difficult to control the quality of the final product, that’s why the company does some of the packing itself.
Quality was made twice a month by examining the chocolate and tasting it, and examining all the steps in the production cycle in order to calibrate their perceptions and guarantee the overall quality of the product, hence the main goal of the company.
Analyzing the growth in the company’s sales is of great importance, since we are trying to figure out how and if we should increase production to meet market demand. In the case we are told that sales have...