Driving previous the premises of Tabacalera de García in La Romana, one already senses the grandiose dimensions of the world’s largest cigar manufacturing unit. An countless sea of mopeds glitters within the Dominican noon solar. 1000’s of specialists each day produce an enormous quantity of cigars. We’ve got the chance to satisfy the person who’s answerable for guaranteeing that the cogwheels of the mega-operation run easily and by no means cease: manufacturing unit director, Javier Elmudesi.
Strolling by the manufacturing unit, regardless of its gigantic proportions, the whole lot appears to run like clockwork. What had been the logistical points that, for instance, made certain the right amount of the VegaFina Yr of the Canine was accessible on all markets on the finish of 2017?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: Manufacturing a cigar is an extended course of. From the seed to packing the cigar within the field can take a yr. Nonetheless, relying on the seed, fermentation and ageing course of, typically as much as six years.
Precisely. And Tabacalera de García yearly produces greater than 40 million premium cigars that interprets into 2,000 numerous manufacturers, traces and codecs – how do you deal with that?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: I might divide the logistic processes into two steps. The primary is the whole lot that occurs on the fields and within the barns, and the second is all of the manufacturing steps within the manufacturing unit.
We’re primarily curious about how the cogwheels run throughout the manufacturing course of within the manufacturing unit. However, simply briefly in regards to the tobacco provide: how huge is your tobacco inventory, and the way is it deliberate?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: We all the time have a specific amount of aged tobacco within the warehouse. We’ve got to have ample inventory for not less than two years. However we additionally ensure that now we have particular tobaccos on the prepared that may and may age for a very long time, such because the ligero tobaccos or classic viso tobaccos from numerous areas. We’ve got these put apart for particular editions, akin to for the VegaFina twentieth Anniversary Gran Reserva. These have particular style profiles.
What are the volumes, and what number of varieties of tobacco do they comprise?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: Our tobacco inventory is large. For the filler, now we have between 13 and 14 sorts, for binders, about seven, and for wrappers, there are 12 to 14 varieties. Every year, the mixing group visits completely different plantations, and we test-smoke on web site and provides directions as as to whether the tobacco is prepared or if it must mature. That is how we additionally discover out what particular harvest crops have potential for. You discover that instantly, and we are able to additionally shortly inform what we are able to do with it. Even when the processes between the sphere and manufacturing unit appear to be separate – there’s fixed interplay.
How does the planning work? Should you’re making a particular version, such because the VegaFina Anniversary this yr, how a lot lead time do you want?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: We’ve got a collection of very restricted tobaccos, wonderful classic tobaccos which can be in remoted storage and are sourced from completely different rising international locations. The mixing group meets not less than as soon as every week, typically twice. And we consistently smoke numerous blends and are all the time in search of new blends for the advertising and marketing departments. We register these blends very intently, and as we take a look at them, we already know that this may be one of many subsequent VegaFina blends, or for an additional model.
So the entire thing is an ongoing course of?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: Sure. We’ve got a sort of mixing library that we regularly increase and enhance, and we work hand in hand with the advertising and marketing crew. Once they come to us with a mission, we go to our library and discover the becoming one. That’s why, for a brand new mission, we’d like between six and twelve months.
When do you resolve what to supply on a given day or in a given week?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: That’s a really advanced matter. It’s the nuts and bolts of the whole lot and is organized by the manufacturing unit’s planning and logistics division. We decide a month-to-month manufacturing plan that’s divided into weeks. A community of individuals work to ensure that the whole lot runs easily for each day manufacturing. We’ve got 23 sections that course of the blends – the whole lot needs to be on the proper place on the proper time.
And the way, precisely, is that ensured?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: With the month-to-month manufacturing plan, every part is aware of precisely what it can produce every week. On daily basis, the supervisor oversees the manufacturing and has to control the committee and has to be careful what’s going to be produced the subsequent day. On the finish, we verify that in opposition to the plan and what has truly occurred. We anticipate every part to meet not less than 97 % of what’s on the plan. Most sections are above that; they attain 102 or 103 %. This all lies throughout the space of duty of the division, which we name the availability chain.
That checks the whole lot of the planning and logistics division?
JAVIER ELMUDESI: Precisely. It’s made up of people that plan the demand for the US market. As well as, there are individuals who set up the export market (Europe and Asia). Then there are others who verify how a lot tobacco we have to feed the respective markets. On high of that, now we have folks within the leaf division, who consistently preserve the logistic division knowledgeable about what the provides are. After which there’s the part inside logistics that plans and analyzes the precise each day demand. Your entire factor is an actual community and intently interlinked with manufacturing and in fixed contact. That’s: month-to-month, weekly, each day planning and all the time the counter-check … a perpetual course of. It takes years for this process to work fluently. Our manufacturing unit was based in 1969 – and, in spite of everything these years, it runs like clockwork.