The Dupps Co.’s motto – “Dupps won’t let you down” – is more than a catchy slogan the company uses on its website, business cards and other marketing materials. Customer service remains at the center of the Germantown, Ohio-based process equipment manufacturer’s operations – even if those customers initially did business with a competitor.
“We had an instance where a customer of ours purchased a competitor’s piece of equipment – a cooker – and a part broke down,” President Frank Dupps Jr. says. “They came to us for help, and we didn’t have the part or materials on hand because this was competitor’s equipment, but we took the customer’s supply drawing and the part itself and replicated it to its exact dimensions.”
Ultimately, the customer received the replacement part within two business days and only lost eight hours of running time. “We’re able to adapt, overcome and react to challenges we’re faced with,” Dupps says. “Our reaction time is very fast.”
The company prides itself on offering 24/7 parts and service to its customers. “Our motto really holds through because we are a service-oriented company that manufactures great equipment and we employ great people,” he says. “Customers who call us up don’t get an answering machine, they talk to a live person. We’re just a very down-to-earth company run by a great management team.
“We feel that the customer is always right and we go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our clients are satisfied with our equipment and level of service.”
Many of The Dupps Co.’s employees have several decades of experience, and it enjoys a very low turnover rate. “Because we are a family owned business, we treat all our employees like they are members of our family,” Dupps says. “People are our greatest asset and what we’re most proud of.”
Striving to Improve
Frank Dupps Jr. represents the fifth generation of leadership in the family owned company founded in 1935. Since its inception, it has manufactured protein recycling equipment for the rendering industry. Systems manufactured by the company are used to convert inedible animal byproducts into fats, oils and proteins that are used in the chemical, pet food and cosmetic industries, among other uses. Machines manufactured by the Dupps Co. include cookers, screw presses, dryers and evaporating systems.
Clients include large meat and poultry processors such as Tyson, Cargill and ConAgra Foods, as well as independent renderers contracted by food companies.
The Dupps Co. has diversified since its formation into other industries including soybean oil seed extraction, pulp and paper dewatering and fish protein recycling. In each case, the company adapted and reconfigured its machines to meet a specific industry’s need, Dupps says.
Although the company is one of the largest manufacturers of its kind worldwide, it continues to pursue new markets and products. Patents are currently pending for a machine that would recycle asphalt shingles for use in the sealcoating and hot-mix asphalt industries, as well as a new configuration of one of its existing presses that would allow the extraction of additional fat.
“We are not complacent; we constantly strive to look for new markets we can serve either with our existing products or new geographic markets we haven’t serviced yet,” Dupps adds.
The Dupps Co. performs most manufacturing in Germantown, where it has operated since 1948. Manufacturing processes include machining, welding, assembly and fabrication. The company also operates a manufacturing facility in Turkey that serves the European market. That facility solely produces non-proprietary, commodity parts such as conveyor belts, Dupps says.
Dupps Co.’s manufacturing operations have gradually moved toward automation in the last six years. This includes the recent installation of robotic work cells to automatically load and discharge parts used in the company’s machines.
Last year saw the introduction of lean manufacturing principles and methods into The Dupps Co.’s operation. Lean initiatives include the use of shadow boards where tools are placed at the end of each day as well the use of visual metrics on the manufacturing floor.
The Dupps Co. relies heavily on suppliers to provide the components it needs to make its machines on time. “We foster long-term, win-win relationships with our vendors,” Dupps says. “They know our business and our core values. We look at suppliers as our partners.” mt