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The Highland Group, a business consulting firm, announced Thursday it had been named “2012 Services Vendor of the Year” by St. Louis-based Vi-Jon, Inc., a leading manufacturer of private label personal care products and a portfolio company of Berkshire Partners LLC.
Vi-Jon produces more than 4,000 products across a broad range of categories, including oral care, soaps, first aid, baby care and hair care. Key Vi-Jon customers include Costco, CVS, Dollar General, Family Dollar, Kroger, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart.
The Highland Group and Vi-Jon partnered throughout 2012 to achieve sustainable performance improvements in manufacturing operations, including labor and waste cost reductions as well as formulation quality enhancement. They jointly achieved Vi-Jon’s operational goals by enhancing manufacturing planning, scheduling, throughput and reliability. The partnership delivered outsize results through its emphasis on employee participation, ownership and sustainability from the start.
The Highland Group was honored at Vi-Jon’s annual Vendor Appreciation Event.
“The Highland Group generated sufficient savings in year one to give Vi-Jon a three times cash-on-cash payback in real tangible savings," Vi-Jon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gerald Bowe said at the presentation ceremony. "Their approach to sustaining the savings going forward means that Vi-Jon’s return on our investment in Highland is the best return we’ve had on any project in many years.”
The Highland Group’s Andrew Reckner, Senior Partner, accepted the award by saying, “We are honored to be included among Vi-Jon’s top business partners and look forward collaborating on additional performance improvement initiatives in the years to come. This award reflects our commitment to driving measurable business results for our clients through operational execution and behavioral change.”