“Raising the Bar with Innovation”

George Riad, COO of CAB, believes the most important qualities are setting a goal, planning, and paying attention to details. It applies to every aspect of life, from managing a small project to a multi-million-dollar company. “Through my 22 years of experience in the food and beverage industry alone spanning around three countries, I have found out those qualities are the pillars of success no matter when or where you are,” says the steadfast leader. “Our vision at CAB is to become the leading aseptic co-packer of choice for mid-size and large companies, due to our focus on maintaining the highest standard of quality and sanitation in the industry, and always meeting production commitments.” CAB will be a collaborator in reducing its customers’ carbon footprint via its state-of-the-art production lines.

At CAB, they are continuously looking for new technology to provide the customers with packaging solutions that meet their needs. In 2010, they partnered with Tetra Pak to install four TBA19 machines to provide the base for their development and best supply and serve their needs. “In 2012 we worked with Tetra Pak to introduce one of the first A3 speed lines to the US market replacing the former TBA 19 raising the production speed, per line, from 7,500 to 24,000 packages per hour,” says George. “Today, we have three A3 speed lines. We continued to continually raise the bar again when in 2019 we worked with Tetra Pak to launch the first water filtration system designed to recover 95% of wasted water on the Tetra PAK fillers to the US market reducing our water consumption by around 90 liters per minute.”

“Fostering a team and a family environment that empowers the employees and treats them fairly is the key to the employees’ loyalty in today’s tough labor market.”

George and his team are currently working with Tetra Pak to pilot an artificial intelligence troubleshooting tool that enables our techs to address breakdowns quicker. The tool is based on AI, which allows it to adapt, learn and improve with time. The company has provided opportunities for customers to expand their marketplace, grow their sales, and lower their costs while simultaneously reducing their carbon footprint. “By investing and launching new technologies like the A3 speed lines, one individual line can replace three TAB19 machines that cut down the cost of utilities, hence the carbon print and the cost per thousand units produced maintains approximately the same footprint,” says George. “This gives our customers more capacity to expand to new markets while maintaining the cost to the minimum.”

He adds, a single high-speed A3 line can produce 24,000 packs per hour; it is the fastest producing filling machine manufactured by Tetra Pak, at the time. “Replacing 4 TBA19 machines raised the capacity available to our customers from 30,000 packs per hour to 72,000 packs per hour, a 240 % increase which enables our customers to expand to different markets and enabled CAB to add new customers to our portfolio. It also gave CAB the ability to quickly respond to sudden market demands like our customers’ promotions,” explains George.

The company is planning an expansion to add new state-of-the-art lines to serve new market segments, add new innovative packages, and enable our customers to have a one-stop shop for their packaging needs. They are looking at adding storage capacity to facilitate shipping the product to customers faster and promptly.

Advising the future entrepreneurs, George says, “Always move forward, and there shouldn’t be any stagnancy and keep looking for new ideas, keep up with the technology. But it is also key to know your operation from the ground to the top. This comes in handy when a decision needs to be made.” He adds, “Spend more time on the production floor to identify the challenges to be able to address them.

Listen to people's opinions every one of them counts. Sometimes, the best solution comes from unexpected sources.” George always believed setting a vision for the company and achieving the said vision is crucial to success but cannot be achieved without the employees. “Fostering a team and a family environment that empowers the employees and treats them fairly is the key to the employees’ loyalty in today’s tough labor market.”

Posted in CLF | Successful COOs Magazine 2021George Riad, COO of  California Aseptic Beverages Profile