Precise Pet Products, a division of Texas Farm Products, is a US-based manufacturer that strives to be known for its consistent quality controls, single source suppliers of ingredients and the company's integrity in manufacturing.
When asked what sets Precise apart from the competition, Bud Wright, president and CEO of Texas Farm Products, says: "Our US-based, family-owned company's complete reliance on petfood manufacturing sets us apart. We do not have a chocolate division, cosmetics division or other divisions to rely on; therefore, our dedication to petfood manufacturing excellence sets us apart. We are known as the independent, pet specialty store petfood manufacturer."
"Precise is poised to take independent retail shelf space away from other brands that are making strategic decisions to move into other retail formats," continues Wright. This means Precise will be taking on a bigger role and stance in maintaining its dedication to the independent retail store business across the country, which the company sees as its biggest opportunity.
The Precise brand was completely repackaged in 2008 with new graphics, new point-of-sale materials and support programs. In addition, the new formula Lamb & Sweet Potato was introduced and quickly ascended to rank among the company's top 10 products in just one year.
According to Wright, overall the product is doing well; consumer response has been very favorable for palatability, pet acceptance and digestibility. Even with all the good news and success Precise has been experiencing, the consumer petfood market is trending down in price, according to Wright. The petfood manufacturer knows times are tough for consumers and decided to do something about it. "Precise Pet Products was the first brand to lower prices to ensure pet stores kept valuable consumers shopping in their stores," Wright says.
More consumers want to know who is making their pets' food and where. "Consumer surveys show that pet owners, while informed about what they feed, are increasing their knowledge and participating in questioning the manufacturers," states Wright. "Having our brand made right at our plant gives us the ability to talk specifically and directly about every step of the production process."
Although Precise was unaffected by the 2007 recalls, Wright cites the catastrophe as bringing the manufacturer in sync with its suppliers. "It has brought a closer working relationship with ingredient suppliers so now we can keep up with the changing requirements of each state, country or regulatory body. In short, you must be working in tandem with your suppliers to make sure your process flow is seamless."
Fetching the future
As far as plans for the future are concerned, Wright says: "We have the right people in place and new plans in development to ensure continued company growth in the years to come. We have very strong new product ideas for the future, and our facility is getting upgrades to accommodate all these products."
Capacity issues will become an increasing problem for many brands that outsource the manufacturing of their products, speculates Wright. "Here we have the capacity and footprint to triple our output as we continue to grow. In addition, the increase in regulatory controls will place added burdens on many older plants that have had ingredients run through their facilities that are no longer acceptable." For instance, beef products and certain other ingredients may hinder certain plants from shipping to other countries, Wright points out.
Texas Farm Products is well positioned for most global markets, currently shipping to more than 40 countries around the world.
Most recently Precise added a few senior management members-who happen to be industry veterans-to its roster. "The biggest asset we have is our long-term employee base," Wright says. "We are a leading employment provider in Nacogdoches, Texas, and are lucky to have employees who have been with us for generation after generation."
Nacogdoches, Texas, USA
Officers: Bud Wright, president & CEO; Mike Compton, vice president of operations; Kirk Young, executive vice president; Gary McEuen, CFO
Brands: Precise and Precise Plus
Website(s): TexasFarm.com ; PrecisePet.com
By Lindsay Beaton
This country is straddling the line between developing and developed as more of its citizens see the value in pet ownership.
By Lindsay Beaton