Excalibur CEO sees internal investments as critical to company success

In the second installment (read: part one) of our conversation with Excalibur President & CEO Mike Shrier, we learn about the latest technology and automation at the plant, increasing wages for workers, and why he’s dedicated to a company culture that matters.

Excalibur continues to invest in the company through automation and other technology. The company is currently implementing a scanning system for shipping and receiving to provide more accurate information on inventory coming in and going out, and updating facilities.

“We have two new state-of-the-art blenders installed and running in our mixing area. We also moved our packaging area and rearranged our storage of raw ingredients.  Supply chain issues have required us to carry more inventory now than ever before, so better organization and storage of our stock was a must.”

In fact, Mike was thrilled to welcome customers and business groups for a look inside the Pekin headquarters this past year. Tours had been on hold since March of 2020.

“It’s rewarding to hear their comments as we share our history and our current processing operations with them.  Many of our visitors are impressed with our production facility and its cleanliness, and the company culture we have here.  Keeping that culture is especially important to me.”

With labor challenges impacting industry across the board, Excalibur remains focused on attracting and retaining the best people. Mike says dedicated employees helped build the company and are the key to any success going forward.

“It’s a competitive job market where a lot of employers are vying for a smaller pool of workers. To that end, we significantly increased our starting wages in production and we revamped our paid time-off program to be generous and reward employee tenure. These changes were needed to stand out from other employers in the area.”

Also of significance to Mike is the time-honored tradition of handing out bonus checks at the annual holiday party.

“I attended these celebrations many times over the years. It was always such a joy for our founder, Jerry Hall, and he was right in his element thanking all of the employees.

“Now it’s my turn to thank everyone.  As I stood up in front of them last December, I realized how hard everyone worked to achieve another record year for Excalibur, how much I had learned along the way and the people I had formed positive relationships with. I definitely have a deeper appreciation for the people here and the effort it takes to continue to grow this great company.”