Tuesday, September 1, 2020

AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight Dallas Group of America

Sterling Bollman, the head of Advertising and Sponsorship Sales at AOCS, talked with George Hicks of the Dallas Group of America, Inc. While Hicks works as the Manager of Innovation and Development at his company’s headquarters in Whitehouse, New Jersey, the Dallas Group of America, Inc. also has production and packaging facilities throughout the United States (Indiana, Iowa and Texas) and the world (the Netherlands and China).  In this conversation, AOCS learned about innovations the Dallas Group of America, Inc. has developed and what really sets them apart from their competitors. 

AOCS hopes you enjoy our next installment in the Corporate Member Spotlight series and learn more about Dallas Group of America. 

Hi George. Welcome and thank you so much for joining me to talk about your company. I wanted to start this conversation off with a basic question. What type of products and services does your company provide? 

The Dallas Group of America, Inc. produces high-quality synthetic magnesium silicates, ammonium chloride and lignosulfonates. Our products are used across several industries including, but not limited to, foodservice, industrial frying, oleochemicals, biofuels and polyols

That’s interesting. I didn’t realize your company had such a vast reach. Now, I know there are several companies that operate in the same field as the Dallas Group. What would you say differentiates the Dallas Group from its competitors? 

The Dallas Group is committed to providing superior value to our customers. Our Innovation Center is staffed with degreed chemists, engineers and technicians, all ensuring that our products and raw materials meet global specifications for quality and purity. Our Innovation Center also provides analytical service capabilities to our customers and is staffed with AOCS-approved chemists. Additionally, quality and food safety are top-of-mind. The Dallas Group’s commitment to Food Safety is evidenced by the following: 

  • Implementation of HACCP-based Food Safety programs
  • Staffing with Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Food Safety Specialists, including certified Food Defense Coordinators and SQF Practitioners
  • Continuous education in food safety issues and monitoring of the ever-changing FDA requirements. 
  • A monthly, internal auditing process to verify compliance with GFSI Standards and to drive continuous improvement. 
  • All products are traceable—from raw materials, through processing, packaging and shipment to our customers
  • Independent third-party audits
  • Supplier Approval Program complete with Supplier Rating System and ongoing supplier audits to ensure the safety of our supply chain
  • Only certified potable drinking water is used in the manufacture of our products.
Innovation is key for many companies to survive. What are some innovations that you are most proud of?

We are constantly refining and improving our products to better serve our customers and their specific needs. Ultimately, we are looking to enhance the end-user experience. Most of our efforts are aimed around improving sustainability and the ability for the end-user to reduce their carbon footprint. We have a wide range of products and protocols to help in-end users achieve these goals. We continuously work to provide our customers with the highest quality products while providing technical expertise and support. 

2020 has been a pretty strange year for everyone and I know a lot of companies are having to change up their entire business model because of the pandemic. In what ways has COVID19 affected your company?

One of our largest business segments is the foodservice industry, which was greatly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. While many of the restaurants in the US have been able to offer take-out and delivery options throughout the pandemic, many of our customers in Europe had to shut down operations completely. We stand with our customers and have worked alongside them to assist them in any way possible during this difficult time. 

In a related question to the pandemic, what do you expect the biggest challenges for The Dallas Group to be for the next year?

The post-COVID business landscape will certainly be a challenge. One of our biggest value adds is our field sales and technical services team—which spends most of their time on the ground, visiting customers to offer training and testing, among other things. We will certainly face challenges with customers closing their doors to visitors and corporate offices shifting to remote work. Our Marketing Department is currently brainstorming digital and virtual options on how to offer these invaluable services to best suit our customers. 

Thank you for your time George and thank you for allowing the AOCS community to learn a little bit more about The Dallas Group of America. Before I let you go, I just had one more question to ask. Why is being an AOCS Corporate member important to you?

AOCS is a landmark organization pioneering the science and technology of oils and fats. As a corporate member, AOCS provides us with access to connect with our customers and colleagues. It provides opportunities to gain knowledge and show expertise in the oils and fats industry. The AOCS peer reviews and comments allow each of us to grow and become better at our craft. AOCS also allows us to showcase our products to reach the end-user. We take pride in being active members of the AOCS community and are honored to have the opportunities to present oral and written publications annually. 

Thanks again for reading and thanks to George Hicks and his colleagues at The Dallas Group of America, Inc. for taking part in our AOCS Corporate Member Spotlight Series. Make sure to visit their website, and connect with them on LinkedIn! Join us next time to see who we feature next! 

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