Box buyers are reducing their supplier base, a trend that is by no means new. The question that passes through the mind of every box making executive nowadays is: What if yet another one of my major customers tells me he has to reduce his supplier base? The issues that the buyer will focus on include past service and, more importantly, the ability to maintain or even increase service demands.
A few years ago, a potential new customer for Kansas City, Mo.-based Vanguard Packaging called its president, Mark Mathes, and expressed a desire to upgrade its furniture packaging. Mathes was quick to hop in his car and learn more.
When Harry Voss bought 54-year-old Diamond Packaging in 1965, it had seven employees and did $243,000 in annual sales. In 2002, Diamond Packaging reached $40 million in sales, had 250 full-time employees and up to 150 temporary workers in its contract packaging division.