With consolidation changing the folding carton industry almost daily, companies must go beyond quality and service to eat its piece of the profit pie. Some firms focus on the traditional methods, such as on-time delivery, while others bolster the bankbooks with the objectives of the day, like strategic acquisitions.
Hector DeJesus is a feeder operator at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Rex Corp. He's paid to print folding cartons, not proofread them. Yet earlier this year, he found a typo on an African-American hair care carton while reviewing a makeready sheet that had already been approved by the customer. The misspelled word was a doozy: Methylchloroisothiazolinone.
WHEN COMPARING DIFFERENCES between an average corrugated board plant and an exceptional corrugated board plant, think of the tail wagging the dog. In this case, the tail is great equipment. Obviously, the faster orders are correctly processed, the greater the likelihood of increased business.
BUYING INITIATIVES ARE going to kill the folding carton industry, says Alan Crane, 76, president of Crane Carton Co., a premier independent folding carton facility in business close to 40 years. Their growing influence is a key reason why he decided to sell his business to Caraustar Industries, Austell, Ga., last October.
MIKE FLINN, PRESIDENT of Scope Packaging Inc., receives monthly solicitation offers to sell his family's Orange, Calif., sheet plant, but he chooses to remain independent. Why? "We're a family business. My dad and mother would never want to sell this place," he says. "This company supports a lot of families that have worked here for a long time."
CAN ANY BOX plant apply graphics to a corrugated sheet? That depends on the definition of graphics, says Buckeye Container Division President Terry Shea. "Graphics," says Shea, "is a direct printed container that the average box plant might have difficulty printing. It could be kraft with a screen print, and anything that has a litho label on it."