When YFY Packaging's folding carton plant started 19 years ago in Lu-Zhu Shiang, Taiwan, it concentrated on making milk cartons and four- and six-corner trays for meals. Filling this niche served it well. But as competition grew, management realized that it had to diversify if it wanted to compete with the explosive manufacturing clout of its neighbor to the west: China.
Talk about a change in your surroundings. If you were working at Cheng Loong's corrugated box plant in Taipei, Taiwan, in the early 1970s and looked out a window, you would see nothing but rice fields. The city's center was miles away.
Companies confronted by the challenges that the box business has faced might be tempted to bury their heads in the ground. Bennett Packaging buried its entire operation in the ground — not to escape reality but to rise to its challenges.
At 1 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2005, a persistent knocking on his front door woke Joe Elphick, president of Colonial Carton, an independent carton converter in Clayton, N.C. As he stumbled out of bed, the well-being of his daughters, Amy, Joey and Jessy, was the first thought that raced through his mind.