2011 is now winding down. I am writing this article over the Thanksgiving Holiday so we have 30 days more to finish what has been a pretty good year.

The fall decorative tin season has proven to be better than economists would have forecast. The snack gift giving season has been very busy. I must say that 2011 has finally returned to those years prior to the crash of 2008. We have found that the small retailer has turned the corner and is growing back again. The mass market suppliers of snacks in tins continue to provide goods although it appears that quality of product and design at the smaller shops is succeeding where they were being hurt badly in the past. Maybe the smaller retailers have become more skilled at dealing with the big guys and have demonstrated the value.

In 2011 we have invested in more automation for most all of our tin sizes and styles. New tools, new can lines, new pre-press technology and more systems automation have reduced many of our costs.

Reshoring: In my last article I mention “reshoring” and this continues to be a major factor. The costs in the low labor cost countries have increased rapidly along with the logistic costs transporting goods from overseas to the US. We are installing new equipment that will allow more tins and components to be Made in America. Automated assembly systems along with new tins sizes previously only imported are changing the landscape.

New coating line: We have just started up a new thermal coating line that will coat sheets 30 – 40% faster than our older coaters and utilize 20 – 30% less energy. In the past 2 years we have installed a UV coater, eliminating VOC and carbon and now a truly the most advanced thermal coater available in the world. We are committed to the use of the best available technology.

Looking forward to 2012:

We are already planning for new investments in technology that will begin to arrive mid-year 2012. We are finding that speed to market is critical consequently providing systems that allow delivery from art approval to finished product in some case in day’s verses weeks is possible and realistic. Retailers today do not want inventory consequently systems must be developed to reduce risk and to provide reliable shelf replenishment.

For mainstream products importation of packaging will not be practical except in the area of absolute uniqueness or small batch needs.

Thank You- We do not say thank you enough for allowing us to service a portion of your packaging needs. We are aware that you have choices in where to spend your hard earned dollars and we are truly working hard to be your best supplier. Whether we are making your packaging or supplying your needs through our Distribution Division we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us.

Challenge us to do better and to provide new services: We need you to challenge us to be better and to provide more services that support your business. We only improve by meeting your needs and changing past assumptions.

Change, change and more change: Change is hard and uncomfortable although without change we are all going out of business. Your customers are changing and their wants and wishes are different each year so please ask us questions and challenge us to meet the new needs and expectations.

Thank you again and we want to wish you a very Happy and Prosperous Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

 

President and CEO

Rick Huether