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FLEXO Magazine : April 2011
Plants & Processes A Two-Way Street at Plastic Packaging Inc. open-Door Policy, training ensure staff Investment In the Future Managers at Plastic Packaging, Inc. (PPI) keep an open-door policy with staff. Whether a press opera- tor has a new idea for improving efficiency or an account representative is on the trail of a hot new prospect, employees are encouraged to talk when inspiration strikes. It’s part of the company ’s mission statement, which is, “To explore growth opportunities, to provide competitive services and innovative solutions, and to remove barriers and borders through change and continuous improvement.” Open communication is a cornerstone of the business, one that has fostered its growth from a single-shop polyethylene bag converter in 1957 into the two-facility flexible packag- ing company it is today. Now more than 200 employees staff 260,000 square feet of production and office space split between Hickory and Forest City, N .C. There is no shortage of topics to cover at PPI, which has been a member of Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) since 1982. The company offers 10 color graphics and pack- age-printing services for customers in markets that include snacks, confectionary, pet care, lawn and garden, home furnishings, seafood and others. Some of the products offered are single web rollstock and sideweld bags, as well as lamina- tions for rollstock and reclosable stand-up and side-gusseted pouches for food and pet care applications. PPI is capable of using polyolefin, polyethylene, OPP, polyester, nylon and metal- ized films in order to meet their customers’ requirements for products that require high-barrier and three-layer laminations. MUTUAL INVESTMENT At PPI, products are more than items that staff put together for customers. They represent the collective efforts of employ- ees who have an interest in the company ’s success. Although PPI is privately owned, employees have stock ownership, and as their efforts go, so goes their PPI investment. With $45 million in sales at stake, company leadership feels it vitally important that employees receive appropriate training and certification. Photos: Plastic Packaging, Inc. 36 FLEXO aPrIl 2011 www.flexography.org Lessons Learned • An open-door policy ensures that employees feel valued for their contributions. • Training is an investment in a company’s experts—its staff—and the way they provide customer service. • Private industry can play a role in improving commu- nities without losing productivity.