Founded in 1973, Wisconsin Film & Bag has become a recognized regional manufacturer of custom specification, single-layer, polyethylene film and bag products for industrial and food applications. After committing to an expansion effort in 1993, the company has been able to grow and provide products made with standard FDA resins as well as products made with its internally produced ECO Blend resins made from post-consumer film scrap. 

“We sell through packaging distributors in the Midwest and the Eastern U.S.,” President Jim Feeney says. “We ship products to 38 different states, but our marketing efforts are focused on supporting distributors in the 20 to 25 states in the central and eastern part of the country.”

Founded in 1955, Vonco Products has long been focused on manufacturing custom-shaped plastic packaging while providing high-quality service. The company made a name for itself thanks to products such as self-locking custom polyethylene broom sleeves, specimen bags and other medical industry packaging products, vat liners, boil-in bags, shaped bags and promotional items. Earlier this year, the company fulfilled the requirements of the International Consolidated Standards for Food Contact Packaging from the American Institute of Baking (AIB), and it is now poised for growth in many market sectors. 

Although some people might consider paper an archaic form of communication, companies such as UPM continue to show that paper isn’t just a relevant part of our past, but a vital piece of our future, as well. 

“We at UPM believe in a coexistence between print and the digital media,” the company says. “Both paper and digital solutions are needed. There will always be people who refuse to read long text off a screen, and those who print out things they find online. There will always be advertisers who insist on the aesthetics of the printed page and those who know the power of multichannel media mix – online and print.”

When Specialty Packaging LLC established itself as a full-line packaging distributor in 2012 – separating itself from Specialty Printing LLC – the company understood it wasn’t enough just to offer a comprehensive line of packaging products. The operation had a group of owners who each had more than 20 years of experience in the industry, as well as the long-term relationships and smarts that come with those years. They knew the formula for success was simple, if not always easily executed. 

“The formula for success with a distributor is simple – the business has to be customer-focused,” Managing Partner Chris Orsini explains. “That is easy to say, but it doesn’t always happen. The key is that everyone has to contribute to achieving it – from top to bottom. We go out of our way to ensure that everyone understands our customers are our true focus.” 

Make no mistake, Priority Envelope is certainly a manufacturer of envelopes. But its executives say that what the company really sells is service – a quality, on-time solution to meet its customers’ needs. Envelopes are simply a byproduct of that focus.

Founded in 1996 by owners Paul Siegle and Ryan Wenning, Priority Envelope manufactures custom-made high-volume and web-produced envelopes, litho printed converted envelopes, imprinted envelopes and stock envelopes, and offers an array of specialty services. Priority Envelope’s clients include printers, trade brokers, letter shops and companies with a need for customized envelopes. Eighteen years ago, Priority Envelope started out with two Halm Jet presses, five employees, a 5,000-square-foot building in Minneapolis and one focus – the customer. 

Adapting to the changing marketplace for polyethylene blown film has kept Poly Expert Inc. prospering for 35 years. “Because we are family owned, you can make a decision much quicker,” Vice President and General Manager Dave Douse asserts. “I think Poly Expert always has been able to adapt quicker to the changing times or marketplace. You start with a basic product line, but over time, you focus more and you find out what you’re good at and get more strategic about it. That’s what Poly Expert has done several times through the years.”

Since the mid 2000s, Poly Expert’s executives have been implementing a strategic growth strategy. “We sat down and implemented a new cost system with real-time data-gathering focused on three strategic markets – lamination sealants for food packaging, inner and inter-layer films for the multiwall paper bag industry and agricultural mulch films – and developed customized films for customer applications rather than me-too products,” Douse explains.

Pacific Southwest Container prides itself on its one-stop-shop approach and believes that controlling the process from concept to the marketplace provides its customers with unmatched quality and service. “We do it all under our own roof,” Executive Vice President Bryan Smith says. “A lot of companies can make one call to us and get a complete solution to whatever they are trying to package.”

When J.R. Cole Industries Inc.’s customers have problems, the company reacts to them quickly, Vice President of Manufacturing Lee Swope says. “We never let them fester,” he asserts. “If they’re having an issue, we usually get back to them within hours.”

Based in Charlotte, N.C., J.R. Cole provides prepress services, folding cartons, pressure-sensitive labels, shrink sleeves and tamper-evident banding. Founder Bob Cole started the company in 1979 making packaging for the consumer electronics market. 

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