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. 

“The market at that time consisted of audio tape, video tape and floppy computer disks,” Swope says. “When this market changed due to technological advances, we moved into the spirits and pharmaceutical markets where we are today. 

The current economic environment has been rocky, but JKG Group has coped well. The company continues to grow and add new customers, CEO Bruce Gittlin says. JKG’s experienced and dedicated personnel provide the responsiveness and collaborative customer experience.

“The reason for that is that we have worked diligently to improve our products from a technological standpoint,” he says. “It’s all done for the purpose of listening to our customers and helping them create their marketing programs, which also helps them to assist in achieving their sales goal.”

Based in Boca Raton, Fla., JKG Group operates “as a marketing support services company,” Gittlin says. “What that means is we work with our customers’ marketing groups to support them and help them achieve the respective goals of the sales group.”

Ever since Johannes Gutenberg printed the first Holy Bible in 1455, printing technology has been advancing. Staying on the cutting-edge of technology is Ingersoll Paper Box Co. Ltd., which has upgraded its processes and equipment continually since the family owned company was founded in 1922.

Now in its fourth generation of management, President David Skinner and his daughter, Managing Director Sarah Skinner, manage the company’s 80,000-square-foot manufacturing plant and 38,000-square-foot-warehouse at the company’s headquarters in Ingersoll, Ontario. Sarah Skinner estimates that approximately 75 percent of the company’s boxes are for pharmaceutical and healthcare products, such as vitamins and over-the-counter and prescription medications. The rest is consumer goods such as automotive and retail products. Ingersoll Paper Box’s cartons are distributed throughout Canada and into the United States, but mainly between Windsor, Ontario, Montreal and Quebec, she says. 

Index Packaging Inc. might be a more modestly sized player than some competitors, but no one is better at customer service or product delivery, President Mike Wiles asserts. “[If] the customer sends a request for a price quote, we’re back to them within the hour,” he says. “We make it a point to be everything they need.”

Based in Milton, N.H., Index Packaging manufactures foam, wood and corrugated packaging products. Bill and Connie Lander founded the company in 1968 with their invention of the TIP (N) TELL shipping indicator. That helped plant “the seeds that started the company we are now,” Wiles says.

Today, Index Packaging operates from a 120,000-square-foot facility that features equipment and warehouse space that can handle quick-turn, vendor-managed inventory or standard customer lead times. “A third of our customer base is distributors,” Wiles says.

Corrugated and paper packaging are what Ideon Packaging manufactures, but its people are what are most important to the company. “For me, it is all about people,” Rick Van Poele, CEO and president says. “It is not about assets and equipment.”

Ideon Packaging is annually named a top place to work, including last year when it was dubbed the best manufacturing workplace in British Columbia. “We have won awards the past three years as a best place to work,” Van Poele says. “That is a huge focus for us. We treat our people very, very well.”

One of Ideon Packaging’s priorities to keep employees engaged and involved in many facets of the business. “Everybody has a say in the business,” Van Poele explains. “We are engaging our people constantly.”

In the highly competitive world of contract packaging, competitive pricing and speed to market are critical. CCB Packaging meets those challenges with automation, flexibility and a wide range of services. “CCB offers unsurpassed customer service with an emphasis on automation,” President Brad Canfield emphasizes. “All our customers have to do is send us their products and we take care of the rest.”

That includes a wide variety of copacking services, from fully automated robotic packaging lines to primary packaging in a clean room environment. “Packaging of food products is the majority of the copacking we do today, although we also package OTC drugs, personal care items and pet food and treats,” Canfield says. “Our finished goods end up in regular retail, club store and convenience store channels.” From large national promotions and regular retail items to regional test market and sampling items, CCB can do it all.

Camco Chemicals was founded in 1960, operating from a family owned service station on Dixie Highway in northern Kentucky. Originally, the company developed cleaners and chemical products that it marketed to customers under its own label. Fifty-five years later, the company is a leading contract packaging and chemical manufacturer that serves the agricultural, industrial, institutional and consumer markets.

The greater Cincinnati area has long been a hot bed of the nation’s chemical industry. As a result, Camco Chemicals discovered a market for providing its manufacturing capabilities to others and moved toward becoming a pure contract chemical manufacturer, a role it assumed in the early 1970s.

Calbee North America endeavors to be the snack food company focused on ingredients, taste and transparency. Its primary product is the Harvest Snaps family of products that include Snapea Crisps and Lentil Snaps. These products come in several different flavors, with ingredients based on peas and lentils. But the company is always innovating new, tasty and healthy products. Soon it will be launching Whole Cuts, a potato-based product shaped like a french fry that crunches like a chip. 

Calbee North America is a 50/50 joint venture owned by Calbee Inc. of Tokyo, Japan and R.D. Offutt (RDO) Company of Fargo, ND. Calbee Inc. is the largest snack maker in Japan, while RDO is the largest potato supplier in North America. The strategic partnership brings innovative products from Japan and RDO brings farm produce and business systems from America. 

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