The Lindsay Paper Box Co. Proves That Independence Has its Own Rewards
In a corporate climate that is increasingly dominated by giant corporations gobbling up their smaller competitors, The Lindsay Paper Box Co. Ltd. stands apart as a successful, independent family oriented business that can still compete with the ‘big boys’ by offering specialized products and superior service to clients throughout North America.
It’s all done from their facility in Lindsay, Ontario, part of the City of Kawartha Lakes, where the company has been based since 1951. With only three owners over the past 66 years, including the last two as generational, it is clear to see why The Lindsay Paper Box Co. has a deep rooted culture of family value.
Greg Fierheller partnered with good friend Tim Raven eight years ago to take over the company, ensuring that it would remain an independent firm, and would continue to operate in Lindsay.
“Years ago, the company started out making rigid set up boxes, popular at the time. Over the years, and with changes in trends and advances in technology it transitioned into what we refer to as custom cartons or folding cartons, which is essentially the majority of packaging you see on retail shelves today. Our immediate predecessors purchased the company in 1981, and at the time it was Tim’s dad and his business partner,” Fierheller explained, adding that he had worked for the company since 2000, befriending Raven along the way.
“Then eight years ago we ended up purchasing the company. Tim and I had worked together for many years and got to know one another, not only as good friends, but as potential business partners. All those years we worked together afforded us the opportunity to understand that we certainly could complement one another and together become successful partners.”
Fierheller said that The Lindsay Paper Box Co., is a “niche manufacturer” making products that are much in demand by retailers and manufacturing companies of all sizes. Their flexibility, adaptability and excellent personalized customer service, makes the company attractive to many manufacturers and retailers throughout Canada and the United States, including large Fortune 500 Companies.
“What is unique about us, being a family owned independent, is that we treat our smaller customers the same as we do the very large ones. That has been advantageous for us because some of the opportunities to build good business relationships can get lost in the shuffle as larger companies amalgamate. We are happy to service all accounts, which helps us grow our business,” he explained.
“We sell about 50/50 between Canada and the U.S. and a lot of it is because of our attention to detail based on our size. I know it is something that is very attractive to our customer base, and it is all part of our personalized service. One of the adages we live by is that you can pick up the phone and talk to an owner any day, and get an answer immediately. I know that holds a lot of weight because some people want or need answers right away. I have experienced myself that feeling of frustration when you just need to speak with someone directly but you end up going around in circles. Our level of communication with our customers base is very solid, which not only builds a reputation, but continues to help it grow and the company to prosper.”
Word of mouth within the industry has been a big part of the growth of The Lindsay Paper Box Co. over the years. Part of that growth with many new clients, especially start-ups is because Raven, Fierheller, and their team even act as unofficial consultants to their manufacturing clients.
“We look at the customers’ potential for growth and we want to assist them to achieve that growth by consulting during the initial stages of design and ongoing production. Some people starting out need a lot of assistance and we don’t mind going above and beyond when it comes to trying to help them in every way we can. We will go and visit our customers’ facilities and try to make recommendations that will help them gain efficiencies within their own manufacturing environment. Our years of expertise and experience, especially at the packaging stage can really make a difference for our clients.” Fierheller said. It’s a value-added part of the relationship that continues to win them new clients and keep them over the long haul.
Being located in Lindsay, is not a disadvantage geographically. Some clients think that the community is a little off the beaten path. Of course, the proximity to the Highway 35/115 corridor linking it to Highway 407 and 401 means easy access to Ontario and points beyond.
“The freight question does come up a little bit when we are talking with new customers. I explain it to them the same way I do commuting within the GTA. We can ship product from Lindsay into the GTA in an hour and 15 minutes for the exact same cost that it takes a carrier to go east to west across the city and their time frame might be double ours,” Fierheller said.
“A key factor is that our commodity is shipped flat and it’s not extremely heavy. Depending on the size of the carton, we can ship millions in one truckload. That volume per shipment really gives us an opportunity to expand throughout North America.”
As well as the convenience of the location, living and working in the City of Kawartha Lakes and the broader Kawartha Lakes region has many advantages, both in terms of a beneficial lifestyle and a lower cost of living.
“If you consider someone who works in the GTA and wants to live close to their employment, then it’s going to cost them an exorbitant amount of money. So from that standpoint, if you compare our wage scale and our encompassing compensation package to our competition in the GTA, it’s a huge advantage for our employees. Their overall costs are much lower and the commute is so much nicer and less stressful. The longest commute for any of our current employees is approximately twenty minutes with many residing right in Lindsay,” Fierheller said.
“One of the greatest benefits is the lifestyle that our location affords our employees. They make very competitive wages, comparable to our competition in the more urban areas, but they have the benefit of the Kawartha Lakes region and all it has to offer in terms of being a friendlier, rural environment. We have a very competent, experienced and autonomous workforce. Our employees are very good about supporting the community and contributing to the local economy. Tim and I both live in Lindsay, and I believe that says something about our commitment not only to the area but to our company and our employees.”
For more information on The Lindsay Paper Box Co. Ltd., visit www.LPB.on.ca