This is Part 3 of a 3-part series on the advent of Manufacturing 5.0 focusing on new markets and new product opportunities. The interview is with David Hawkins, CFO of El Dorado Packaging, and Peter Washington, Director, CapX Partners.
PW. According to recent trend reports, the packaging itself is becoming as important as what is in the package. How is the market changing, and what are the biggest impacts on your business?
DH. In addition to the changing tastes for food products and localized marketing, we see potential market growth in addressing consumer’s preferences for packaging. Consumers and retailers are interested in packaging’s ease of use, sustainability and shelf appeal, which may include a poly window into the product offering. Industrial users’ tastes are also changing to different product types such as from sewn open mouth paper bags to bulk bags. Since we serve both consumer and industrial markets, we need to consider equipment that can support different types of packaging.
PW. New product development, then, is key to your growth.
DH. Absolutely. We need to be more nimble, more flexible, and more creative than ever before. What’s exciting is that our customers are reaching out and asking us for new ideas. In the past, our segment of the industry was not known for innovation. We are challenging ourselves to respond to these changes, which is exciting for both management and employees.
PW. With this emphasis on new product development, how are you adapting your manufacturing processes and equipment to manage? It would seem it would require an investment in equipment that is more flexible.
DH. That’s definitely the challenge. For us to support different packaging variations and provide more flexibility for customer orders, we need equipment that can handle diversification and the technology infrastructure to support it. We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with our customers, vendors, and financial stakeholders. Having trusted partners like CapX helps smooth out the edges of the growth process and gives us confidence we can continue to thrive, no matter the changes in the marketplace.
El Dorado Packaging is a leader in multiwall and consumer bag packaging products and services. We create customized packaging solutions for seed, food, animal health products, bulk packaging and more. The company provides extensive design, manufacturing and printing expertise from our three locations in Arkansas, Minnesota and Nebraska.