90-year-old firm thinks outside the box

A company that is nearing its 90th birthday is adapting to market changes in order to meet the demands and opportunities on the horizon, and it is creating the opportunity for new jobs in Sheboygan. Joe Van Der Puy, representing the fourth generation at Paper Box, reports that rising packaging costs coupled with a growing interest in diverting used and obsolete boxes from landfills is fueling interest in their recycled products.

Corporate change is often necessary. For example, in his white paper on the practice of management Adapt or Die, John McCallum said this: “Enterprises that do not adapt are in for a lot of trouble. The problem is change: The more rapid the pace of change, the direr the consequences of stubbornly sticking to old ways.” Clearly, Paper Box is heeding that advice.

“While Paper Box has enjoyed continued success since engineering the business turnaround that began about ten years ago,” stated Van Der Puy, “we recognize that there is a tremendous opportunity to grow our overall business through continued expansion of our corrugated business.”

While working capital for the project will be funded by Paper Box, the company is acquiring a new facility from Quasius Construction in order to meet the need for added capacity. Senior lending for the acquisition will be financed by Oostburg State Bank with additional funding from the City of Sheboygan’s Revolving Loan Fund. Business and financial plan development were completed by Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation’s Business Expansion and Retention personnel and the Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay.

The company expects to close on the acquisition in the next few weeks.

As Paper Box nears their 100th anniversary, are there any other concepts on the horizon?

“Time will tell, Van Der Puy advises, but the fifth generation is already on the floor each weekend sweeping and perhaps developing the next wave of ideas.”


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