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Pressing to Impress

Written by AlphaPoly

“We sell our products to manufacturers who sell to processors or retailers, mostly in the retail and food industries, and we do a lot of private-label business,” Kerrigan reveals.

While the company’s products are available coast-to-coast across Canada, Kerrigan notes that it has only just begun to reach into the U.S. markets. “For us, Alpha Poly is still small enough for every customer to get that hands-on advice, but we are also keen on adding high-quality employees to our business,” says Kerrigan.

“I’ve noticed throughout the years that often one company will lose an employee only to pick up someone else from the same pool of talent,” he says. “But we don’t necessarily want someone coming in with pre-set ways of doing their work,” adds Kerrigan. “We like having people who listen to what the customer wants and can offer solutions no one has ever thought of before.

“We let creative people be creative, which is why we don’t have a lot of turnover here,” he explains, suggesting that this might have something to do with people wanting to work for Alpha Poly. Kerrigan says the company’s success is rooted in creating relationships, and then working to ensure they become long-term relationships.

“For our clients, we ensure they have a dedicated Alpha Poly customer service representative, along with a client solutions representative, to assist with new or special projects,” says Kerrigan.

“It’s important for us that the customer know who they can talk to about a project,” he explains. “Having a long-term partner for the customer to deal with is fair for our employees and for the customer.”

“I can state unequivocally, that our entire team has a great sense of pride in the contribution to customer satisfaction,” he states.

Kerrigan says that along with the technical expertise of his employees, the company’s reputation is backed up with a robust quality assurance program that helps ensure the customer receives an “exceptional product, each and every time.”

It’s a strategy that has paid off in a big way, he relates.

“Even though this is a huge market, I think it’s probably more correct to note that we are actually a small company, but our next goal is to soon become a medium-sized player,” says Kerrigan. Currently, the company’s 50 employees work three-shifts-a-day, five-day-a-week production to convert some five million feet of film every month, or an equivalent of about 25 million bags. “I think it’s feasible—and it is our goal—to triple those numbers within the next three to five years, which is where our current capacity sits,” says Kerrigan.

If all goes according to plan, Alpha Poly may still need to increase its production capacity before then, Kerrigan notes “because a company should always have capacity, implying it always has room to grow.”

Name Game

Kerrigan says that three years ago the company underwent a significant corporate transformation to create a better ref lection of its business diversification.

“We were known as Alpha Poly Bag then, but even then it was quite obvious that it simply did not describe who we were or what we did, which was to provide customers with a complete packaging solution,” he says.

Kerrigan says that while it is important to have experience, citing the more than 150 years of combined business experience at the company’s senior management level, “it is equally important to temper that experience with talent.”

Kerrigan says that even with all that, having the proper equipment in place is a pre-requisite for moving forward.

“It’s very important for our employees to have the best equipment in the industry,” says Kerrigan. “It’s always been our philosophy, with my dad who ran the business for years and years prior to my tenure.”

According to Kerrigan, new capital investments are an annual occurrence at Alpha Poly, always looking for new technology and equipment to improve the manner in which it does business. “We continually reinvest in ourselves to ensure we can continue to provide a high-end product while still offering competitive pricing—two things we are known for,” says Kerrigan, noting that Alpha Poly offers many value-added services through its in-house graphic art department. “Having our own in-house art department, really does make the pre-press process as seamless and effective as possible,” he says.

Kerrigan reveals that his company currently has nine production lines at the facility, “consisting of nine bag machines, one slitter one laminator and two printing presses.”

Just a year ago, Alpha Poly completed a $3.5-million expansion that included adding a 20,000-square-foot warehouse.

“The idea behind that was to actually free up some much needed space in our main plant for a bit of office renovation, and a lot more room for the manufacturing area,” Kerrigan reveals. With more room in the manufacturing area planned, Kerrigan knew it was time to begin to add some new equipment to help expand the customer base while taking even better care of the existing customers.

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