FlexPAC is a creative packaging and facilities solutions provider for a variety of industries. FlexPAC’s focus is to make its customers’ lives easier by offering a vast assortment of products and services ranging from custom packaging design to facility cleaning training.
Mark Dinwiddie, founder and CEO, started FlexPAC 30 years ago in Indianapolis. Six months later, he got his first employee, John Dinwiddie, his brother. FlexPAC has grown to have locations in Elkhart, Ind., and Rock Island, Ill., and continues to expand.
FlexPAC serves many industries including manufacturing, food processing and distribution. Because FlexPAC operates differently than other distribution companies, it is able to cater to a variety of business needs. FlexPAC doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality.
“FlexPAC takes a consultative approach to the selling process,” owner and President Blaine Dinwiddie says. “We are a solution provider that offers new ideas and innovative approaches instead of just selling products. We help our customers become low cost producers with everything we sell.” FlexPAC can help with different areas, such as packaging, facility solutions, equipment, service, safety and lighting.
The solutions providers at FlexPAC understand that the products they sell are costs to customers. Some products, like automatic stretch wrappers, add value to the business. Others, like paper goods, are viewed as necessities.
“Our primary focus is to minimize or eliminate all costs that don’t add value to our customers’ businesses,” Dinwiddie explains. “For example, corrugated boxes. If companies didn’t have to ship their products or protect them from point A to B, they wouldn’t. These costs eat into their bottom line. Ultimately, companies have to ship their products, so we strive to minimize these necessary costs through innovation, process improvement and redesign.”
FlexPAC’s consultative approach differs from other companies. Dinwiddie says many of FlexPAC’s competitors approach a prospect, find out what products they use and give the prospect a price list or quote. “We always try to improve the process or find a compelling reason for someone to make a change. This usually means bringing a new idea or solution to an existing problem,” Dinwiddie says.
The Operational Maximizer™ is a six-step process that FlexPAC has developed from years of experience. It targets one or more of the nine elements identified in The Operational Improvement Matrix. The nine elements are: yield gains, productivity gains, product enhancements, ergonomic improvements, labor cost reductions, procurement cost reductions, environmental changes, inventory savings and inventory financial improvements.
“We take the approach that it is not about us, it is about them, our customers,” Dinwiddie says. “We gain an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish. What goals and objectives are they trying to achieve? What challenges and pains are they having? This allows us to bring the best possible resolution to what they are trying to accomplish.”
FlexPAC’s technical service and preventative maintenance offerings are another aspect that sets FlexPAC apart from its competitors. “Maintenance departments are spread thin or often focused on their profit-generating equipment which leaves the packaging or facility equipment to the side,” Dinwiddie says.
Equipment isn’t given much thought until something goes wrong. Downtime is an emergency, which makes technical service and response time critical. FlexPAC’s service department offers preventative maintenance and an in-house service team to minimize downtime. If a piece of equipment breaks, FlexPAC’s team can be on the scene fixing the equipment in a timely manner.
FlexPAC’s emPAC Training Center is used to host courses to educate its customers. Bill Fisher, vice president of Facility Solutions, leads the courses. “More than 90 percent of a facility’s cost can be labor,” Dinwiddie says. “We provide additional resources for them.” FlexPAC hosts a variety of basic and specialized courses.
FlexPAC’s innoPAC Design Center offers design and packaging customization capabilities. “We have the ability to create graphics and package redesigns to be material neutral,” Dinwiddie says. FlexPAC’s team produces graphic designs and customized packaging in-house. With the design team and CAD table, FlexPAC has the capability to get its customers their mock-up designs in days instead of weeks.
FlexPAC succeeds because it reinvests in the business and brings innovative, new ideas to customers. “We are their partners and service them above all else,” Dinwiddie says.