Packrite LLC’s (Packrite) goal as a manufacturer is to help other companies succeed. As the exclusive single-face lamination provider in the southeast, Packrite is the go-to company with state-of-the-art technology. Founded in 2008, Packrite has undergone a tremendous amount of growth in just six years, including a three-year period of 1,778 percent.
The husband and wife team of Michael and Mary Drummond comprise the executive team as co-owners of the company, making Packrite a woman-owned business. The Drummond’s vision resulted in a company that is thriving and maintaining solid relationships with customers. Now, the company is set to again grow from its new 125,000-square-foot facility, purchased in 2013, in High Point, N.C.
Why it Works
Packrite can design and produce microflute packaging for just about anything. Relying primarily on Bobst machinery, the company churns out flawless product in an array of shapes, colors and finishes, bringing diverse packaging to life for food products, tools, toys, liquors and tobacco; anything imaginable. The company even made a biodegradable corrugated coffin.
Whatever the request, Packrite can deliver. The company supplies its work nationally and internationally. Although the East Coast is the primary region serviced, Packrite doesn’t turn clients away. “If someone calls us from California, we take care of them,” says Michael proudly.
In working for all types of packaging companies, Packrite fills a need without competing with clients. “By staying in this specific niche, Packrite provides clients with services and packaging solutions that improve their bottom line and create a competitive advantage,” Michael continues.
The company’s services offered include: specialty packaging design, development, prototyping, laminating and full turnkey options. With 64 employees, and millions of dollars in top-of-the line equipment, it’s hard to imagine a time when Packrite wasn’t doing well, but there was a time.
Nothing into Something
When Packrite was founded, the economy tanked simultaneously. “We had just sold our family folding carton business and started over investing $10 million in new equipment,” says Michael. He and his wife were ready to go but had no business coming in; they were essentially grounded that first year. “We had no sales,” Michael continues, “Nothing, zero.”
Fortunately things turned around, and Packrite today experiences virtually no downtime. It’s a far cry from the beginning. In 2011, there were 40 employees and $10.5 million in revenue. In 2012, the company was No. 205 on Inc. 500’s list. The company grew by 50 percent in 2013, as well.
“We’ve grown exponentially and we are continuing to grow exponentially,” says Michael. “This year will bring more of the same.” In turn, Packrite continues to invest in people and equipment.
The equipment owned by Packrite reads like a want list of those in the industry; Bobst 64-inch Asitrade Laminator, Bobst Master Fold 130 Gluer, Kohmann 1350 Window Patcher, Bobst Masterfold 170 G + S Folder-Gluer, Bobst Expert Cut 145 Die Cutter and recently the $3-million Bobst Master cut 2.1 Corrugated Die Cutter, which can run 7,000 sheets an hour.
The machines are custom-built to exact specifications. “You start with a base and customize every aspect,” says Michael. For example, on Packrite’s order for its Bobst Masterfold 170 G+S Folder-Gluer was the Accufeed blank aligning device, the Polyvalent pre-breaking module, as well as the patented Gyrobox rotator section. According to Michael, the wait can be six to eight months for these machines.
Furthermore, the machinery found at Packrite is not often found elsewhere. “There are only 47 Asitrades in the U.S. and only 27 cutters like ours in the North America,” explains Michael. “Our equipment is the most advanced out there. It is second-to-none.”
At the start of business, Packrite owned three pieces of equipment. In 2011, when the company entered a period of rapid growth, several pieces of equipment worth $7 million in all were added and the facility was expanded from 60,000 to 125,000 square feet.
“We are continuing to upgrade our ability, add capability and expand our offerings to our customers,” says Michael. Today the company can do microflute, fluting with top sheet and folding paperboard packaging.
Packrite was ahead of the curve when it began, and continues to stay ahead of the competition today. “Our cutter was the first ever in the world five years ago,” says Michael. “Still, it’s only one of two in the country that has features that allow us to cut from the front or the back and maintain perfect print-to-cut registration. The things we do here most people can’t accomplish.”
Growth will Continue
In order to remain at the forefront of the industry, Packrite hires employees with substantial industry experience: on average, this experience is 10 years for operation and CAD design, 15 years for sales and 20 years for upper management positions. These areas of expertise allow Packrite to offer prototype design and creation, as well as efficient packaging production.
The packaging produced by Packrite enhances the customer experience. “We make everyone else look good,” says Michael. “That’s the business: helping others sell their product. Single-face lamination can include embossed designs, gold leaf details and soft-touch finishes. The packaging is meant to attract, protect and increase sales. It’s working and business is booming.”
The company’s plan is to continue growing, as it simultaneously grows U.S. manufacturing. “It’s an exciting time,” notes Michael. Indeed, Packrite LLC is on the fast-track to success.