V3 Issue 1 2015
Weâ€™re getting in on the conversation. glatfelterblog.com
n a world of hyper-connectedness brought on by technology, the search for connections—with our customers, our employees, and our networks— continues to be a challenge. But meaningful connections are precisely where the magic happens. Collaboration. Innovation. Making a difference in the lives of people every day. At Glatfelter, it’s our goal to help you stay connected to the resources, the news, and the industry insights that can help your business be better. We’ve all heard the quote about failing to plan is planning to fail. These are words of wisdom when considering your business’ succession plan. In “Successful Succession” (page 18), we explore succession planning and the importance of making the right decision and fostering the right connections, sooner rather than later. Avoiding uncomfortable—and unprofitable—disconnects between different generations is the focus of “Close the Gap and Close the Deal” (page 5). B2B customers represent multiple generations, and salespeople (hailing from multiple generations, too) must learn to tailor their communication styles to individual preferences. Connecting around our shared interests and shared ideas generates the kinds of opportunities that truly make a difference. Let’s start today. Join us on social media for access to fresh perspectives on the latest industry news and trends. Thank you for reading!
Tim Hess Vice President, Sales and Marketing Specialty Papers Business Unit Timothy.Hess@glatfelter.com
Work is underway to elevate the nation’s paper and packaging industry, thanks to the USDA’s newly created Paper Check-off Board. Glatfelter is pleased to do our part. Visit www.papercheckoff.com.
Want industry trends and tools to grow your business? You’ll find a fresh perspective and much more when you follow Glatfelter on social media. Join the conversation!
Glatfelter’s proud to invest $95 million in compliance with the Clean Air Act (specifically, through meeting BART/MACT requirements). It will reduce emissions, decrease overall energy demands at our facilities, and support 2,300 jobs.
o be successful as an on-demand book printer— with the ability to produce short-run editions that come in on time and on budget—you need the right equipment and a steady supply of quality paper. When one of the country’s leading printto-order publishers transitioned to new digital presses in its production facility, it needed specifically engineered paper types designed to withstand the exacting demands of the new equipment. That meant new paper needs carried by a limited number of suppliers. The book printer turned to Glatfelter, a global paper manufacturing company headquartered in York, Pennsylvania, and to its Digibooks® line of premium book publishing paper designed specifically for the complex nature of digital presses. What the printer got was a whole lot more. The standard customer-supplier relationship evolved into a true partnership, leading to the development of uniquely tailored paper grades and profitable new business opportunities.
Ten years ago, the on-demand book printer used a single supplier for its special digital paper grades. Recognizing the wisdom in having a secondary paper source at the ready, the printer approached Glatfelter to fill the role. Within just two years, Glatfelter moved into the primary supplier position— because of the quality of its paper and the customer service provided with every order.
A couple of years back, the printer purchased new inkjet equipment, which is used to produce on-demand books. As a result, the company needed a paper that would perform well on this equipment and continue to meet its demanding publishing specifications. Another challenge afoot was that the printer was hoping to expand its service offerings using a never-before-developed specialty grade paper at its foundation.
Bill Lanphier, Glatfelter’s key account manager, introduced a representative from Glatfelter’s technical service team to examine the printer’s new equipment and delve into the exact specifications required to meet its daily print-to-order needs. “Because of the great working relationship [we had developed] with this customer, who allowed several [technical printing] trials to be run, we developed an inkjet grade that became the printer’s ‘workhorse’ grade of paper,” says Lanphier. Part of the ongoing testing included repeating the printon-demand process to perfect a finer specialty grade of paper for smaller runs that could hold up under the demands of the printer’s new equipment. “We perfected it with their help,” says Lanphier. “In working with them (the customer), we tweaked our inkjet paper to their specifications and to produce an excellent image, which exceeded all expectations they had.”
The customer’s investment in new equipment and its collaboration with Glatfelter to design and develop specific grades of paper has opened the doors to a world of profitable possibilities. “They’ve experienced substantial growth over the past two years in that area,” says Lanphier, noting the printer’s volume has doubled on the “workhorse” grade of paper.
Meanwhile, the other specialty inkjet paper grades developed by Glatfelter have allowed this book printer to enter into a new market that was previously untapped. It now represents the largest growth opportunity for the printer—and, subsequently, Glatfelter. “Because of the collaboration, the partnership, [and] the innovation, we have experienced growth year after year for over a decade with this client,” says Lanphier, who continues to seek new markets and develop new products in collaboration with the customer. “It feels really good to have success like that,” says Lanphier. “It’s the openness they have, the trust they have in us to bring new opportunities and see what we can do as far as coming up with solutions. And just as important is their willingness to work through problems to get to the end result. The cooperation between the two companies has been great.”
YEAH, we’re in there DIGITAL PAPERS CONVERTING PAPERS SECURITY PAPERS CARBONLESS PAPERS BOOK PAPERS UNCOATED PAPERS SPECIALTY PRODUCTS INNOVATIONS
In business circles these days, there’s a lot of chatter—founded and unfounded—about how each generation of the workforce is uniquely predisposed to certain behavior because of the social and economic influences that prevailed when they were growing up. Much of this commentary and analysis focuses on the defining characteristics of Millennials entering the workforce, and much of it is contradictory. These young adults may have a sense of entitlement, or they may be driven by altruism. They may be lazy, or they may be robust multitaskers. As age diversity in the workplace increases, many businesses are tailoring their work culture and marketing styles accordingly to accommodate a variety of generation-specific behaviors. Some companies are installing perks like napping rooms, free meals, and kegerators (beer fridges) in hopes of attracting Millennials. Is this really necessary? Anna Liotta, author of Unlocking Generational Codes, believes understanding what shapes and forms each generation is vital. “One message delivered one way will not resonate with everyone. Each generation brings their own set of attitudes, values, and beliefs to the workplace, and to the way they do business. They make choices of who to buy from and who to work for, based on these values and beliefs,” affirms Liotta. She explains that whatever was happening in our formative years, ages 8 to 18, influences us in ways in which we may or may not be aware. “This is when we determine how the world works and what’s possible. The events, icons, and leaders we see, experience, adore, and dislike during this time shape our world. These influences set the paradigm for our decision making, both personally and professionally, for years to come.”
With four generations routinely mingling in the workplace, it’s likely beneficial for all of us to recognize and understand each generation’s unique mindset, work style, and ways of communicating. Names and birth-year ranges vary—along with the designated percentages—depending on the source. But generally speaking, Traditionalists (born 1927-1945) currently make up 5 percent of the workforce. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) make up 38 percent, Generation Xers (born 19651979) make up 32 percent, and Millennials (born 1980-2000) make up the final 25 percent. These percentages are shifting rapidly as Traditionalists and droves of older Baby Boomers retire, and Millennials continue entering the workforce and migrate toward management positions. Projections vary, but most reports assert that Millennials will comprise more than half of the workforce by 2020. We are more comfortable dealing with people within 10 years of our own age because we share common life experiences, culture, and history. We inherently have similar communication styles and a greater understanding of context and language. When communicating with a colleague or client from another generation, expect that he or she likely has different communication preferences and interests and proceed accordingly. Businesses that understand and adapt to various preferences are more likely to attract and retain customers across the age spectrum. In a buyer-seller relationship, it is especially important for the seller to take the lead from the buyer regarding method of communication. Rather than make assumptions based on the following generalizations, ask about preferences, offer options, personalize your style accordingly—and be flexible.
Millennials—Gen Y (Gen Why?), Gen Next, Echo Boomers, the Baby-on-Board Generation, and Screenagers—now number more than 80 million in the workplace. Also referred to as the Internet Generation, these kids are technically savvy, almost as if they have a digital sixth sense. A wired, connected world is all that Millennials have ever known. Want to engage Millennials? Go to where they roll—on the Internet, or, more specifically, on their smartphones. They prefer texting to talking on the phone, and are more interested in the Apple app FaceTime than actual face time. They will respond to an email, but don’t bother leaving a voicemail if your message is important. When Starbucks wanted to boost sales and loyalty with Millenials, it created a buzz and engaged them by rolling out an innovative mobile app that enables customers to pre-order and pay for their coffee selection on their smartphone. Using technology to gauge the customer’s distance from the coffee shop and expected arrival time, the program alerts the barista to prepare the drink at the optimal time to ensure the place-and-pay patron gets a fresh hot cup of coffee. Upon their arrival, they enter a designated cue for pre-orders, thus avoiding the long lines during the morning rush. This rollout is working well, and other retailers are rapidly following suit. “The buying power of Millennials is on the rise. They have grown up with hyper-customized marketing, so they think they are unique and special and expect to be engaged on a personalized level with highly targeted messaging rather than indoctrinated with blanket marketing,” Liotta explains. When it comes to making purchasing decisions, they increasingly look to eWom (electronic word-of-mouth) for guidance. “They check with their online networks for reviews and recommendations, and this greatly influences their buying decisions,” she adds.
Also known as Gen X, Post Boomers, and Baby Busters, as children, Generation Xers heard anxious parents and teachers lamenting about recession and inflation. They watched authority figures—President Nixon and Reverends Baker and Swaggart—publically fall from grace. Consequently, they tend to be skeptical (their BS radars are in good working order). They are stepping into upper management roles increasingly as Traditionalists and Baby Boomers approach retirement. “Gen Xers don’t like canned, overly packaged corporate messaging, and they appreciate the facts relative to the bottom line. Provide them with information to do their own research and product comparisons. Don’t waste time initially schmoozing and trying to develop a relationship. Be direct and cut to the chase—show them where the value lies,” Liotta advises. “They prefer quality over status.” Ryan Sauers, a Gen Xer and a business consultant, notes that Gen Xers tend to be adaptable and apt, both technologically and socially. “We have a great deal of respect for how things have always been done, but at the same time, we strive to stay up with the latest technology and trends: We don’t want to get left behind.” If you are marketing to a Gen Xer, Sauers, author of Everyone is in Sales, says that you should send an email or leave a voicemail that states clearly what you want, and how that will help them. “We will not only go online and read what you say about your products, we will investigate your company—reading your Twitter feed carefully to determine what other people are saying about you before we will buy anything from you,” he adds.
Baby Boomers (76 million strong) have called the shots and shaped the world in recent decades. Reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that in 2011, there were more people 55 and older active in the workforce than at any time in the past 30 years, and they continue to hold most of the managerial positions. Baby Boomers tend to have a strong work ethic, good written and oral communication skills, and emotional maturity. They are seasoned workplace veterans committed to being robust lifetime learners as well as caring mentors. Although they are often as Internet savvy as their younger counterparts (there are more than 111 million LinkedIn users age 50 and older), they prefer to do business with familiar faces rather than faceless corporations, and they enjoy intertwining relationships and business. When communicating with a Baby Boomer, phone calls and personal interaction are usually more effective than emails or text messages—and schmoozing goes a long way toward getting your foot in the door. Give Boomers information and documented expert advice with options so they can make the right decision for themselves. Tailor your message to their individual needs. And if you really want to score points, drop them a hand-written note (with proper grammar and punctuation, of course) and make sure your customer service is extraordinary. “For Baby Boomers, the whole process of selling is about relationships. They love the networking, the bonding, and the schmooze conversations. They enjoy attending charity events, association lunches, and spending time volunteering in high profile places to establish their network of professionals whom they know, like, and trust,” Liotta, CEO of Resultance, adds.
You may be surprised to learn that more than 89 percent of Traditionalists, also referred to as the World War II Generation or GI Generation, regularly use email (according to Nielsen). But like Boomers, they prefer face-to-face meetings and phone calls to emails and other forms of digital communication. This generation that grew up during The Great Depression built the infrastructure of modern American business, and their values and work ethic will continue to influence policies and procedures for decades. When addressing a Traditionalist, words and tone of voice should be respectful, with good grammar, clear diction, and no slang or profanity. Language should be a bit formal and professional, and the message should relate to company history and long-term goals. Honesty, sincerity, and attentive interactions build trust. Get to know these folks personally. Learn about their lives, their families, and their accomplishments. Maintain regular contact during and after the sale, and you’ll not only have a long-time client, you’ll have a referral source. Traditionalists are brand loyal. “Traditionalists like to move at a slower, more dignified pace in the timing of their communication and relationship building. The tendency to push to the close quickly and move on to the next pressing task will often leave the Traditionalist feeling mistrustful,” advises Liotta.
Although these various generational characteristics are well founded, Sauers, a specialist in communication style adaptation, warns that you shouldn’t make too many assumptions based on these blanket observations. “We can all benefit from increased empathy and awareness of generational influences, but we have to remember that everyone is unique—even within a specific generation, one size does not fit all. We should ask questions, listen and pay attention, and continually adapt our style so that we can communicate more effectively with our intended audience, whatever age they are. Liotta says that it is essential to not only recognize but respect our differences. “Everyone wants to be respected for how he or she sees the world. While one generation may not like, understand, or believe in the effectiveness of another generation’s preferred communication style, failure to be aware of the differences in styles and to meet one another across generational lines will only result in a breakdown in communication and a lack of productivity in the workplace,” she affirms. If you look for differences among the generations, you can find glaring disparities. If you look for similarities, you will find them, too. Research conducted by Ben Rosen, PhD, professor of organizational behavior for the Kenan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, suggests that generations may have more in common than previously thought. Rosen reported that all generations share the same top five expectations of their employers:
“My research findings reveal that there are some work expectations and leadership perceptions that the generations have in common,” reports Rosen. “That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t cross generational friction as well, but I believe the starting point for bridging any possible generation gap is to build on the similarities.”
here’s still no paperless world, decades after the predictions. That’s because paper continues to be a growing, essential part of our lives—with vital uses from art to industry. During 150 years of operation, Glatfelter has been a paper products innovator and producer. We’ve grown with the world, employing 4,400 dedicated people and generating sales exceeding $1.8 billion annually. As an industry closely connected to our planet’s abundance, Glatfelter is serious about environmental sustainability. Through careful stewardship and cooperation with environmental regulations, we’re investing in the future of our business and communities while protecting the resources we all depend on. Glatfelter is focused: We are committed to meeting one of our biggest environmental protection endeavors to date. While the Environmental Protection Agency continues to implement the Clean Air Act, several key regulations impact us directly. In particular, the “Best Available Retrofit Technology” and the “Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology” (BART/ MACT) require adjusting some of the fuels we use to power our facilities.
Making paper is energy intensive. Like most of our industry, Glatfelter has relied upon readily available, affordable coal to heat boilers and power manufacturing operations in the United States facilities. To meet the BART/MACT requirements, our mills in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, and Chillicothe, Ohio, will install cleaner burning natural gas boilers and upgrade current equipment as well. This change requires extensive investment and new infrastructure as we connect mill sites to natural gas supplies and install new or upgrade current systems. When completed, Glatfelter will operate state-of-the-art facilities that run more efficiently and are in compliance—while simultaneously slashing our greenhouse gas emissions. This $95 million dollar investment won’t generate a conventional return, but it will help Glatfelter comply with current requirements, and be prepared for the future. The work across our mills in Pennsylvania and Ohio will support more than 2,300 jobs in the local economies where we live and work. Glatfelter is committed to our communities, our employees, our customers, and our future together, guided by a long tradition of environmental stewardship.
A good print estimator must juggle a host of factors. He or she has to consider not only the cost of ink and paper, but how different inks, papers, and coatings behave together, the labor needed to prepare computer files for press, and details as small as the cartons used to ship the finished job. That’s why hiring an estimator requires care. A typical estimator might work on 2,500 quotes a year, so someone experienced will have gained considerable knowledge and tend to work more quickly, which is a boost to productivity. Hiring a kid fresh out of school? In scanning submitted résumés, keep math grads on the short list. Also include candidates with specialized degrees in print management or paper science. Such candidates will be most familiar with printing software and electronics. Still, because printing methods can be complicated (with the exception, possibly, of digital printing techniques), schools can only provide a foundation upon which to build. And estimating software won’t capture all the nuances. So if you’re hiring someone fresh from college, have the new estimator work with someone more experienced to get up to speed on processes. Another option? Consider hiring someone from your own manufacturing department. The individual will already understand how a job runs on press, and that’s one-third of the need-to-know equation. (The other two parts are pre- and post-press.) That person can be trained in your company’s specific computer systems and other areas where he or she may lack expertise. An estimator who is numbers-wise, time and again, is essential to your company making the sale. If the estimator doesn’t quote the job accurately, your salespeople can sell like crazy, but you won’t get the job.
n the world of paper, there’s a place where many papermakers won’t go. The products are too technical or too complex. Their equipment’s too specialized. Their people too narrowly focused. This is the place where Paul Gerber and Greg Birk labor and thrive. “We embrace the difficult grades because we know they’re our destiny,” says Birk. Together with their teams of scientists, engineers, chemists, and technicians, Gerber and Birk channel Glatfelter’s passion, knowledge, and experience to develop new specialty grades of papers by using a wide range of machines and chemistry. These are the exact grades that paper convertors across the country and around the world are turning to Glatfelter to produce. “It’s exciting to see more and more customers discovering who we are and that we have the passion to develop a very diverse and complex range of specialty papers to meet their needs,” says Birk.
Claire Fallon, The Huffington Post
- Elahe Izadi, The Washington Post
- Phil Riebel, Two Sides
- President Barack Obama - Elizabeth Yale, The Atlantic
As a kid, Drew Schafer didn’t care much for coloring books. The characters were already drawn. And, as a burgeoning artist growing up in small-town St. Charles, Michigan, where was the fun in that? Instead, young Schafer preferred a big stack of printer paper, which allowed him to draw, and draw, and draw to his heart’s delight. Made-up superheroes, a literal monster truck, treasured toys in action—they all sprang to life across the page. As he got older, he noticed a fondness for what was unsettling taking hold. Schafer admits, with a rue smile, that much of his art is “not exactly Disney-friendly.” He counts among his artistic influences the work of Alex Pardee, Takato Yamamoto, graffiti artist Banksy, and early Tim Burton. “I’ve tried to make all kinds of excuses for it (his style of art) in the past, like ‘Oh, there’s lots of people doing pretty stuff; I’ll do the ugly stuff,’” says Schafer, who sports brown buzzed hair, a goatee, and multiple tattoos. “Really, I just like monsters and scary things.” Now 25, he is disarmingly funny, cerebral yet unassuming, and admittedly verbose.
It is his mom, a talented landscape painter of all things beautiful, whom he credits as his biggest influence. She, along with his grandmother, also a painter, encouraged him early on to pursue his passion for art. “Sounds like a cliché, but I don’t think that I chose art. I think it’s something that kinda chose me,” says Schafer, who studied electronic media and design in college. “It’s been a lot of different things for me. It’s been a medium of creative release, it’s been a paycheck, it’s been catharsis, [and] it’s been one pervasive element throughout my life.” Underneath all of the chaos and “spooky” souls gracing Schafer’s artwork is one constant. Paper. More than any other medium, he regards it as his favorite. Schafer uses anything he can get his hands on, although he appreciates the quality of Strathmore® sketchpads and the forgiveness of the fine-tooth finish on certain journal, planner, and diary pages. “I think it (a fine-tooth finish) makes it easier to erase, which I need to do quite frequently. There’s no undo button on a stack of paper,” he says.
Other times, paper itself becomes art. Carefully layering images clipped from magazines and other paper sources, Schafer constructs collages that are chaotic and controlled, subversive and beautiful. Today, Schafer channels his artistic talents into Aberro Creative Agency, a marketing and web design firm he founded with two former classmates in 2013. Schafer serves as art director and lead designer for the agency located in Midland, Michigan. “I’m quick to laugh when designers lament the so-called death of print. There has yet to be a digital replacement for the satisfying tactile experience of running your thumb over an embossed business card printed on toothy 110lb stock,” says Schafer. “If anything, print has become only more romantic and novel as it takes its place as a premium alternative to the ubiquitous touchscreen. It’s one of my favorite things to design for.” Regardless of the finished product, beginnings are always the same. Whether he’s designing a logo, planning out a website, or fabricating a movie prop Tyrannosaurus Rex leg, Schafer starts with a concept on paper. “I think that there’s something sacred about that sketch you have, that sheet of paper that’s left behind,” says Schafer, noting the value of seeing how something started out, where it progressed, and what it looks like when it’s all polished up in Illustrator or Photoshop. He shares examples of beautifully crafted hand-drawn typography first on sketch paper, then tracing paper, and the final printed Aberro Creative thank-you card. It’s art and design coming full circle. “And, quite frankly,” Schafer says with a smile, “it’s just easier to bust out a pencil and paper.”
At its most basic, succession planning identifies who will take over the business when current leadership is no longer willing or able to run it. This can occur when the business owner dies or health problems keep him or her from continuing in a leadership role. Succession plans can also provide a roadmap for a leader to exit a business on his or her own terms. “Succession planning is about ensuring the business can survive the business owner, literally and figuratively,” says Tensie Homan, co-founder of www.ExitBubble.com in Denver and author of Beat the Exit Bubble. “It is an exit strategy to ensure the smooth transition of a business from one owner to the next.” As such, succession planning takes time and it is never too early to get started. This is true whether the business is sold to a family member, one or more employees, or some outside entity or individual. Even if the business is sold to a third party, it still
makes sense to assign appropriate leadership to ensure smooth business operations through the transition to a new owner. The fact that the printing and paper industries are contracting makes succession planning even more important. In those circumstances, “only the best-prepared businesses will make successful transitions,” she says. In fact, a strong succession plan can differentiate an organization because it shows the potential for ongoing stability, which will reassure and help retain key talent. Succession planning is also a long-term endeavor designed to help free up company leaders from their current responsibilities and turn them over to the chosen successor. “It is an opportunity for senior leaders to take on a whole new role of mentorship and coaching, without the day-to-day hassles of finance, sales, operations, HR, and so on,” says Paul Cronin, a partner with the Successful Transition Planning Institute in Andover, Massachusetts.
To be effective, the succession planning process must have a specific end date when the full transition to new leaders or owners will be complete. However, long-time leaders and business owners may have trouble disconnecting their own lives and personalities from the company. If unchecked, this tendency could derail succession planning before it even begins. For example, unspecific or soft dates for the final transfer of ownership or control can try the patience of the next generation of leaders. If it continues too long, those individuals may simply decide that the departing leader or owner is stalling—and look for opportunities elsewhere. If handled the right way, the succession planning process can help those leaders loosen their grip on the business and prepare for the next stage of their lives. To be effective, the succession planning process requires a degree of openness and transparency. Communicating about succession plans does not undermine or create uncertainty for the business. “Business owners often feel a succession plan is a private, personal matter and should be kept confidential,” says Homan. “But just the opposite is true.”
Homan urges business owners and executives to think about succession planning in terms of making the business sustainable over the long term, no matter who is in charge. “An established succession plan can provide current or future leadership with assurance that the business will continue to thrive upon the owner’s exit,” she says. “This can be a powerful incentive to attract and retain talent in the business.” The succession planning process should also be formal and objective. That means bringing in third parties to handle the range of financial and organizational issues involved in a strong succession plan. Portrude recommends relying on this objective third party to act as a facilitator, whether he or she is an attorney, business advisor, or some other individual. The key is to rely on someone who does not have any kind of stake in the outcome. Bringing in specialists who understand the strengths and weaknesses of the business, including its people and processes, is also crucial. These individuals can identify and address relevant business, financial, tax, legal, and personal aspects of succession planning. Hiring a valuation expert can help to ensure any resulting valuation is accurate and objective. From there, firms can identify how the financial aspects of the transition will be handled. In other words, how will the exiting business owners or leaders be paid, including any relevant tax issues? If there is a clear candidate as successor, this is the time to determine if that individual has or will be able to raise the money necessary to take over the business. “Owners are likely to be counting on business value to fund their retirement,” says Mitch Evans, vice president of the National Association for Printing Leadership in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “However, they are likely to be more flexible if the successor is a family member.” When Tracey Cohen took over Tallahassee-based Target Copy from her mother in 2009, she closed on the deal right in the middle of the recession. In this case, with her mother financing the deal, such flexibility has been key to the continuing health of the business. Since 2009, Cohen and her mother have had to re-negotiate the original agreement a few times to align payments with the reality of the business and to free up cash flow.
When it comes to choosing a successor, firms tend to have three options: a family member, an employee, or an outside suitor for the business, often a competitor. No matter which candidate is willing and able to take over the business, the ultimate transition will take some time. For example, if a family member or employee is the strongest candidate, that individual may need time to become comfortable with all aspects of running the business. If the choice is a competitor, the departing leader needs time to negotiate the details of the deal and work through transition timetables. No matter what avenue leaders pursue, they should put their intentions in writing. This can be helpful even if the owner chooses not to exit the company because it can serve as a succession/contingency plan should anything happen to the owner. In either case, “put intentions in writing and communicate them in case something does happen,” says Evans. “The document should spell out what the owner wants to do” in specific circumstances. If a succession plan involves hiring a manager or managers to run the company while the current leader retains ownership, those intentions must also be fully communicated at the outset. “If you want to retire in five or 10 years, have that conversation at the time of the interview” with the potential managerial candidates, says Evans. “Qualify and groom that person early on so they can run the company.” Evans offered one important guideline for this process: Identify the ideal situation for the owner’s or leader’s exit and then work toward that. For example, if an owner wants to retire in five years, that individual needs to determine what to do to make that happen and then start taking steps in that direction.
It is also a good idea to have a second option available if the first does not work out. Once the succession process is underway, Evans suggests that owners immediately start to remove themselves from certain parts of the business to empower the identified successor or others in the company to manage those areas. For example, before he sold his own business, Evans removed himself from any customer contact responsibilities. “I had no customer contact and did not have any correspondence with customers,” he says. “I was not the key person on any of the accounts, and I didn’t do anything that someone else couldn’t do if I wasn’t there.” This gradual removal is crucial for a smooth transition out of the business. “The best way to do that is not to be [overly] involved,” says Evans. Instead, “delegate and train people on what you do so that they can handle it when you have left the business.”
One of the key challenges for family-run businesses is determining whether the next generation is willing and able to take over at some point. For a growing number of business owners, the answer frequently is no. “Fewer children want to succeed their parents in the business,” says Evans. “Kids do not look at the (printing) industry as being very sexy or as lucrative as it used to be.” Portrude blames himself and his fellow business owners in part for painting a glum picture of the printing industry and its future. “Talk around the dining room table about layoffs
and bad economies does not set up the next generation to want to go into the business,” says Portrude. If businesspeople want their children to take over, “we have to [for the next generation] focus on how exciting it is.” At the same time, it is important to be realistic about where the industry’s opportunities are. “Printing is a mature industry and the challenge is to find ways to get the lifestyle out of the business that our parents got,” says Portrude. Although printing and paper manufacturing are mature industries that are consolidating, Portrude believes that any business can still build value and expand. The key challenge is to grow a piece of the market, perhaps specializing, that makes the most sense for the business’ strengths. To do this, he says, you have to identify specific markets and what it will take to make money and grow profitably. That specialization should bring something new to the table that becomes something sellable. For example, businesses can differentiate themselves by specializing in short or long packaging, printing for the college, education, or government segments, or finding ways to make money on smaller print runs. “If you specialize [and set yourself apart], there will be a buyer interested,” Portrude says. “But it requires a new mindset.” The opportunities for growing a business and enhancing its value are there, according to Rock LaManna, president and CEO of the LaManna Alliance, LLC, in West Palm Beach, Florida. “Growth should have been significant for print-related leaders between 2011 and 2014 at 10 percent or more per year,” he says. “There is research and market-specific data available and global suppliers are developing niche markets for print-related graphics.”
Humans have known for centuries that oil and water don’t mix. In the mid-1950s, scientists involved with paper manufacturing used this knowledge to create tiny capsules—a process called microencapsulation—designed to break open under the pressure from a pen, releasing a colorless dye that reacted with a special coating on a second sheet of paper. Carbonless paper was born. Fast-forward 60 years. While market demand for carbonless paper is declining, the possibilities for microencapsulation are just beginning. Experts at Glatfelter, using existing infrastructure, are applying decades of experience to the development of new products and technologies. “We actually provide a lot of new-to-the-world products, not just new to the company,” says John Stolarz, microencapsulation product manager at Glatfelter. Take fragrances for example. Ever wonder how fabric softener keeps clothes smelling freshly laundered for days, if not weeks, later? Or how walking into a hotel room can send subtle, sweet aromas to your senses each and every time? Tiny capsules—roughly one-fourth the diameter of the average human hair—are filled with fragrance. When triggered, the capsules break open and release the scent. In both cases, the friction (the trigger) created from handling the laundered clothes or stepping on the hotel room’s carpet causes what is referred to as a mechanical release. “In a way, we’re bringing new performance to older chemistry,” says Stolarz. “To be able to bring the controlled release aspect to it in a very safe manner is really kind of amazing.”
Glatfelter uses a variety of controlled release methods, including mechanical, thermal, chemical, electro-magnetic, and timed release. It can encapsulate almost any substance, such as fragrances, dyes, inks, and even solids. The possibilities are endless. Microencapsulation is used in a variety of security inks and papers, and a host of other applications spanning industries from textiles and agriculture to manufacturing and design. It makes sticky things stickier, soft things softer, and smelly things, well, less smelly. But it doesn’t stop there: Soon it may be making green things greener. According to Stolarz, Glatfelter scientists are exploring ways to capture and recycle waste heat energy generated during manufacturing processes. It’s innovation born from limitless imagination and pursued with a passion. Check out www.technologybygforce.com to learn more about the exciting possibilities of microencapsulation.
Handle With Care Approximately 255 babies are born worldwide every minute. Along with each bundle of joy, 134,028,000 birth certificates are born every year, too. Each unique, definitive document stands as a signed declaration to the world—of one’s family, and one’s identity.
The Power of
Connection The day you were born. The moment you said, “I do.” The teenaged joyride in your first car, and the first night spent in your new home—every single significant step in your life is connected to paper. Birth certificate, titles to cars, deeds to homes—right down to the coffee you drank this morning brewed in a filter before holding this very magazine in your hands. Paper is, always has been, and always will be so much more than an 8.5 x 11. Connect. With all that paper truly is. Connect. Beyond Paper® to the possibilities paper can be. Connect. And the power of paper becomes yours.
In a world of hyper-connectedness brought on by technology, the search for connections—with our customers, our employees, and our networks—c...
Published on Mar 16, 2015
In a world of hyper-connectedness brought on by technology, the search for connections—with our customers, our employees, and our networks—c...