Canadian Packaging

Get Smarts!


October 27, 2008
by Andrew Joseph

Calling yourself smart may sound brash to some, but when you live up to your name like the Toronto-based specialty packaging systems manufacturer Pack-Smart Incorporated has since setting up shop in 1998, no apology for immodesty is really necessary or required.

“We are all about adding value through our machinery,” states company president Derek Dlugosh-Ostap. “We create quality machinery that is specific to your needs to maximize the amount of added value for your client.

“It is our duty, as a solutions provider, to help our customers realize their true business potential.”

This unwavering commitment to client satisfaction has enabled a one-time three-person, 2,000-square-foot machine shop to transform into a thriving and diversified packaging machine-builder with a loyal customer base spread across five key, fast-growing industry segments.

According to Dlugosh-Ostap, users of rigid-window systems account for 25 per cent of Pack-Smart’s business; secure gift-cards, including credit cards and scratch-and-win gaming, for another 25 per cent; media packaging for CDs, DVDs, etc. for another 20 per cent; pamphlets and coupons inserting for 10 per cent; and digital printing for the remainder.

MARKET SPOILS
Remarkably, the Canadian market accounts for only 15 per cent of the company’s revenues, according to Dlugosh-Ostap, with 50 per cent of its sales driven by the U.S. markets, 20 per cent by European clients, and 10 per cent by the rest of the world.

Today employing 27 full-time people at a state-of-the-art fabricating facility in Toronto’s northwest, Dlugosh-Ostap says the family-owned company has been able to retain its U.S. business in the last couple of years despite the dramatic rise in the Canadian dollar that has left many Canadian manufacturers struggling.

“We’re not the type of company that just builds you a machine and then forgets about it,” Dlugosh-Ostap told Automate Now on a recent visit to the lively plant, citing the likes of CD/DVD distributor Technicolor Home Entertainment, The Specialized Packaging Group, Inc., Wynalda Litho Inc., Arlington Press and the Metaca Corporation as some of the company’s more illustrious clients.

“We get really involved with clients and help them generate the best possible package for their needs—with input in the design, affordability and sustainability parts of the equation,” he adds, noting that the company boasts installations on lines used to package everything from higher-end liquors and perfumes to mainstream breakfast cereals and soft-drinks.