June 8, 2009
by Andrew Joseph, Features Editor
If constantly striving for bigger and better things is a sure telltale sign of ambitious corporate leadership, drive and vision, then the recently-merged paperboard packaging group Torham/Hamilton Paperbox Inc. has a lot of good things going for it already—starting from the very top.
Formed through a 2007 amalgamation of one-time folding-carton rivals Hamilton Paper Box Holding Corp. and Torham Packaging Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the privately-owned Rosmar Packaging Corporation, the new corporate entity seems well-poised and eager to prove itself much more than merely a sum of its parts, according to its president and chief operating officer Wally Hofland.
“Rosmar did not purchase Hamilton Paper Box because it was a cheap, money-losing venture; rather it was purchased because it was very successful,” says Hofland, who also happens to be the incoming president of the binational paperboard North American Packaging Association (NAPA)—itself a result of the merger between the former Canadian Paperboard Packaging Association (CPPA) and the U.S.-based National Paperbox Association (NPA) a few years back.
Because the one-time competitors only had two overlapping customers between them at the time of the merger, Hofland explains, there was never the danger of massive downsizing and staff reductions that usually accompany such corporate unions.
In fact, the more pressing challenge for Hofland, formerly Torham’s chief executive, and his team was to ensure a smooth and thoughtful integration of 130 new staff into the Hamilton, Ont.-based central production facility that originally employed only about 40 people, he explains.
“The purchase allowed us to strengthen our position within the Canadian folding carton and paper boxboard marketplace by combining two businesses into one—where the sum is far more powerful than its parts.”
Having overseen a series of facility construction, expansion and upgrade projects to house all the new staff and equipment under one roof, Hofland says he is confident that the revamped 140,000-square-foot facility—split into three equal-sized die-cutting, press and folding-gluing divisions—will benefit significantly from the streamlined and harmonious manufacturing process flow implemented throughout the well-equipped, modernized and highly-efficient operation.
“These type of company divisions are the good type, the kind you want to have,” explains Hofland. “We not only air-conditioned the whole facility to make the workplace a more comfortable environment for everyone—not just for office staff, mind you—but we also reconfigured the departments to alter the way we would do our business by creating separate departments for our printing presses, die-cutters and folder-gluers, while still allowing employees easy access to each division under the same roof.”