Toronto Machine Builder Shines at the Peak of COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis
Hard work and quick customer service have always gone hand-in-hand at Toronto-based Plexpack Corp.—ever since the packaging machine-builder entered the market over 50 years ago.
And in the last couple of months, these qualities have been tested to the limit, as the family-owned business worked around-the-clock to assemble and supply 36 packaging machines to various manufacturers who had to retool their operations in order to supply the much-needed medical supplies and devices needed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
According to Plexpack, these customers include producers of medical supplies such as kits and swabs, customers in packaged, prepared and frozen food markets, and other businesses in essential supply chains.
To manage both the high-demand and urgent-need for packaging systems, Plexpack offered customers immediate shipments of on-hand inventory and for priority production to COVID19-related orders.
One such customer was an automotive company in Detroit, Mich., that had retooled its operations to produce face masks. This customer ordered seven machines and requested the machines to be on-site within a week.
Even though at the time Plexpack had reduced operations for the safety of their staff and community, they successfully delivered.
While experiencing an overall increase in demand by 60 per cent since March compared to the same period a year ago, Plexpack had to pivot its operations to accommodate both these urgent-need orders from essential businesses, as well as the standard orders.
“Plexpack has successfully navigated this increase in demand and continues to provide for all their customers,” says Plexpack’s business and marketing administrator Natalie Irvine.
“Every department in the company has been affected in some way by the COVID crisis,” adds Plexpack sales manager Adrian Hermosillo. “From a sales perspective, the face-to-face interaction with customers and channel partners has been lost, but we have adapted with the use of virtual communication technology.
“Our decades of history in this business, with the variety of industries that we attend to very well, has protected us during this time and kept us very busy, and we thank our customers and distributors for their continued trust in our solutions.”
With global installation base comprising over 5,000 customers worldwide, Plexpack typically employs 50 people to produce over 500 machines per year at its modern manufacturing facility in east-end Toronto.
Some of the company’s better-known machine brands include the high-performance Damark line of shrink-wrapping and bundling equipment; the Emplex range of automatic bag and pouch sealing systems; and the Vacpack family of bag sealers for vacuum and MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) applications in the food industry.