New ownership and market focus helps contract packager succeed as thermoformer


Business evolutions often take time and involve strategic marketing, planning and management changes. All three have been key to the evolution of Flexpak Corp., a Phoenix-based thin-gauge custom packaging thermoformer. Founded in 1974, Flexpak has been a family-owned company except for the two times (1976 and 2002) it was sold. Both times, the family re-acquired the business to save it from poor ownership. Now, new ownership is again is settling in, but this time it is welcome.

Jim Boley, vice president of business development, explains that Flexpak once again is owned by others - its employees. After the bad experiences with buyers, the founding Bond family decided that the best way to keep the business in "good hands" was to make it an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) funded by the company's profits. As the family gradually turns over ownership to employees, it found professional mangers in Steve Murray, its president and CEO, and Boley.

"We're now over 50% employee owned," says Boley during a recent visit by PlasticsToday to the company's facility. "It provides a good retirement plan for the owners, but the best part is that all the employees think like owners. They know what a pound of plastic is worth if you have to scrap it. The ESOP has helped our quality and efficiency."...
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