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ALAN WOLK

Experience Speaks

How did you get into the converting business?
The printing industry has been a family business. My uncle owned Goodway Printing in the Philadelphia area.

What is your key to retaining good employees?
Be extremely supportive and attentive to their issues. Their issues cannot fall on deaf ears.

What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy?
Focus on constant improvement. Driving cost out of your product can keep you competitive.

What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now?
I would say that the biggest threat to the US converting industry is losing market share to the non-domestic supply chain.

How do you handle a difficult customer?
Make sure you have accurate information on what the customers’ requirements are, execute a well-built plan, and kill them with kindness.

What keeps you up at night with regard to your business?
Unexpected interruptions in the plant operations due to equipment or service failures.

What do you wish you had known when you started out in business?
To have more patience, deal with facts, and keep emotions out of critical decisions.

What is the biggest mistake you made in business?
Taking on big projects without the proper resources to support them effectively. Larger projects get everyone’s attention because of the potential upside to your financial picture. They can also strangle any organization if you don’t have the right mechanics in place to support them.

What was the best and worst advice you ever got?
Best: Build flexibility into your operation and workforce. Worst: Be forceful and ruling with your workforce.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The converting business is ever-changing due to market and customer requirements. This industry doesn’t let you get bored, and you are constantly being pushed to improve your process and come up with innovations.

What do you enjoy least about your job?
Losing a good employee and upsetting a customer.


At a Glance
Gilbreth Packaging Systems
3001 State Rd.
Croydon, PA 19021
gilbrethusa.com
Founded 1960
85 employees
Specialization: shrink sleeve packaging

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