Administrator

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Administrator

October 2017

On September 25, 2017 N-Stock Box spent the day with two Auditors from Eagle Registrations. It was time again for another ISO audit. This one happened to be our ISO Surveillance Audit. If the term isn’t familiar, having a Surveillance Audit entails Auditors choosing areas of the Quality Management System and thoroughly examining them to confirm all processes are conforming to ISO 9001 standards. N-Stock Box has multiple types of audits throughout the year. While audits aren’t new to us this audit was important.

Two ISO Auditors spent approximately 20 combined hours combing through our Quality Management System; reviewing policies and procedures, studying the infrastructure, interviewing employees, observing operations, etc. I am happy to report that we passed our audit with flying colors. Our auditors were quite impressed with how knowledgeable the employees were. Without them a successful audit would not have been possible. We are committed to quality and customer satisfaction. Our employees take pride in their work and it definitely shows. “Service Means Whatever it Takes” is much more than our motto, it’s what we do. 

 

October 2016

The third quarter has drawn to a close as we historically begin our busiest three months of the year. Through the additional capacity that we have added this year, it is our hopes that this upcoming influx of business will be more manageable than it has been previously. In conjunction with our urgent and unwavering commitment to serve customers, we certainly believe that will be the case.

Undoubtedly the production department has developed quite a bit more continuity over the last four or five months which was obviously evident be seeing many of the same machine crews throughout the last quarter. With this consistency much emphasis is now being put towards empowering crews to produce with a sense of urgency as well as be held accountable and responsible for their actions. But in the same breath it remains vitally important that each and every employee operates in a safe and cognizant manner.

The efficiencies within the shipping department have improved dramatically due to much cross-training which has taken place over the last half year. With this increased flexibility our workflow is now more constant when employees take vacations, call off ill or if we have a spike in shipments. As our business grows it will be our intentions to add another tractor/trailer along with a driver in order to make certain that our customers are receiving their product in a timely manner.

Over the last several months there were some significant changes within the maintenance department, most notable being the addition of two new experienced individuals. By far the group is performing the best that is ever has which is quite obvious by the amount of tasks that are getting completed compared to what was being accomplished in the past. The beauty is that through their ongoing effort our push towards developing a first class maintenance department is only inevitable.

From January 1st 2016 to present shipments for the corrugated industry are about even with 2015 which is also holding true for N-Stock Box year to date. Our sales representatives are still working hard towards their ongoing effort of opening new accounts as we expect to see more activity once the dust settles from the upcoming presidential election. A couple of new representatives were added to the sales force this year and we are most certainly expecting good things from them as we begin 2017.

In order to sell, manufacture and deliver product in a manner most beneficial to our customers, it is imperative that our support groups operate efficiently and effectively. Fortunately we have a very strong aggregate of departments (customer service, design, warehousing and inventory control, quality control, scheduling, accounting, human resources, etc.) that allows this to happen. Through the committed collaboration of all the individuals and groups at N-Stock Box, our continued success remains forthcoming.

We have experienced a couple of delays with our sprinkler system installation at the Breiel warehouse, but we now have these issues resolved and are just weeks away from having the facility functional. It will be quite exciting when we initially begin to move product to the warehouse but more so when we start to fill it with new accounts. With the abundant space we will soon possess, we definitely have an infrastructure that will support us for many years to come.

Our IT department finds itself busy most of the time with not only the monitoring and updating our present system, but it can also become inundated with projects that arise on a day to day basis. There has been much accomplished towards our endeavor of further integrations which is very evident through our ongoing improvement to better serve customers. As our company continues to grow and develop, it remains the goal of IT to ultimately develop a system which will fully support plant-wide integration.

From the inception of N-Stock Box to today, there has been steady, significant progress which to some degree or another every employee here has made some contribution. As a mid-size sheet plant within our niche, we genuinely feel there is not a competitor in our marketplace that can even come close to providing our service and value. As we move forward let us remember the commitment that brought us to this point and take that same energy towards not only being the best, but to also being considered the only one capable of doing what we do.

 

July 2016

As we transition into the third quarter of 2016, there is much that has happened over the last 90 days. Through these happenings not only did we perform well but we are also now a better company because of it. For all of our customers, employees and suppliers involved, your effort is genuinely appreciated.

The production group has executed quite well even with their recent personnel changes. More emphasis is now being put towards entering and filling out production data accurately, performing thorough quality checks and paying closer attention to the avoid printing and gluing issues. Additionally the department is making progress towards better stabilization of supervisors and machine crews.

Due to the willingness and flexibility of the individuals in shipping, the department performs a fantastic job in delivering product to customers on time. Their goal of loading first runs on second shift is still in the development stages but it is a certainty of eventually happening. In order to best serve our customers, they are working on collaboration with production to assist when one of the forklift drivers in the department is required to help in the warehouse or to make a delivery.

Having to maintain three facilities, the maintenance group finds itself very busy most of the time. They have made significant strides towards organizing the department in both terms of prioritization of work and managing parts inventory. Software is being utilized to not only track and store certain parts, but it is also assisting in the assignment of work through regularly scheduled preventive maintenance.

As of mid-year the sales department is running ahead of last year in both sales dollars and square footage. The group has done a spectacular job to this point, as they have prospects they are calling on which will allow them to eventually sell even more. Aspiring to goals in mind, they recently hired a new sales representative with the idea of hiring another sometime in the new future. As a side note, all of our sales support groups (i.e. customer service, design, inventory control, quality control, scheduling, accounting, etc.) have performed diligently and should be commended for their daily effort.

As certain warehouse accounts have grown and evolved, we find ourselves at a time where additional space is needed. The Breiel warehouse is approximately 45 days away from its completion date which will give us the capacity we need, allowing us to spread back out and regain some of the efficiencies that we previously lost. Our hand work area along with our warehouse areas will soon have ample space enabling us to store, track, pull and ship product in an organized and efficient manner.

On a day to day basis, the IT department has done a great job keeping our system updated and functioning in a proper fashion. Along with the daily maintenance of our system, IT has projects that they are required to work on and complete for various departments in our organization. Just to mention a few, they are presently working on website updates, email blasts, plant-wide reports, bar coding system implementation and Advantzware software troubleshooting.

With the growth that we are experiencing, constant change will always be ongoing and necessary in order for us to keep our facility on pace with the ever changing demands of our customers. As we all know change is not always easy and at times it can be downright difficult. Despite this challenge, it is imperative that each and every one of us embrace this dynamic environment in which we operate, as it is essential that we do so in order for N-Stock Box to ultimately be the very best it can be.

 

 

April 2016

The economic conditions in the first quarter of 2016 proved to be much like the winter we experienced, mild at best. January and February sales were about even with last year. However March showed signs of picking up which hopefully carries over into the second quarter. Another positive is that we worked the first three months with very little overtime which is reflective of the hard work we put in last year to expand our capacity.

For the most part production has been operating at a respectable rate. The most daunting task at this point is to find people who want to fill our last several openings. Fortunately we have a core of associates who are productive and come to work every day. Once we fill all of our voids with comparable employees, we will be able to improve and ultimately maximize our productivity.

By staggering drivers, shipping has created some efficiencies which we previously were not experiencing. In addition to better utilizing our man hours we are also leaving our docks more consistently with fuller loads. As we progress and second shift grows, it is our intentions to start loading our first run trucks on that shift. By doing so, it will further improve our efficiencies as well as add capacity.

Maintenance has done a fantastic job in getting and keeping our equipment in good working order. Regularly our crews are in the plant on the weekends making repairs and adjustments on our production machines on an as needed basis. Additionally many of the repairs have been preventative in nature which has allowed us to avoid costly breakdowns and has enhanced our customer service through better production continuity.

As previously mentioned our sales the first quarter were about even with last year, with the exception of March which showed a nice pick up. Competitive pressures combined with the current flat economic conditions have certainly made it difficult to maintain sustainable sales growth. Nonetheless our sales group has performed respectfully and is still working hard as they continue to lay the necessary groundwork towards growing and expanding our future business.

Our packaging software provider Advantzware recently announced that they are under new ownership. They have stated that their push going forward is to update their software in order to improve its compatibility and to make it more user friendly. As we add to and further integrate our system, this will obviously prove beneficial. Speaking of integration, we have recently started experimenting with our new bar coding software. Initially, it seems to have great potential but we undoubtedly have a lot of work in getting it fully operational.

N-Stock Box is at a very exciting time in its existence. Whether it is through our current effort, additional sales people or acquisitions we seem to be at a point where opportunity for growth is eminent. With an ample amount of equipment and space along with a fine complement of employees, we find ourselves poised for accelerated expansion. As we move forward and stay true to our relentless effort towards serving existing and future customers, great growth opportunities are likely just around the corner.

 

January 2016

It is hard to believe that 2015 is now over as we begin the first quarter of 2016. Many changes transpired last year which ultimately made us a company better suited to serve customers. More importantly though is that we now have personnel in place which will enable us to expand our overall capacity in order to accommodate for future growth.

We experienced quite a few months last year where we produced significant square footage. Daily and weekend overtime was at times required, but as a whole our supervisors, operators and crews rose to the challenge of meeting our customer’s demands within their normal 40 hour week. Particularly in the last three months of 2015, our production group performed quite well as they faced our busiest quarter of the year.

From the time that we started our second shift, it has improved dramatically in both terms of production and quality. Despite a couple of minor setbacks, the group showed steady improvement throughout the year. As we progress through 2016, we intend to add additional machine crews to the shift which will allow us to create more capacity for future customers.

Our shipping group has made significant strides in the last 90 days towards developing desperately needed capacity. The department is now more flexible enabling it to be managed in a much more efficient manner. Most important is the long term potential that it now possesses towards satisfying customers through better communication and more accurate and on-time deliveries.

The progress which our maintenance department made in the last quarter is quite apparent in the fact that our machine down-time has been noticeably less. Through trouble-shooting, better planning and having the necessary resources available, they were able to both prevent problems before they occurred as well as fix problems immediately once they occurred. Their ongoing objective will be to enhance this effort as they move forward.

As anticipated our sales group finished the year slightly ahead of 2014 and with continued momentum as they enter into the new year. Fortunately they begin the first quarter not having any accounts in jeopardy and therefore have established lofty sales goals for 2016. With sales support assistance from customer service, design, accounting and IT, they are expecting to establish new benchmarks in both sales dollars and square footage.

In December IT purchased new software through our provider which will allow us to fully integrate inventory control into our system through barcoding. The initial thrust will be to track incoming sheets by way of a barcode scanner and eventually monitor inventory as it enters and leaves our warehouses using the same method. Obviously there will an initial learning curve but ultimately this new system will lead to better control and fewer mistakes.

The renovation of our Breiel warehouse is well under way as we have removed the existing ceiling tiles and framework along with the outdated light fixtures. As we proceed we intend to replace the lighting, install heaters, update the sprinkler system, remove the drywall and floor tile and secure the exterior. Our desire is to have the warehouse up into shape and functional by mid-year.

2015 proved to be a good year for N-Stock Box as we strengthened many of our departments, in turn providing the basic structure necessary to create capacity in order to accommodate for our future growth. Importantly in our effort to further grow our business we must always remember to work safely and watch for the safety of others. Through our continued dedication and motivation towards safely serving customers, we can expect another exciting and prosperous year for all.

October 2015

After a robust third quarter, we are favorably entering the fourth quarter with uninterrupted momentum. We are anticipating a very busy next couple of months as our customers continue to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Overall we are expecting a productive period as well as our best quarter of the year.

Our production effort during these busier times is truly of the utmost importance. Our operators and crews, particularly in the last 60 days, have been doing a great job and should be commended. It is this type of plantwide effort that will allow us to maintain and absorb our present and future growth.

In order for us to further expand our production capacity, it will be imperative that we enlarge our second shift. Therefore our thrust going forward will be to add both cooperative and responsible individuals to populate this group. Though it will take some time to fully develop this shift, it will ultimately allow us to best serve our customers in the most effective and efficient way possible.

At present our shipping department is in the midst of an essential transformation. With our recent influx of square footage volume, we are finding ourselves in a daily quandary as to how to get everything shipped. As a result we are in the process of adding equipment and personnel in order to create much needed capacity.

As of the last month or so, our proactive approach towards preventative maintenance is just beginning to take hold. To initiate this process, we are incorporating more scheduling and organizing than we used to do. Though we are only in the infancy stages, we are already experiencing fewer breakdowns and less downtime for maintenance issues.

With the competitive nature of our business, our sales department has performed a magnificent job in keeping our plant full throughout this entire year. The same holds true for all our sales support groups such as customer service, design, IT and accounting. Through their continued effort, we anticipate reaching new company records this year in terms of both square footage and sales dollars.

During our quality audit in August, we were informed by our lead auditor that the new 2015 ISO standard will entail some significant changes. Fortunately the new direction seems to be less about fluff and more about value. Obviously this will require some additional work on our part to get up to speed, but with this change we expect it to ideally make us a better company.

Along with manufacturing quality product on time to our customers, we must always make a concentrated effort to perform our jobs safely. As a group we must follow all safety rules and bring information to the open if we see an unsafe act or situation. Our continued well-being and happiness depends on each and every one making certain that they do their part in utilizing safe practices.

 

July 2015

As the second quarter comes to a close, we are beginning to realize some positive results from the changes we implemented at the beginning of this year. Though we have experienced a few minor setbacks long the way, our overall effort has created the foundation for our continued growth.

When we began our second shift, our production rates were understandably quite low. Additionally we experienced quite a few quality issues, particularly in gluing. At present our production rates and quality issues have gotten better, but we certainly have room for additional improvement. For only six months in existence though, the shift has generated results which are all in all acceptable.

The roof at our Breiel Blvd. warehouse was recently recovered. Future projects include ceiling tiles, sprinklers, heaters, internal walls and dock doors. Much like it was with our existing warehouse across the street, these updates will transpire over the course of time. As our business develops we will gradually accomplish all of these necessary building improvements in order to provide ample and quality space for our many present and soon to be warehouse customers.

The job transitions which occurred in the first half of the year are now effectively in place. The impacted departments included sales, quality, safety, customer service, scheduling and production. As of now all of these areas seem to be operating with efficiency, capacity and potential for future growth. With this latest group of personnel changes, we firmly believe that we have the basis for an infrastructure which will provide us with plant wide support for many years to come.

Consistent with our objective to consistently produce quality product, it is of the utmost importance that our production equipment be properly maintained. Therefore as of the last three months, we have put forth a more concentrated effort in keeping our resources in a better working condition. Daily meetings are being held to identify and schedule issues, and operators are doing a better job of notifying supervisors of potential problems. Going forward our direction in maintenance will be to transition away from being reactive into becoming more proactive.

Our ISO audit is scheduled for August 10th and 11th. Within this two day period, we will have two individuals from Eagle Certifications auditing all areas of our Quality System. As part of the process, they will be observing personnel from within our business to make certain that assigned procedures are being followed as required. If we individually as well as collectively perform our jobs as we have been trained to do, we likely will experience no issues with our recertification.

Given the current economic conditions, we fared reasonably well in the first half of 2015. Even though we lost a couple of bigger accounts at the end of last year, our sales group has already recouped that business plus a little more. In the second quarter we experienced no lost time accidents as we surpassed 450 days with no incidents. Along with the previously mentioned, many other positive things are happening at N-Stock Box. We remain excited as we enter the third quarter and look forward to capitalizing on the potential that our longer term future holds.

April 2015

We are excited to report on our progress which occurred at N-Stock Box in the first quarter. Many changes were initiated in order to ensure capacity for future growth.

Our newly added second shift started gradually but now it appears to be gaining momentum. Presently we are operating a flexo-folder gluer, a rotary die-cutter and a semi-automatic gluer. Our overtime has been reduced dramatically and our production has been expanded as a result of this added shift. It remains our intentions to develop the shift as needed in order to accommodate for future growth as well as service customers.

Warehousing continues as a growing service that we provide to our many customers. We still have capacity in our 70,000 square foot facility located directly across the street from our main plant, however it is not too far from being completely full. As good fortune would have it, in March we closed on another 80,000 square foot building which is in close proximity to our present location. This acquisition should provide us with ample customer warehousing space for sometime to come.

We experienced several personnel changes in the first three months of 2015. At the beginning of the year we added a new sales representative locally and moved another into the Columbus marketplace. We feel both have the potential to create some great new customer opportunities. Also a person was hired to manage our quality and safety programs. Though just getting started, this individual already seems to be making a noticeable difference.

Promotions from within included positions in customer service, scheduling, production management and warehouse management. With all these changes taking place at once, it has created a bit of confusion at times. But we have also created a long term infrastructure which will allow us to continue to grow our business as well as enhance our customer service.

Our mini flexo-folder gluer has been up and running since January. We invited a technician in and he was able to help us tremendously with the timing of the machine. It is our intentions to have the machine completely staffed and running full time at the start of the second quarter. We remain enthusiastic about the added value it will bring to our existing and future customers.

The first quarter of the year reflected some positive progress at N-Stock Box. All in all we ended the period fairly well. Our sales were steady as we have several new business opportunities in the works. We reached 400 days with no lost time accidents. Several changes were initiated to allow for continued growth and enhanced customer service. As we end this transitional first three months of 2015, we expect another bustling and productive second quarter.

 

January 2015

In the fourth quarter of 2014, we initiated quite a few changes at N-Stock Box in order to accommodate for our future growth.

As anticipated our mini flexo folder gluer was installed at the end of October. After a complete overhaul, the machine is expected to be in full operation by early January 2015. We are quite excited about the added value it will bring to our customers.

One of the services that we provide to our many customers is warehousing. Directly across the street from our main plant is 70,000 square feet of space utilized specifically for this purpose. Fortunately, we have located another comparable warehouse for sale which is in close proximity. We recently settled on a purchase price and expect to take possession soon.

Over the past 90 days we have implemented quite a few personnel changes. We relocated one of our sales representatives into a new market which we feel will create some great opportunities. Also one individual was promoted within to fill a new sales position. An employee was upgraded into a production supervisory position, another was moved into scheduling and we hired an outside person to assume quality and safety responsibilities.

In order to gain needed capacity, we started a second shift in December. Initially we will only be operating key pieces of equipment, but we plan to add more as we go. Our intentions are to gradually develop the shift as needed so we can continue to service customers as well as accommodate for future growth.

We ended the year as a whole on a strong note. Our sales for both the fourth quarter and for the entire year were company records. We experienced no lost time accidents as we surpassed 330 days with no incidents. Several capital investments were made to create and ensure capacity for our future growth. With all these positives as we begin 2015, we are looking forward to hopefully another exciting and prosperous year.

 

October 2014

There were some positive changes that transpired at N-Stock Box in the third quarter of 2014.

In July we implemented a new tracking system for warehoused accounts. By doing so, locations are now more organized which makes product storage and retrieval easier for our employees. Additionally, consolidation has allowed us to better serve the same amount of customers in less space.

We purchased a mini flexo folder gluer in August which we expect to have installed by the end of October. Along with added capacity, advantages will include quicker throughput, better quality, less waste and entry into the small box market. Ultimately we feel it will allow us to provide a broader spectrum of packaging solutions for our customers.

The final phase of our roof resurfacing program was also completed in August. This project has not only enabled us to maintain a facility conducive to manufacturing quality product, but it has also created a more manageable environment due to better insulation.

We passed our ISO surveillance audit in September. In the past year we showed improving trends in areas such as fewer occurrences, faster set-up times, faster throughput times, and lesser waste. However we did detect a few inconsistencies and decided to implement our own internal auditing system. To continue with our improvement, we felt the need to incorporate this means of control in order to ensure employee compliance with all of our processes.

For the overall quarter, we experienced no lost time accidents as we surpassed 200 days with no incidents. Our company goal is to reach 1200 days plus. Also we added three new positions and expect to have them filled soon. In the same light, we had two employees promoted from within. Finally our sales for the third quarter, compared to last year, were up significantly. Given the many variables that exist in our present economy, we are quite enthusiastic with our growth results. We anticipate this momentum to continue as we begin the fourth quarter and enter into the new year.

 

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