Posts Tagged ‘Haltom City’

Award honors high-tech packaging company

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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Harris Packaging Corp. of Haltom City, a winner of the Chamber’s 2012 Small Business of the Year Award, is headed by President and CEO Jana Harris-Bickford (right) and her sister, Controller Jenise Harris-Cox.

Thinking outside the box comes naturally at Harris Packaging Corporation (HPC).

It’s vital to the certified Woman Owned Business’s success as an innovative producer of a diverse mix of corrugated containers, displays and folding cartons for more than 200 customers here and across the United States.

Harris has consistently notched robust growth even during the recent economic downturn when, according to President and CEO Jana Harris-Bickford, “we chose to focus on how to grow rather than just on how to keep our heads above water.”

In 2009, Harris-Bickford and her sister, Controller Jenise Harris-Cox, became majority owners of the company that has long supported local charitable and civic causes and is a certified participant in the Sustainable Forest Initiative.

Founded by their parents, Joe and Joyce Harris, in 1976 in a small Haltom City sheet plant, HPC operates with state-of-the-art technology out of a more than 200,000-square-foot manufacturing and office facility.

With a workforce of around 100 highly experienced employees, HPC is one of the largest sheet plants in Texas and one of only a few to have a folding carton operation – American Carton Company, which Joe Harris launched in Mansfield in 1992.

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce honored Harris Packaging this year with the 2012 Small Business of the Year Award in the 51-150 Employees category. “Everyone was thrilled,” Harris-Cox said. “We all feel proud of the quality work that we produce, the company and its history, and the employees themselves.”

Harris Packaging, recently has taken strategic steps to compete in an industry that faces increasing challenges in the United States.

“As more and more of the U.S. manufacturers moved overseas, we began to take a look at what was left, what industries are still manufacturing here in the States,” Harris-Bickford said.

“We also began to look at investing in equipment that many of our competitors do not have. This allowed us to narrow the playing field in certain markets” such as precision packaging for food and pharmaceutical companies.”

HPC employees operate sophisticated high-speed equipment and quality controls to produce everything from plain brown boxes to four-color products printed and die-cut with exact precision. Some jobs rely on custom inks made in-house.

“Almost every product that is manufactured is at some point in a box, whether it is for shipping purposes only or if it is catching the consumer’s eye sitting on a retail shelf. Packaging is … in many cases the also the billboard or marketing tool for the product.”

      

Harris Packaging Corporation website:  www.harrispackaging.com

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Q&A with Harris Packaging’s C-level sisters

Thursday, November 29th, 2012
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Harris Packaging Corp. of Haltom City, a winner of the Chamber’s 2012 Small Business of the Year Award, is headed by President and CEO Jana Harris-Bickford (right) and her sister, Controller Jenise Harris-Cox.

Harris Packaging Corporation of  Haltom City, winner of the Chamber’s 2012 Small Business of the Year Award in the 51-150 Employees category, is a highly successful and competitive operation. President and CEO Jana Harris-Bickford and her sister, Controller Jenise Harris-Cox, shared thoughts about the enterprise for a Chamberletter Q&A.

 

How important is packaging to products’ success?

Packaging is vital to a product’s success.  It is not only the protective container that is used for transportation of the product, but in many cases the package is also the billboard or marketing tool for the product.

You produce world-class work with great precision. How do you describe the level of sophistication in the skills and equipment necessary to drive HPC and (subsidiary) American Carton Company of Mansfield?

Having equipment with the newest technology is key to being able to compete in today’s market. But just as critical if not more so, is having skilled employees. The employees are truly what have helped us to continue to manufacture a quality product year after year.

As you noted in the SBOY application, HPC has thrived during tough economic times. What’s in HPC’s heart of hearts that has made that possible?

Determination and willingness to take chances. During the tough economic times we began to think of ideas and markets that we normally would not have gone after. We had recently purchased a new piece of equipment for value added graphics purposes, but we realized it could also run a plain box without graphics very fast and more efficiently than we had been able to do before. This was not the original plan or product mix for this equipment, but it did allow us to be competitive in markets we were not competitive in the past. We were able to adjust to the challenges and look for other ways to get new business. We chose to focus on how to grow rather than just on how to keep our heads above water.

 

Your application also noted the challenge of increased competition from foreign competitors. How has HPC responded to that challenge?

Almost every product that is manufactured is at some point in a box, whether it is for shipping purposes only or if it is catching the consumer’s eye sitting on a retail shelf. As more and more of the U.S. manufacturers are moved overseas, we began to take a look at what was left, what industries are still manufacturing here in the States. We also began to look at investing in equipment that many of our competitors do not have. This allowed us to narrow the playing field in certain markets.

What’s one of the most important lessons you have learned from your dad?

That you cannot be successful alone. It takes a team of employees, with different talents and strengths to get the job done and to be a success.

What was HPC’s reaction to winning the SBOY award?

Everyone was thrilled! We all feel proud of the quality work that we produce, the company and its history, and the employees themselves. We think that we are an outstanding company, but to be recognized by our peers at the chamber….that was quite an honor.  Our father, Joe Harris, was especially proud that the company he started and worked so hard for over the last 36 years was being recognized as a Small Business of the Year by other business people in our community.

Would you encourage other businesses to enter the competition?

I would absolutely encourage others to enter the competition. It makes you step back and evaluate your recent strengths and successes and it brings a sense of unity among the employees. It has also provided positive publicity and recognition, which is always advantageous.

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