Experience Speaks: Jim Streicher

  • Chief Operating Officer of Bison Bag Co. Inc.
  • Management style | Flexible (no pun intended!)
  • Hobby | Collecting and restoring pinball machines
  • How did you get into the converting business? I got involved in college. Once I earned my degrees, I applied them in industry.

  • How do you retain good employees? The key is to treat them fairly. I am fortunate enough to have been on both sides and understand that without them, there is no Bison Bag.

  • How do you handle a difficult customer? We have learned over the years to make sure everything is well documented and that processes are in place to handle situations when they arise. The key is to be prepared.

  • What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now? There are always challenges. I like to think of threats as opportunities to be better.

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? In our case, it is niche markets, specialty packages, high quality, and customer service.

  • What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out in business? At first, I tried to be everything to everybody. That just doesn't work.

  • What keeps you up at night? What is going to be the next great innovation, and how do I remain ahead of the curve? Are my customers' needs met? Is there more I need to do for them? Are my key employees feeling fulfilled?

  • Are there any business books that have influenced you? The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack.

  • What do you most enjoy about your job? I like to solve problems. I enjoy the difference I can make on a daily basis. I like when I can teach or learn something, and the light bulb goes on, whether it is a team member, a customer, or me. It is a great feeling knowing you made a difference.

  • What is the best advice you ever got? If things don't work out, you can always sell your pencils on another corner.

  • What advice would you give to someone starting out in this business? Don't be afraid to take a chance. For example, I forced our hand in the zipper and process printing areas years ago because I knew it made sense.

  • What sustainability efforts have you made? We recycle all scrap films, cardboard, anything that can be reused. Some products we make use bio- and photo-degradable films and zippers. We reclaim our solvents and have an RTO in place to destroy VOCs.

  • Who is your hero? This is a family business, and the greatest part is working with my dad, learning from him, and applying what I have learned to new situations. He has the ability to always make things work.

About Bison Bag Co. Inc.

  • 5404 Crown Dr., Lockport, NY 14094; 716-434-4380

  • www.bisonbag.com

  • Founded 1968; 1 plant; 65 employees

  • Specialization | Printed, laminated, slit, or converted flex-packs; standard and unique bag designs and shapes

What sustainability efforts has your company made? Share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


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