Bill Smith

  • President/General Manager of Heritage Packaging
  • Management style | Demonstrative
  • Motto | Be honest and trustworthy at all times. Integrity counts.
  • How did you get into the converting business? After years of running a regionalized contract packaging company, I wanted to do more than just provide industrial packaging services within our community. It was a logical progression for us to steer the company away from that business model into the provision of converted goods to a more widespread market.

  • Are there challenges in your region to find and keep good employees? Western New York is fortunate to have an abundance of skilled workers. We challenge them, encourage them, let them perform, and then reward their successes.

  • What keeps you up at night with regard to your business? The transition from a manual system to an ERP manufacturing software program.

  • What sustainability efforts has your company made? We developed processes and machine attachments that allow us to run today's new biopolymers on the pouchmaking equipment that we utilize for high-barrier materials.

  • What do you do for customers that makes them come back? We provide our customers with solutions that have gone unaccomplished by others (i.e., enveloping an entire aircraft in an airtight cover with the landing gear down so it could be towed).

  • What makes you proud? My wife, Kris, and I started the business from scratch and managed to build it to a level that has provided a good life for our family and employees. I can see where involvement in business together could easily drive a family apart. I really think though that our business relationships (three adult children also involved) have helped strengthen our sense of family; we're pretty lucky.

  • What is the biggest mistake you made, and how did you fix it? Early on, I kept our marketing approach too limited, relying almost solely upon other area converters/brokers/distributors to bring opportunities to us. In 2000, we began a national sales campaign to become more visible and promote our capabilities to end-users outside our traditional geographic sales area. We now enjoy significantly increased sales, generated from a larger and more direct customer base that extends coast to coast and points beyond.

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? Reinvestment in and fine-tuning of your business plan. Don't panic, plan. Go further, dig deeper, work smarter, push for closure — every day.

  • Any hobbies? Music, soccer, fishing, skiing, and journeying to NYC to watch my daughter dance.

About Heritage Packaging

  • 625 Fishers Run, Victor, NY 14564; 585-742-3310
  • www.heritagepackaging.com
  • Founded 1990; 1 plant; 46 employees
  • Specialization | Custom-converted flexible products from flexible packaging materials

What's keeping you up at night? Share your perspective. Write to yolanda.simonsis@penton.com.


Subscribe to PFFC's EClips Newsletter