AGI-Shorewood Invests in Technologies for Growth
Excess capacity in the packaging market is driving margin compression, but the flip side of any challenge is opportunity. And ASG (AGI-Shorewood Group) is quietly deploying the products—bespoke color branding, large-format digital presses, plastics, a new stand-alone creative agency—and the strategy to leverage the company's positive sales momentum.
"ASG has an aggressive, five-year capital plan to improve our value-added offerings and our position in the marketplace," ASG CEO Americas Mark Caines says. "We are looking into a combination of acquisitions to increase our critical mass and support the growing CPG market."
ASG is a relative newcomer with an impressive pedigree. When packaging specialists AGI and Shorewood Packaging merged in January 2012, the owners, Atlas Holdings and International Paper, envisioned a combined portfolio of best-of-breed resources and capabilities to offer key customers on four continents.
"The merger allowed the organization to diversify into new markets with a stronger, more nimble organization, operating close to its customers and focusing on their long-term satisfaction," explains Caines. "ASG's operating philosophy is to establish a value proposition that allows us to be an innovative supplier of premier packaging products for our customers."
Caines describes those customers as blue-chip brands in the home entertainment, beauty, fragrance, personal care, cosmetics, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, sporting goods, and confectionery markets that produce folding cartons, set-up boxes, and custom special packaging with innovative decorative effects.
Color, color, and more color
"As costs increase in China, we're seeing more companies looking to repatriate production back to the States," Caines notes. "This means an increase in opportunities for U.S., Canada, and Mexico to start producing work that has been overseas for the last decade, utilizing our proprietary methods of color management."
In June, the company announced that its Hendersonville, North Carolina facility was the first U.S. packaging converting plant to achieve Pantone Certification.