Taking Packaging to Heart
It's easy to tell when someone truly enjoys what he or she does. There's the way a person answers questions—with energy and exuberance. There's the pride that comes through when a person talks about his business and the affection with which he speaks of his employees. So far, this describes Tom Picciolo, Jr., president and CEO of Century Packaging (East Brunswick, NJ, www.centurypackaginginc.com), and he has reason to speak with pride. His 23-year-old company has grown from being a $350,000/year company to $10 million/year enterprise.
Built from the ground up
In 1986, partners Picciolo and John Ranone operated the new folding carton printing business with a one-color, 29˝ Meihle press, one diecutter, and two folder/gluers. A self-confessed hands-on owner, Piccolo proudly says that 23 years later, both he and Ranone still come to work every day at 6:00 A.M. and stay until 5 o'clock. "We don't miss a day," he says. Picciolo handles the sales end, and Ranone overlooks the entire plant. How do the employees feel about such hands-on management? "They love it," asserts Picciolo. "I have four employees who have been with us since 1986. [New employees] know me when they come, they find out about Century, and they stay on with us."
Not only that, but Picciolo takes care of his employees with a comprehensive benefit plan and slightly higher salaries than competing package printers. He calls it his ratio of scale. "I think that we pay a little more than the average folding carton company out there as far as scale," he says. "They have all their paid holidays and all their medical. The environment is pretty good here." Picciolo adds that he and Ranone aren't on top of the employees all the time. "Everyone does [his or her] own job," he says. "They are all family-oriented people, and they are here to work."