When you speak with Charlie Guida these days, you can just sense the excitement and enthusiasm in his voice. And this is for good reason, as the VP of sales for Diamond Flexible Packaging has a lot to be excited about.
For starters, there’s the new facility. Diamond’s new headquarters is only about a quarter-mile down the road from its previous Northbrook, Illinois, plant – but with nearly twice the square footage and higher ceilings, Guida says it provides the opportunity for the converter to better serve its growing clientele.
“It gives us more of a footprint to work more efficiently,” he notes. “The new facility has 28-foot ceilings. The old place had 22-foot ceilings. That helps us to do more customized stocking for customers. It gives us more room for storage.”
Then, there’s the new equipment. At the end of 2017, the company purchased a 10-color flexo press to go along with an older 6-color one. Guida says Diamond plans to purchase at least two more presses within the next five years and transition its pressroom to one that is climate controlled. He says one of Diamond’s specialties is high-end printing for the food and pet food markets, where it does most of its business. Speaking of food packaging, he says the company has begun the steps to earn Safe Quality Food certification.
Understandably, Guida is excited about all of this. But this is trumped by his enthusiasm for the 50 employees that make Diamond Flexible Packaging tick.
“We’ve got a lot of new things going on with respect to location, certification, equipment, but then the real nice thing is our people,” he says. “We’ve got such long-standing employees that have been with the company a real long time. We’ve got the perfect blend of technology and craftsmen. I don’t care how new and all the bells and whistles of the printing press - at the end of the day, the pressmen have to know what they’re doing. The guys on the pouch machine have to know what they’re doing.
“We spend a lot of time at work so we want to make it an extended family environment as much as work is work. We try to promote that and have a good, safe, clean working environment for them. I don’t know what the average tenure of our employees is, but I can tell you we’ve had people here for over 25 years.”
He says it’s this combination of craftsmanship, technology and company size that permits Diamond Flexible Packaging to offer its clientele what he calls “white glove service.”
“My goal is to have capabilities of some of the bigger boys, but never lose that white glove service that we offer,” he notes. “We really operate on that level. We really want to be able to cater to the mid-sized food companies and just always have the latest technology, sell value and quality.
“When I say ‘white glove service,’ you call us and we don’t answer the phone – we call you right back. We’re proactive. We look at our schedules and things on a daily basis. A big part of having white glove service is just being proactive and stepping up when there’s a concern. We won’t wilt.”
This reputation has led to long-term customers, some that Diamond has been working with for up to 50 years. So while the converter is growing, Guida says controlled growth is important so that it doesn’t become too big for its britches.
Today, Diamond is a fully integrated converter that does everything except extrude or create films. While the company is perhaps best known for its printing, it also has four in-house pouch lines and it has bag-making capabilities as well.
As for the future of Diamond Flexible Packaging, Guida says the focus will be on controlled, strategic growth, but sticking to what it does best. He also notes that the company will continue to take steps to become more sustainable. To date, Guida says the converter has worked to optimize its electrical usage and also recently installed a distiller on one of its printing presses to recapture solvents for reuse. He also notes the company’s commitment to domestic materials sourcing, both to support the American economy and minimize the carbon footprint that comes from overseas shipping.
When you add it all up, you can see why Guida is so excited about things at Diamond Flexible Packaging.
“It’s fun to go to work,” he says. “We’ve got a lot of good things going on.”
Diamond Flexible Packaging
(800) 654-2856; www.diamondpack.com
Inside Diamond Flexible Packaging