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CompanyBox

By AICC Staff

June 4, 2019

width=650When the team at CompanyBox says they want to operate with good moral values, they mean it. They apply those morals to what they print, how they give back to their community, and how they treat their employees.

CompanyBox started as a family-​owned incubator company in 2000, making cardboard boxes and slowly investing in better and better equipment. Then, four years ago, they shifted their focus to providing designs, brands, and boxes to e-commerce companies.

President Louie DeJesus works alongside his son and daughter: Kyle DeJesus, vice president of marketing and sales, and Nara Skipper, social media strategist.

“We’re a family-run company with good moral values,” Louie DeJesus says. “We are very technology-driven; we have cutting-edge equipment; we have a very sophisticated, clean facility; and we’re going to be food-certified.”

The food certification is something they’re able to do because of the installation of their newest digital single-pass printer (see sidebar), which uses food-safe ink, allowing them to provide packaging to the bigger brands that require it and offer it to the smaller brands that want to ship food without the smell of the UV ink soaking into the food.

“Food-safe packaging makes us stand out from other manufacturers, since this is such new technology,” says Skipper. “It is something we can offer that not many people can.”

It’s just part of how CompanyBox tries to keep up on the latest technology in order to serve the e-commerce industry.

“It’s not your typical box plant,” says Louie DeJesus. “We had a customer come through for a tour the other day, and they said if this was a technology company, it is what they would think Google would look like. ‘Google box plant’ is essentially what they compare us to.”

They serve customers all around the country, most of whom place their orders directly on CompanyBox’s website. Kyle DeJesus says that while they are web-to-print, nothing is printed without human intervention. If they can catch a customer error, such as a low-resolution image that comes out pixelated, a word spelled wrong, or a graphic misplaced, they’ll contact the customer and make sure everything is what they want.

“Just because someone hits the order button [doesn’t mean we’ll print],” says Kyle DeJesus. “We will make sure we reach out to that customer so that they’re happy with their end product.”

They also reserve the right to refuse to print those things that violate their morals.

“Our standards are such that we will not print anything that is offensive by any means, whether to a religious group or race or any particular group,” Kyle DeJesus says. “So we work very hard to examine all of that. We feel it is our right to not print what we feel is offensive.

For that reason, it is true web-to-print, but we have human interaction [with each job].”

Within the next three months, CompanyBox expects to receive its certification as a minority-owned company, a designation recognizing that the ownership group is 100 percent Hispanic. It is one more thing they want to offer to brands that are dedicated to working with minority-certified companies.

The owners are also dedicated to making sure their employees have the sort of benefits and working conditions that they themselves would want. This includes jumping in to help with any job when help is needed and making sure the working conditions are ethical.

“None of our employees are [paid] minimum wage,” says Louie DeJesus. “Everyone gets health care. Everyone gets a 401(k). We treat all our people who work with us with total respect.”

They even recently installed a stereo system for all their employees so they could each have their own music playing.

CompanyBox’s morals also extend to making sure they are caring for the planet.

“Everything we touch is sustainable,” Kyle DeJesus says. “Everything we touch is recyclable. Even our Event Trash Boxes™ are compostable. We want to be successful with ourselves and with our success, share that back with the country in any way possible. We help with events that are true to our beliefs. We help sponsor those—sometimes at no cost. We’re a company that wants to give back, so we participate in food banks and those kinds of things.”

As part of their Give Back Program, they team up with food banks in Charlotte, N.C., and create professionally printed, structurally strong donation boxes for them. Their website says they’ve provided thousands of boxes on multiple occasions to food banks such as Loaves and Fishes and Second Harvest Food Bank. Their desire is to provide them with clear branding that communicates well to donors about their mission and encourages them to get involved.

The focus of their business and their primary market are e-commerce companies. They provide branded boxes, mailers, shippers, and displays. They’ve also recently started creating Event Trash Boxes™ for conventions, events, and festivals. In everything they do, they want to help their customers promote their brand with consistent designs and packaging. It’s something to which they devote time in researching trends, colors, and designs.

Skipper makes sure they have a presence on social media where their customers are. She writes a regular blog and is present on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

CompanyBox is committed to making sure they have leading-edge technology, whether it is digital printers or digital cutting equipment. They are even considering expanding their building to make room for more equipment and to expand their offering to provide custom-branded pouches and labels for the food industry.

“We’re going to try to work very hard to stay ahead of the curve and meet our customer demand,” says Louie DeJesus.


width=150Virginia Humphrey is director of membership and marketing at AICC. She can be reached at 703-535-1383 or vhumphrey@aiccbox.org.

 

 

 

 


Delivering From the Family Core

When Louie DeJesus, president of CompanyBox, started looking for a digital printer, there were three boxes that the machine’s capabilities had to check off before he’d consider purchasing it: 1) It couldn’t have any UV lights in it; 2) it had to be a true replacement to litho; and 3) it had to be backed by one of their partners that they were familiar with.

This search resulted in their purchase of the HP C500, a machine that came with the Nestlé certification and Swiss Ordinance.

It is a printer that uses odorless and solvent-free ink. There are no HAPs (hazardous air pollutants) added, and it is low in VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. Why is this important? Ink has the potential to migrate through the porous corrugated material and contaminate food product.

“The more you learn about how ink can migrate to food, it is very startling and troubling,” says Nara Skipper, CompanyBox’s social media strategist. “It’s that learning that has changed people’s minds.”

DeJesus says there are some brands in the food industry that will no longer purchase any boxes that are made with UV lights. They’re also developing a company policy that even if the customer does not request it, they will not run any food-related boxes on the printers they have that use UV ink. They will run it only on the HP C500.

“Before, there were no other options. There are options now,” says DeJesus.

Even for those who don’t ship food, the printer offers some new options. CompanyBox can print text as small as four-point without any blurring. They can also print more than 100,000 feet an hour, allowing them to deliver orders faster. It also produces high-quality tiny details with realistic skin tone, vibrant colors, and an extra-silky finish.

The addition of the machine in October 2018 has already changed how CompanyBox operates. They’ve added approximately 25 people in production and in the office area to facilitate production needs. HP is present in their plant to help train the operators. They are now running two 10-hour shifts on the C500, making their plant operate 20 hours a day, six days a week.

They make sure they are available to answer customer questions and help make sure the products they are getting off the C500 are what they want.

From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., there are specialists answering phones and responding to web chat help who are skilled in graphics and have been trained to understand the equipment. If those specialists cannot answer the question, they are surrounded by structural people and graphics people with further skills.

“We’re very collaborative,” says DeJesus. “We work together. No one is sitting behind a closed door. It’s how we built our office. I’ll even try to assist if I hear someone is having a problem. It’s expensive to manpower something like that, but we’ve chosen to do that.”

Skipper says they try to treat all their employees and all their customers like part of the family. Customers are free to text them, call them, or use their chat line.

“We really do try to take care of them,” Skipper says. “It stems from it being a family-run business. It drives our core values and how we operate.”