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Jamil Packaging

By AICC Staff

December 4, 2017

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No matter how important they are, it isn’t the customers who come first at Jamil Packaging.

At this Indiana corrugated company, which serves customers around the country, the No. 1 priority is placed on its associate employees, its supplier companies, and always doing the right thing as a member of the business community and the world.

“We’re a growing company,” says General Manager David Diroll Jr., “and we feel our growth can be directly attributed to our culture and our family’s mindset on doing business—putting people first. Everything we do with our associates, our supplier partners, and even our competitors is done the right way.”

It’s a culture that was developed under the guidance of a team of coaches in 2005–2006. Jamil was founded in 1973 and sold in 1993 to the Diroll family, which now owns it. The company, led by David Diroll Sr. and Mary Ellen Diroll, shifted its focus to one of continuous improvement and creating a culture that involved everyone in the company.

“That was a huge turning point,” says Diroll. “We saw we could control what happened inside our walls. The improvements we saw had a positive and dramatic effect on the bottom line, helping us become more profitable, efficient, and streamlined. The family took that added profitability and invested it back into our company.”

That investment took the form of more advanced equipment, hiring more people, and introducing better quality control.

“That took us from the dark ages to the future,” says Diroll.

width=400He says that one of their most important business practices is to be honest and have a deep concern and awareness of their company’s culture. They are a family-owned business, but they are committed to being professional in their take on business and doing right by their employees, 115–120 of whom work in their box plant alone.

One thing he says they do differently is to make sure they don’t have a corporate feel when it comes to the chain of command. Anyone, he says, from a truck driver to a flexo operator, has access to any owner and any manager. They don’t want them to go around their supervisors or management leaders, but if they want to talk to an owner, they can.

By treating their associates and supply chain partners with professionalism and respect, they create a culture in which everyone is committed to the best possible outcomes.

“We talk about associates and supply chain partners in a collective—they are so important to the future of the company in terms of taking care of the customers,” Diroll says. “We don’t put the customer first. The customer is put at the top of everything we do, but in order to do that, we have to take care of our associates and have really good partners.”

The team at Jamil is committed to being transparent. Employees are brought together at every level to identify problems and be on action teams to help solve them. Managers are told to check their rank at the door when it comes to employee meetings.

“Everyone is equal at those meetings,” Diroll Jr. says. “We’re including people at every level.”

Jamil Packaging isn’t just a corrugated company. It also owns a share of the largest corrugator operation in the country. This allows the company to help serve the needs of its partner, along with supplying itself with corrugated. Jamil is a turnkey operation and is involved with everything from structural design to graphic design to delivery.

Jamil has industrial engineers on staff who can help customers with things from concept to delivery and everything in between. Sometimes the company designs the product; other times customers send their product to Jamil and ask them to pack it and ship it out.

“Really from concept to delivery, that’s what we do,” says Diroll.

Diroll says his family gets a big kick out of creating jobs. While it might not always be this way, so far all of their growth has been 100 percent organic—Jamil hasn’t acquired any other companies and shut them down.

“We get a real thrill out of bringing the best people together in an environment where everyone gets a say,” says Diroll. “There is an expectation of everyone being a part of the team and not just owned by a someone who only cares about the bottom line and has an ego that they have to be the biggest.”

Jamil also endeavors to do right by its competitors. They are friendly with them and try to do everything the right way.

“We have opened conversations with competitors all over the place,” Diroll. says. “We are fierce competitors—I don’t know that there is anyone with more competitive spirit than our family—but we compete the right way, respecting our industry and our competitors. This is what helps us put our heads on the pillow at night. No matter what we do, we try to do it the right way. We play fair.”

Jamil has always been an active member of AICC, even before its current ownership.

“The relationship we’ve created with AICC has been tremendous with other box manufacturers and the openness of the Association to be a network for all of us.”

He says AICC’s educational initiatives are phenomenal and something they wouldn’t be able to get on their own. They have also taken part in the CEO advisory group for the past 10 years.

With a strong culture intact, Jamil is committed to growth. Its main box plant and corrugator is in Indiana, with a satellite plant in Tennessee. Jamil continues to invest in new equipment, including a new box folder gluer and a digital printer just this year.

Mostly, though, Jamil wants to stay focused on being a growing company that they can be proud of.

“Our reputation is extremely important to us,” says Diroll. We want to do everything the right way. Being the biggest isn’t the most important, but being the best is.”


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