Business Built on Innovation

Time flies when business is booming.

Although Montreal-based Netpak has only been an independent company since 2005, there is no doubt that the company has enjoyed a prosperous and exciting few years since its inception.

President Carlo Cammalleri and Vice President Salvatore Novello have developed a successful commercial packaging and printing business that has grown in leaps and bounds despite its youth. The success of the business relies on the extensive experience and professional reputation of both Cammalleri and Novello – who have worked together in some way or another since the early 90s. They come from years of experience in commercial printing or packaging businesses, and when they first worked on a project together in 1995, realized they could do great things as a team.

Joining forces to set up shop

Cammalleri knew that if he wanted to run his own business, and offer the suite of services that he wanted, he would need the expertise of Novello. The team first opened up shop in the industrial park of Ville D’Anjou acquiring the business’ first 6 color printing press in June 2005, soon followed by a sheet-fed 7 color press capable of printing on both thin paper and up to 51pts board (F flute), a first in North America.

Shortly after business started up, Daniel Filion, at the time one of the business’ first customers, visited Netpak as a client, preparing to do a press approval. He joined the company that day and has been with Netpak ever since. When he joined, Filion was tasked with system management. Right away he hired a programming manager to build a unique system capable of managing commercial printing and packaging at the same time – a home built system, unheard of before in the industry. Filion also did something other companies often don’t think of – he went to work right at the outset developing and implementing a quality manual for all products.

Filion’s commitment to Netpak is not unique.

Cammalleri says that 95% of Netpak’s employees have been with the company since the day they joined. The company needed to recruit quickly to keep up with business, and within a year Netpak had employed 20 people. Now, the company boasts a sizeable, but tightly-knit staff of over 70 employees. Becoming a business with that sized staff was one of the first goals outlined in the original business plan – as was reaching $12 million, which the company easily pulled in within the first two and half years of business.

Employee satisfaction is paramount to the Netpak management team, and the owners are proud of the way they’ve built such a successful and committed team. Cammalleri says that “it’s thanks to our team that we are where we are – the turnover within the company is very, very low.” It’s no wonder – the culture that has been created at Netpak is rare. “In the winter, when there is a snowstorm, our employees will still come in. That’s because they know Salvatore and I are at work, busy cooking them lunch. We cook our employees homemade lunches when the days are too bad to go out. We make our own spaghetti sauce – it’s effort like that that is important to us so our team knows how important they are to the business.”

Holding steady at number one

Netpak’s reputation with its employees stems from a lasting reputation in the packaging industry, and the obvious values of its management team. The company’s clients know they are in good hands with Netpak, and management says that being innovative keeps the company competitive. “Innovation is the driving force behind our business. We want to go into our clients’ operations, see how their production lines run, and then try to adapt the packaging and offer the same process at a better quality and lower cost to them. We try to build ‘partnerships’ with our clients, not just treat them as customers.”

When it comes to their stance on doing “green” business, the team says that operating environmentally has always been a given. When the business started, it was green from the start. “We made sure right away that we were one of the first packaging companies to be environmentally certified for carton board as well as paper. Furthermore, many paper-based products coming out of our plant come from trees that are replanted, and no wildlife is harmed or disturbed in the process. The company had to go through rigorous inspections and audits to make sure we were environmentally sound. All of what we use in our printing and packaging goes back to recycling.”

Netpak is certified with the Forest Stewardship Council, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. They plan to gain ISO certification in 2009 and are looking at a positive year all around. With a plan to extend business internationally, they are currently working with four international partners on new projects. The company also hopes to expand the warehouse – growing to 90,000 square feet. Not bad, for a company that’s been around less than a decade.

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