Recent chatter among my non-envelope industry friends reminds me of Mark Twain’s famously misquoted quote, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Just yesterday, in response to National Envelopes bankruptcy filing, the Dallas News quoted Envelope Manufacturers Association front-man Maynard Benjamin — “The envelope industry isn’t dying; it’s reshaping itself. You can either close a plant or you can close a company… Envelope companies need to broaden their product lines to include packaging… Packaging is valued at about 10 times more than an envelope and has not been hurt as much as the envelope industry. ”
No doubt, news of National Envelope bankruptcy does not come as a surprise to industry insiders. In fact, Mr. Benjamin has been telling his envelope manufacturing constituency for some time to look beyond the traditional envelope markets; specifically how they should take advantage of their strengths (***manufacturing capacity, purchasing prowess, client relationships, and complex distribution systems***) and pivot their product mix towards growing demand for packaging.
Change certainly doesn’t come easy for corporations who have the scale to compete in low cost commodity markets. Time will tell who within the industry have the vision and foresight to pivot their strengths (***see above***) towards growth opportunities.
-Bob Makofsky at email@example.com