Just about everyone involved with our industry has heard of The Illinois Tool Works Company.
In 1912, Chicago financier, Byron Smith, created ITW and this company has not only been an American institution, but has reached around the globe purchasing existing companies and their technologies.
Even the packaging industry has been part of ITW's growth.
Companies such as Signode, MIP, Acme, Angleboard, and Strapex, just to name a few, have been part of the ITW portfolio for years.
Sadly for the packaging industry, profits have been harder to maintain due to pressures from new manufacturing that can make products cheaper, and innovative ideas that offer less waste while maintaining the package's integrity.
ITW, known for its ability to regularly reward its investors with generous dividends, has not been happy with the profit margins that derived from the $2.4 billion packaging segment. This collection of companies may be on the block to be sold.
Many who work for companies, such as Signode and Angleboard, are not happy with ITW's management decisions to strip the profits from the divisions in order to maintain dividends. Not leaving the profits limits the opportunity to allow for innovate ideas, new technology or manufacturing upgrades to compete within the industry.
Signode, at one time, created the standards that all other strapping companies followed. Now, Signode is nothing more than a commodity, sharing its manufacturing with Strapex and Acme.
Meanwhile as ITW struggles to maintain their 40% plus profit margins, distributors like One Pack move away from these once proud companies in search for more competitive and innovative manufacturers that will offer them something new and unique in order to protect their customers' best interest.