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Diversification Diversification

A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. It is designed to minimize the impact of any one security on overall portfolio performance.

Diversification is possibly the greatest way to reduce the risk.
 is a word heard often in this industry, in every industry. It is considered by many to be the injection that can keep a company alive, or make it more successful. For some, diversification is the act of specializing in one thing, or one more thing, maybe two.

Ron Noun 1. Ron - a Chadic language spoken in northern Nigeria
Bokkos, Daffo

West Chadic - a group of Chadic languages spoken in northern Nigeria; Hausa in the most important member
 Brown, on the other hand, has always thought about diverse product offerings, about verticality. At Shippers Supply, the company he launched in 1975, the sales people are fond of saying, "Yes, we also do that," and "Yes, we manufacture that, too."

His label division, Labelgraphics, is a product of that focus on diversity, born from the observation that the people who buy corrugated cor·ru·gate  
v. cor·ru·gat·ed, cor·ru·gat·ing, cor·ru·gates
To shape into folds or parallel and alternating ridges and grooves.

 boxes from Shippers Supply also need to put labels on the products that will go inside them.

Brown's business is entirely in Canada Canada (kăn`ədə), independent nation (2001 pop. 30,007,094), 3,851,787 sq mi (9,976,128 sq km), N North America. Canada occupies all of North America N of the United States (and E of Alaska) except for Greenland and the French islands of . Headquarters is in Edmonton Edmonton (ĕd`məntən), city (1991 pop. 616,741), provincial capital, central Alta., Canada, on the North Saskatchewan River. The center of the largest metropolitan area in Alberta, Edmonton, known as the "Gateway to the North," is located . Distribution centers--there are 10--are located throughout the country.

"I started off as a sales representative for Bostitch staplers. The distributor I worked for had carried a wide variety of related products, and I got an interest in the industry," Brown recalls. "I worked in all the departments, and after six years I knew the business well. When I got out into the sales field I really got to like it.

"I worked for that company nine years, and then they sold it. A few of us who worked there decided we'd we'd  

1. Contraction of we had.

2. Contraction of we should.

3. Contraction of we would.

we'd have ~would
 form our own company, similar in focus. And we did it, sticking mainly to the stapler sta·pler 1  
One who deals in staple goods or staple fibers.


a device used to fasten things together with a staple

Noun 1.
 side of the business. It was growing, but I kept on seeing opportunities for other products in the packaging field. I mentioned it to my partners, telling them that corrugated boxes and similar products will allow us to offer more of a complete service.

"Well, they rejected that idea, so I started Shippers Supply." It is a company which now has annual sales, in Canadian Canadian (kənā`dēən), river, 906 mi (1,458 km) long, rising in NE New Mexico. and flowing E across N Texas and central Oklahoma into the Arkansas River in E Oklahoma.  money, of $30 million.

Brown went to Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. , bought some equipment, learned how to run it, and moved it to Edmonton. "I was manufacturing boxes, and the product moved well. The trend was good, because at the time people had to go to major corrugated houses and buy large quantities. So I serviced the small and medium-range customers."

Not long afterward af·ter·ward   also af·ter·wards
At a later time; subsequently.

Adv. 1. afterward - happening at a time subsequent to a reference time; "he apologized subsequently"; "he's going to the store but he'll be back here
, Brown was at a trade show and saw a Sohn label maker. "My customers wanted a few labels from time to time, so I bought the Sohn and started to make labels." He quickly moved to a Mark Andy press "to keep us carrying on in that field. One thing led to another and we ended up with a graphics department.

"The reason we did all of this is that we listened to our customers," says Brown. "They told us nobody really had a graphics operation out where we are. It grew to the point where we ended up with four artists, and a nice complement of equipment. It has worked out very well."

Scope and activity

Brown and his team watch the national and international markets carefully. "We are members of all of the various food organizations, for example, and the packaging associations." Among other groups, Shippers Supply belongs to the Tag & Label Manufacturers Institute, the Packaging Association of Canada, the Canadian Material Handling & Distribution Society, and the Quality Council of Alberta.

The entire manufacturing operation is under one roof. Besides Labelgraphics, divisions include general packaging and equipment (packaging products and warehouse equipment), corrugated box manufacturing, stretch film division (pallet wrap), and Redeman, the company's own brand of materials handling equipment Mechanical devices for handling of supplies with greater ease and economy. See also materials handling. . Labelgraphics represents close to 25 percent of total revenue.

All of this takes place under the roof of a 100,000 square foot building, a former Canada Dry Canada Dry is a brand of soft drinks marketed by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, a unit of Cadbury-Schweppes. Canada Dry is best known for its ginger ale, but also manufactures a number of other soft drinks and mixers.  bottle manufacturing plant that is divided into separate units for each division.

"From one side it has the appearance of being somewhat complex," Brown observes, "but we keep them as individual units with individual managers. We do have a common shipping department, receiving department, and accounting department."

Brown says that the various units make use of cross-over labor: If one unit is slow, the employees help out their co-workers in another.

"We have more than 25,000 accounts," says Brown. "And we have inside personnel who phone all accounts on a regular basis to tell them that we are interested in their livelihood.

"We have 34 sales reps out there, with company cars, with company logos on them. They have total cross-over knowledge, and can sell anything we manufacture.

Labelgraphics still has the Mark Andy press from the old days, plus two Aquaflex machines and two Siat tape presses. The company makes its own flexo printing plates.

"Flexo is serving us so well," says Brown. We have no problem with it and are producing great work." Digital printing is on the horizon, he says. "Direct to press would be a great application for us, to do short runs especially. The way things are going now, everyone wants faster, shorter runs, and cheaper and higher quality. We have been able to maximize that."

Shippers Supply's markets are regional, "and our main market is the food industry, followed by industrial applications for chemical identification."

Customers, he says, "are now making demands that they want their product faster, and want us to inventory for them in some cases. Price is under pressure in many cases. We still look to counteract that. Our approach is to be a problem solving problem solving

Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error.

"The nice thing about this business is that we are offering solutions, and that keeps us so close to our accounts for their other needs. They start with labels and then realize that they have to put their product into a box. So we make them a box.

"Shippers Supply is a complete package. And we really mean it."


A Division of Shippers Supply

2305 84 Ave AVE Avenue
AVE Average
AVE Alta Velocidad Espanola (train between Madrid and Seville)
AVE Alta Velocidad Española (Spanish: High Speed Train)
AVE Audio Video Entertainment
AVE Advertising Value Equivalent
. NW

Edmonton, AB, Canada


Founded: 1975

Employees: 170 total

Annual sales: $30 million (Canadian) combined operations For the department of the British War Office during World War II, see .
In the military, combined operations are operations conducted by forces of two or more allied nations acting together for the accomplishment of a single mission. See also
  • Joint warfare

President: Ron Brown

Presses: Mark Andy, Aquaflex, Siat
COPYRIGHT 2003 Rodman Publications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Companies to Watch
Publication:Label & Narrow Web
Article Type:Company Profile
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Previous Article:Tech Tag & Label.
Next Article:Design Label Manufacturing.

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