Berk International: the intelligent wiping solutions provider.
Driving Technology and Capabilities
Berk International has always prided itself on its broad product line, high standard of quality, and fully customizable production capabilities. Since 2000, it has completed initiatives to increase its inventory and production capacity by moving three times to larger locations. Recently, the company greatly expanded its operations to a 275,000 square-foot building, located in Boyertown, PA, with state-of-the-art equipment and 17 production lines that operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"It's an incredibly exciting time for our company," says Larry Berk, CEO. "Through consistent growth we have positioned ourselves as an exciting alternative to our large competitors such as Kimberly-Clark. We are able to offer a large volume of products at an attractive price structure."
A tour of Berk's immaculate new plant reveals its commitment to the highest quality. Since acquiring its new facility, the company has continuously reinvested in new high-speed equipment. In 2014, Berk acquired an ultrasonic bonding machine, enabling it to bond multiple substrates--whether light, medium or heavy--together for many applications. More recent upgrades include a robust, state-of-the-art, fully automatic, continuously running rewinder complete with a downstream packaging line. In addition to expanding product customization capabilities, the company's new production line has increased outgoing production capacity by 50%, while also decreasing ship times by 50%.
With this level of industry focus and vision for its future, Berk is able to merge quality with quantity. Raw material inventory and finished goods increased by 400% in the new facility, ensuring availability. In fact, Berk International inventories every substrate imaginable in its 90,000 square-foot raw material warehouse. A large inventory is kept on-hand in the finished goods warehouse, showcasing more than 700 SKUs packaged in a variety of wiping solutions, ready for shipment all over the world. Berk delivers on its promise to customers by consistently meeting its goals of accurate and on-time deliveries. Customers get to choose from one of the most diverse product lines in an industry where there is constant demand for new, innovative ideas in materials.
"Customers are amazed by the size of our new facility and scale of our production capabilities. We hear the same comment all the time --they never realized how large we've become," says Larry Berk. "We're bigger, faster and smarter, and customers are always our top priority. Our goal isn't to be as good as our toughest competitors, it is to be better."
Putting The Customer First
A critical mission of Berk International's day-to-day operations is customer satisfaction, a key benchmark by which Berk measures its success. Part of customer satisfaction includes customer education. Insight about product attributes and production processes enables customers to set realistic expectations. Berk's consultative approach--understanding each customer's specific challenges and demonstrating which products will best serve a customer's requirements--allows customers to make informed decisions. The company offers in-house and off-site customer training. "This personalized process goes way beyond simple order taking, a traditional scenario that many competitors still practice. We are here to educate our customers about the appropriate wipers for specific uses. This is the key for long term success." says Jeff Berk, President.
A competitive difference you won't find with other major industry contenders is Berk's flexibility. When it comes to specific case orders, mixed case orders and even last minute turnaround demands, no order is too large or too small. The management team's commitment to the supply chain fosters an open dialogue with customers. Equipment Engineers are on site 24/7 to ensure all equipment is performing at its best and can be modified to meet specific customer needs such as custom sizes and put ups. Berk's ability to mix large and small orders and meet critical deliveries puts them in a favorable position as a solutions provider.
To round out its customer service offerings, Berk provides contract converting services to further process and convert combined substrates into value-added finished products. Furthermore, company experts will work with customers to design custom packaging and marketing materials; an intelligent benefit Berk offers that others don't. A telling result of Berk's commitment to going above-and-beyond the norm in customer service is demonstrated by their lifelong relationships with customers.
Engaging Industry Expertise
Another key ingredient of the Berk International advantage is its application of industry expertise, not only in consultation with the company's team of sales and marketing experts at the forefront, but all the way through production and delivery by a full staff of well-trained employees. The company is dedicated to continual proactive methods of daily engagement with employees, career development training and commitment to diversity as a means to success for everyone.
In order to maintain its position as an industry leader, Berk understands that market research and product development are essential tools to the process. A good example of its new product development initiative is Berk's Chemwipe. This lint-free disposable bucket cleaning system allows end-users to add their own chemical for a specific use. New product development involves searching worldwide for unique substrates and new applications, which, in turn, provides distributors with unique sales advantages.
The on-going sharing of company expertise with distributors is supported with sales tools, sales training, and revamped marketing materials that incorporate the latest product education. Investment in new technology and advanced capabilities supports Berk's new product development and the final component of its progressive recipe for intelligent wiping solutions.
Today's Intelligent Choice
Reflective of its success, Berk has been recognized on the Inc. 500 list as well as five consecutive years on Inc. 5000, making them a Five-Time Inc. 5000 Honoree. Published by Inc. Magazine, the Inc. 5000 is an elite list of the fastest-growing private companies in America, ranked by overall revenue growth over a three-year period, representing a network of entrepreneurial leaders. Berk was also selected as a 2012 SmartCEO 100 Best Run Company, and received the 2014 Sanitary Maintenance Distributor Choice Award.
With deep entrepreneurial roots and a strong emphasis on innovation, the company's range of products and capabilities have made Berk who they are today--one of the largest global manufacturers of towel, tissue and disposable wiping cloths --providing a full range of standard, custom and specialty wipes serving the jan/san, industrial, healthcare, foodservice, automotive, electronics and aerospace markets as well as developing new innovative solutions for niche markets.
Berk International's new name and new logo signify a whole new Berk, possessing capabilities to handle all customers' wiping needs above the level of any of the big conglomerates.
What sets Berk ahead is its flexible, customer-oriented approach of intelligent wiping solutions. Customers no longer have to choose between cost, quality and turnaround. With a focus on customer satisfaction, advanced industry expertise, and continual reinvestment in leading-edge technology, Berk International is increasingly positioned to become the preferred choice for customers seeking value and the highest quality wiping products.
By Svetlana Uduslivaia, Euromonitor International
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|Article Type:||Cover story|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2016|
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