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The difference that 130 years in business can make

  • MJS Packaging
North America, USA, US - The Northeast, Canada, Health, Pharmaceuticals, Primary Packaging, Pharmaceutical Components

Ken Goldberg is an integral member of the MJS Packaging team. During his time at the company, he has played a key role in the firm's tremendous growth, particularly in the pharmaceutical packaging space. We had the opportunity to speak with Ken recently to learn a bit about MJS Packaging, his particular role, and where the company is headed.


So, Ken, what exactly do you do at MJS Packaging?
Currently, I'm the VP for our northeast region, covering Richmond, Virginia all the way up along the coast to New England and Canada. I work on what we refer to as "specialty accounts” within the pharma space as well as new business for other markets.

So, is there a specific reason that you are the person in this role? Meaning, are you especially suited to the pharma space for some reason?
I have extensive experience in the pharma packaging space. When I left college, I began to work in advertising and marketing and found myself at a packaging company, a large regional distributor in New York that served some pharma accounts. From there, I moved to Maryland in 1990 and started to train myself to work within the pharma packaging niche, as most of my accounts were pharma-oriented. It was a crazy time. A lot of manufacturers were short-cutting or using substandard components to offer a better price. The efficacy of the packaging was being affected, and by extension, the pharmaceuticals they contained. This was also when the FDA became more active in checking and auditing pharma manufacturers and their packaging components. Distributors that kept on top of specifications and data and that could offer proper details were more successful. I always make sure to work with vetted suppliers. MJS Packaging has gained in popularity for pharmaceutical packaging due to the confidence we provide.

Where does MJS Packaging primarily operate today?
MJS Packaging serves customers all over the world, although most of our customers are in North America.  We have a strong presence on the east side of the country with regional offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Greenville, SC.  In addition we have sales professionals in Florida, North Carolina, Maryland and California. Each region has a market and product leader like me, heading up operations and bringing in larger accounts.

And are you exclusive to the pharmaceutical market?
Well, I deal almost exclusively with pharmaceutical companies, but MJS Packaging is a full service packaging solution provider. We work in all sorts of markets apart from the pharma space. We have customers in the food and beverage, health and beauty, pet, home care, and automotive sectors. We work with a lot of small fringe companies and start-ups as well as international players.

Does MJS Packaging offer manufacturing?
MJS Packaging is primarily a distributor. We do own the molds for a number of parts for sterile ophthalmic items, nasal sprays, pumps, etc., as well as molds for components across other industries. We control all our proprietary molds and we decide with whom we work as "molding partners". When we have a project that requires those molds, our partners use them to produce what we require.  We have warehouses where we receive and store shipments from our vetted partners. This gives our partners a valuable logistical tool, as they can simply manufacture the product in their excellent conditions and pass it on to us. We only partner with certified manufacturers we consider trustworthy in order to meet the needs of our customers.

And what does MJS Packaging bring to the table? Why MJS Packaging and not some other firm?
We have an incredibly deep knowledge base. The people with whom I work are veterans in primary rigid packaging with varied career experiences in: distribution and retail sales; B2B sales; labelling and decoration sales; and container and closure manufacturing. All of us offer 20+ years of experience in the space. We've all worked for a variety of packaging firms and we bring all that experience to the table.  We have extensive knowledge of the markets we serve and offer great value to both large and small customers.  We work tirelessly to find the best solution for their packaging requirements. If your customer needs 50,000 or 5,000,000 items, you need to know the technical production differences, things like whether it'll be a high or low cavitation mold, what the best platform choice is, which factory is best suited to produce the component, etc. We manage both the resources available and the fulfillment of the requirements as set down by the customer.

So, how does that real world experience translate into the virtual environment? We're here doing an interview for Webpackaging, how do you feel about the Internet as a tool?
I believe the Internet is both a blessing and a curse. It's great because it makes the buyer aware of many supplier options, and you can see that on the Webpackaging website, on Google, and on other web sites dedicated to packaging. On the other hand, it creates a universal playing field, where buyers are no longer confined to a specific place, they can avail themselves of services from all over the world. In some ways, a producer in China can be closer than a blow molder a couple of states over. MJS Packaging differentiates itself by having gone through hundreds if not thousands of manufacturers looking for many types of products, and showcasing these products on our own site, www.mjspackaging.com. We know who the best partners are according to our customers' needs. We've been around for over 130 years. In fact, we're the oldest family-owned packaging distribution company in North America.  

That seems a bit anachronistic. Is there every any tension working with a family?
The company is family-owned, not family-run.  We have an excellent working relationship with the Jacob family, and are pleased to have two family members on our current executive team.

How has the business changed in 130 years?
We have experienced countless changes throughout the history of our company.  We evolved from a one-man bottling business to a thriving company due to the Jacob family’s focus and leadership, and have endured over the years largely due to our high standards for customer service, integrity, and innovation.   Over the years, we have made several acquisitions to expand our footprint and establish our presence in key industries.

What is MJS Packaging up to today?
In the short term, we want to continue to satisfy our current customers as well as demonstrate our capabilities to prospective customers. We want to continue to grow in the markets where we have knowledge and experience and maintain our emphasis on providing excellent service.

Is it working? Is MJS Packaging a firm that people trust?
Absolutely!  We treat vendors and customers with the utmost respect. Our customers appreciate us because we're transparent, we're quick to react, and we can provide a lot of information quickly.  We pride ourselves on being a very flat organization and very agile. Our sales people operate as if they were operating their own businesses, and are extremely quick to respond to customers.  We always act with honesty and integrity, and are continuously looking for ways to innovate and improve our performance.  We will continue to stay focused on earning the trust and respect of all our partners.

 

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  • Interview
  • English
  • Modified 04 Aug 2016
  • Hits 1364