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Industry Insight

Mohawk's Reinvention Plans

I have been following Mohawk for a number years, dating back to its early engagement with Indigo in the 1990s and its work on developing digitally-optimized papers that worked with that press and others. It has been interesting to watch this fourth-generation family business evolve over those years. And now, under the leadership of Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Chairman and CEO, the company seems to be accelerating its rate of change.

By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 11, 2012

I have been following Mohawk for a number years, dating back to its early engagement with Indigo in the 1990s and its work on developing digitally-optimized papers that worked with that press and others. It has been interesting to watch this fourth-generation family business evolve over those years. And now, under the leadership of Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Chairman and CEO, the company seems to be accelerating its rate of change.

First, I found it interesting that the company took the word “paper” out of its name, just as many printing businesses are removing the word “print” from their company monikers. I liked O’Connor’s statement: “Technology disrupts, recessions clarify, and successful companies reinvent. That's what we're doing right now." It certainly describes what is going on in our industry today.

Over the last few years, Mohawk has been quietly acquiring companies and adding new solutions and services, some of which are pretty bold for a paper company. The release indicates that the company will continue down this path. It is also interesting that Mohawk is “moving closer to the end customer.” I interpret this to mean that the company is seeking some alternatives to the traditional merchant channel, which could cause some channel conflict. However, I spoke with Mr. O’Connor recently, and he indicates that while Mohawk is exploring alternatives to the merchant channel, the company is certainly not abandoning that channel. It appears that the new Unified Service Delivery Platform the company is building will help mitigate any channel conflict, yet put more control into the hands of end users—which is clearly the way of the world today.

We plan to speak with Mr. O’Connor shortly in a WhatTheyThink exclusive interview to get additional insight into these dramatic changes at Mohawk.

Cary Sherburne is a well-known author, journalist and marketing consultant whose practice is focused on marketing communications strategies for the printing and publishing industries.

Cary Sherburne is available for speaking engagements and consulting projects. To get more information contact us.

Please offer your feedback to Cary. She can be reached at cary@whattheythink.com.

 

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