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Jonathan Kraft Opens SuperCorrExpo 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Press release from the issuing company

ORLANDO - Keynote Speaker, Jonathan Kraft, President of The Kraft Group, kicked off SuperCorrExpo with a dynamic presentation about the history of The Kraft Group, and how it all began when Robert Kraft leased a warehouse to open a small sheet plant and got the marketing and sales rights to Labrador Linerboard in Newfoundland, Canada.

The Group’s paper and packaging holdings now consist of: Rand-Whitney Container, the largest corrugated container business in New England – employing over 750 people across 7 locations; International Forest Products, North America’s largest trader of forest products and commodities;  Rand-Whitney Containerboard and New-Indy Containerboard (a joint venture with Schwarz Partners), manufacturers of 100% high performance recycled linerboard. Additionally the Group’s holding include several sports and entertainment assets, including the National Football League’s New England Patriots.

Kraft discussed the 3 factors that have him feeling very optimistic about the future of the industry: consolidation and rationalization, the environmental benefits of fiber-based packaging versus petroleum-based packaging, and the growth of e-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales. Kraft also identified good customer service as the number one way to differentiate your business from competitors.  To that end, Rand-Whitney has developed proprietary software that gives customers direct account management from any mobile device or desktop.

When the Kraft family purchased the Patriots in 1994 the club was losing money.  Immediately, they began applying the customer first model that they learned from the Corrugated Industry.  The organization changed the focus of the team and began to engage and interact more with season ticket members –the lifeblood of the organization. They also began a new 365-day touch point program that provided sponsors with new and innovative ways to connect with their customers.  Sponsorship revenue increased from less than $1 million to over $150 million and the team now has a wait list of 60,000+ for season tickets.

Kraft also talked about the competitive advantages of having a General Plant Manager who knows the importance of manufacturing, budgeting, and customer service.  These same principles transferred over into the sports arena.  He referenced the value of hiring a Coach who can understand the dynamic relationship between the “X’s and O’s”, management of salary caps and free agents, and getting the best value for each position, will give you the competitive advantage you need for a successful business. 

Kraft credits his family’s experience in the Corrugated Industry with their success. “The Corrugated industry has helped us to create a successful team based simply on good customer service,” Kraft said. Changing your mindset to see the entire picture and not just pieces has lead the Group to four Super Bowl rings and become one of the leading companies that convert, produce, and distribute over 5 million tons of pulp & paper annually across the globe.

 

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Jennifer Matt

David Zwang, Editor/Analyst
David travels the globe helping companies increase their productivity, margins and market reach.

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