Warren Packaging Gets Support From The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board
The Ontario based company knew it needed a culture change if it were to keep up with the times – and the competition.
“We tried bringing in more manpower, but that just cost us more money. We needed processes to run more efficiently and meet the needs of customers, instead of simply throwing more money at it,” said Mike Dittenber, Warren’s director of operations.
With the help of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board’s (WDB) Business Services Unit, Warren Packaging was introduced to a business consultant who over the course of several months helped Dittenber and his team use new technology, training and improved processes to more effectively monitor floor operations, control inventory and respond more quickly to changing customer needs.
Within a year, revenues had risen from $10.5 million to $12 million and project lead times had dropped from 8-10 days to 3-5 days, with the ability to do some jobs in 1-2 days. The improvements also allowed the custom-packaging and label manufacturer to increase its workforce from 17 to 23 employees.
Business consultant, Dennis Sonney of California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), said Warren Packaging had evolved to the point where it needed outside help. A manufacturer of custom labels, corrugated boxes and folding cartons, the company is part of the rapidly changing, $1 trillion-plus shipping industry.
“Change can be hard, especially for a family-owned business. When radical change is required, you need someone from the outside to come in and ‘rattle the cages’ – to identify operational issues and help you solve them,” Sonney said, adding that he has worked with more than 750 manufacturers in the Inland Empire during his 12-year stint with CMTC.
Connecting companies with the support they need is part of the mission of the Workforce Development Board. During the most recent fiscal year, the Business Services Unit visited 7,826 businesses and conducted labor market surveys with 2,086 employers.
“This kind of engagement has enabled us to develop customized solutions that help businesses grow and create new employment opportunities throughout our county. We’re thrilled to be able to help companies such as Warren Packaging – who have invested and contribute so much to our region – take their business operations to the next level,” said Tony Myrell, WDB’s chairman.
Dittenber said he learned about the WDB around the time the company purchased its current Ontario facility in 2015. After conducting an initial assessment, the Business Services Unit referred CMTC to Warren.
The consultant helped the company see that a cultural shift, retraining of staff and investment in technology would pay dividends in the form of increased capacity and performance.
“They were vulnerable, yet viable, and ready to transform their company,” Sonney said.
About the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board
The San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board (WDB) is comprised of private business representatives and public partners appointed by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. The WDB strives to strengthen the skills of the County’s workforce through partnerships with business, education and community-based organizations. T
Employers and job seekers who are interested in the Workforce Development Board programs may call: (800) 451-JOBS or visit www.sbcounty.gov/workforce.