Made in the Midwest: Minnesota Corrugated Box

Posted at: 05/22/2013 7:47 AM
Updated at: 05/22/2013 7:48 AM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- You use them for moving, storage, maybe even make shift forts.  But did you know boxes were made just down the road?

A constant rhythm plays in the background of Minnesota Corrugated Box. The boxes moving fast, the employees, methodically working the machines.

"I think it's one of the best places to work in Albert Lea,” said Wyatt Buchanan.

Buchanan has worked at Minnesota Corrugated Box for 20 years.

"It's just stable. I always know that I have a job,” he said.

He’s one of 182 people the company employs. Most of them are from Albert Lea, Austin, Glenville, and Northern Iowa.

"It's a very local workforce. They grow up with that Midwest work ethic and they know how to work, they know how to think,” said Mike Moore, Chief Financial Officer of the company.

And you don’t have to travel far to find the company’s customers. It has around 300, all within a couple hundred miles of Albert Lea.

"Our founders instilled in all of us, you've got to take care of the customer, go that extra mile for them,” said Moore.

The company makes about 2.8 million square feet of boxes each day. That's 60 million square feet each month.

So how are all of those boxes made? The company receives flat card board pieces and then goes to work.

“We run it through any of our production lines, folding, gluing, dye cutting, whatever needs to be done to make the finished box, the end box for the customer,” said Moore.

This month, the company celebrated its 30th anniversary. Its multiplied its workforce by 30 and has grown from 30,000 square feet of space to close to 300,000.

"We've come out of the recession doing really well. We work hard to take care of our customers and as a result they're taking care of us,” said Moore.

One of the reasons the company has stayed on top of the box game is it’s machinery. They are constantly upgrade with machines from around the world. Many of them, the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth installation in the country and in the world.

"That's one of the ways we can compete with our larger competitors is to have a very efficient equipment that does a good job,” said Moore.

Continuous improvement to keep the building humming for years to come.

Much like the company is innovative with their machinery, they are forward thinking in their products as well.  The company has started focusing on shelf displays.