Diamond ShinesSeptember 2010
Diamonds are a girl's best friend—so says the song by that title. Karla Fichter and Kirsten Werner might twist that saying around somewhat and say, Diamond Packaging is a consumer products company's best friend. Fichter, CEO, and Werner, president, are co-owners of Rochester, N.Y.-based Diamond Packaging, and are proud of the fact that their company is a WBENC-Certified Women's Business Enterprise. And, there many additional reasons for the pride they have in the company.
Diamond Packaging was founded in 1911 as a supplier of folding carton packaging materials for the garment and bakery industries. The company has remained faithful to its roots in folding cartons and, today, manufactures paperboard and plastic packaging and provides contract packaging services for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Fichter and Werner have been actively involved in the business since the late 1980s and became co-owners of the company in 2004. They later acquired the other 50 percent of the business, becoming sole owners of Diamond Packaging. The company experienced much success during this time period, growing from 23 employees in 1978 to more than 230 today. And if the owners' vision comes to fruition, the future will continue to be bright. "Our transition to a women-owned business brings new opportunities to carry the best of Diamond's traditions forward into the future: quality, innovation, and passion," states Fichter.
Packaging innovation on a global scale
Diamond's primary markets include prestige and mass market personal care products (cosmetics and skin care, fragrance, hair care), healthcare, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food, and confectionery products, reports Fichter. These are highly competitive markets that—to have any chance of success—require a company to stand out from the crowd.
To compete successfully, says Werner, "The company continues to invest in the latest technologies and employs skilled people driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Diamond differentiates itself from the competition through innovative design, technical expertise, Diamond's greenbox sustainability initiative, and by providing fast and flexible service and delivery."
In addition, the company is a founding member of the Global Packaging –Alliance® (GPA), which provides Diamond with global reach and service capability, she notes. GPA is an international organization of independent packaging producers, with members located in Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Russia, Mexico, India, and South Africa. "As part of the Global Packaging Alliance, Diamond and its alliance members offer packaging –solutions to companies operating on an international scale. Customers receive responsive, localized service, award-winning creative designs, identical product specifications, and consistent brand recognition, resulting in unparalleled worldwide packaging support."