The industrial packaging game has a new player.
Encore Container, a manufacturer and reconditioner of industrial containers, recently launched in Greenville, S.C.
CEO Chad Odom, the former owner of now-defunct Innovative Container, opened the new company in April after a five-year non-compete agreement had expired.
In 2001, Odom and his business partners founded Innovative, also an industrial packaging manufacturer, in Greenville. In 2007, they sold Innovative to private investment firm BB&T Capital Partners in Winston-Salem, N.C., a decision Odom called “one of the worst things we did.”
In 2009, Innovative merged with Container Management Systems LLC to form Varicon LLC. The manufacturer, known for its post-consumer containers, was purchased by packaging firm Mauser AG earlier this year.
After the acquisition, Mauser closed Varicon's plants in Greenville and Cleveland.
“We like the industry, we like our customers, and there were 150 people put out on the street with no jobs when the last facility was closed,” Odom said in a recent phone interview. “We're putting a lot back into work.
“We're in it for the long haul this time,” he added. “We don't have any plans to sell it.”
Encore has made a $3.9 million investment in Greenville — purchasing and converting an 80,000-square-foot facility, installing new equipment, and hiring 50 employees.
The company will add 80-100 new jobs during the next three to five years, Odom said.
Odom would not disclose details about the plant's capacity, but said the facility manufactures plastic drums and intermediate bulk containers from both post-consumer regrind and virgin materials.
It serves customers in a variety of markets including chemicals, water treatment, and dyes — “just about anything that can go into a plastic drum or tote,” he added.
Encore provides national trip leasing, pickup and service for plastic drums and IBC totes, and tote cleaning, reconditioning and recycling.
Though Odom and his partners — former Innovative executives Blayne Henderson (currently Encore's chief operating officer) and Chas Key (Encore's chief compliance and quality officer) — are veterans of the industrial packaging market, Encore is starting from square one.
“Our vision is to provide the best service for our customers in the industry. To provide a lot of good-paying jobs for the people in the community,” he said. “We look at our employees and customers as family. We believe if we take care of that, the rest will take care of itself.”
Encore received a $100,000 grant from South Carolina's Coordinating Council for Economic Development. The company has also received some tax incentives based on its job creation plan, Odom said.
The South Caroline Technical College System will provide pre-employment training.