Jon Dill has been with Ampac Packaging LLC for 15 years. In that time, Ampac's sales have grown tenfold: from less than $40 million in 2000 to about $400 million today.
Dill has helped Cincinnati-based Ampac acquire 13 companies, which he said account for about 50 percent of the growth. Another 40 percent has come from organic gains.
Those accomplishments and more place Dill among three runners-up for Plastics News' 2015 CFO of the Year Award. The award recognizes the top financial leaders at North American plastics processors.
The Ampac CFO, executive vice president and partner has helped the company diversify, from having “one large customer and one major product — a drawstring bag” into high-growth markets such as pharmaceutical and retort packaging. Ampac now draws about 60 percent of its sales from flexible packaging and 40 percent from retail packaging.
“First we diversified in retail,” he said. “Then we said [to customers], ‘Here's a solution — paper, plastic, whatever — we can help you with that.'”
Making several acquisitions helped consolidate the market. Then it was time to branch out into other markets, he said. Next came standup pouches, laminated packaging, form/fill/seal.
“Then we said, ‘We're just in North America; we need to start looking at other markets.'” Next came Europe and Asia.
Dill helped establish an Ampac plant in China in 2003-04, but the company has since relocated those operations to Vietnam and Cambodia.
“China isn't like it was back then,” he said.
More acquisitions followed, including three in 2007 — just before the economy tanked and raw materials “dried up.”
Dill acknowledged “2008 was a bad year.”
“Then 2009 was a record year. It wasn't the top line that was moving, it was the raw material change.”