Of all the challenges a multi-national organization faces in terms of different languages, time zones and currency, it's the cultural nuances that Paul Hogan was uniquely qualified to bridge as chief financial officer for Nelipak Healthcare Packaging.
The Cranston, R.I.-based business has 600 employees at five manufacturing sites in four countries: Ireland, the Netherlands and Costa Rica in addition to the United States.
Hogan was hired in April 2014 along with CEO Michael Kelly to drive growth at the 60-year-old company, five months after it was purchased from Sealed Air Corp. by Mason Wells, a Milwaukee-based private equity firm.
“Sealed Air had operated it as a division so it really didn't have its own stand-alone management team,” Hogan said in a telephone interview. “Mike and I were charged with implementing that. It was a business where we all could see there was a huge amount of potential and we've been fortunate we've been able to tap into that in the first two years.”
Sales of thermoformed medical trays, pharmaceutical packaging and sealing machines are up to $130 million, reflecting top line growth of about 25 percent, Hogan said.
Some profits also were generated from a waste reduction initiative equivalent to more than 5 percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciations and amortization (EBITDA), according to Kelly, who nominated Hogan for CFO of the Year. Also, he said spending is down $1 million from vendor consolidation and $3 million from labor efficiencies.
“Paul has flawlessly dealt with a lot of financial complexity in our business,” Kelly wrote.
He said he considers their best practice to date as staying focused on a cultural change initiative “to replace the silo approach from five sites to one Nelipak, where all sites work together toward a unified goal.” Kelly called Hogan “a great leader” whose peers come to him for support and coaching.