Bemis Co. Inc. is making a push to ensure sure that what's good for one part of the company is good for another.
The Neenah, Wis.-based flexible packaging maker talked about efforts to share the company's technologies throughout the world on a conference call to discuss earnings.
Bemis, CEO William Austen said, is “making great progress in leveraging our technologies globally. The success of our innovation engine in the U.S. allows us to quickly capitalize on increasing package sophistication in our global business.”
“We have and will continue to benefit from sharing our technologies globally and increasing package sophistication in Latin America and Asia,” he said.
The company recently launched what the CEO called a “formal global leveraging team” to “propel this initiative further and faster.”
News of this global approach comes at a time when Austen said the company is putting its own feet to the fire.
“We continue to evolve toward a high-performance culture. We have high expectations of ourselves. We are focused on execution. Execution is front and center in 2017. All areas of the business. Every person. Every function. Every day,” he said.
Bemis, the CEO said, also undertook a pricing analytics initiative in 2016 aimed at helping the company make “good commercial decisions based on data instead of gut instinct.”
“When initiating this project, our sense was that we would primarily discover areas where we were below market and would arm us with the data to surgically raise prices,” Austen told stock analysts on the call. “While there are many examples of this, there are also instances identified by the analytics, particularly in processed proteins [packaging], where the data showed that we were beyond the market, therefore making us vulnerable.
“During 2016, we used this data in negotiations with a variety of customers to proactively protect good business for the long-term and to gain new incremental business,” he said.
Bemis, meanwhile, also will continue to make capital investments in new equipment that will allow for higher returns and participation in different market segments.
“In the U.S., we will continue our asset capitalization program, which has provided meaningful improvement to date as it will well into the future. Because of this program, we are able to pursue growth in less differentiated products that formally we would have overlooked given our cost structure with the old, inefficient equipment,” he said.
Bemis had a profit of $236.2 million, or $2.48 per share, on sales of $4 billion, in 2016. That compares with a profit of $239.3 million, or $2.47 per share, on sales of $4.07 billion in 2015. Fourth quarter profit was $60.5 million, or 64 cents per share, on sales of $988 million. That compares with earnings of $56.8 million or 58 cents per share, on sales of $982.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.