When Berry Global Group Inc. changed its name in 2017, the move was designed to better represent how the company has grown since the 1980s from a single facility in Indiana.
At the time, the Evansville, Ind.-based firm had expanded to some 130 locations around the world and figured it was time for a change from Berry Plastics Group Inc.
The idea was to reflect the company's reach beyond the United States as well as signal a willingness to expand even further.
Fast forward to four years, going on five, and the plastics processing company now has nearly 300 locations globally and looks to continue expanding its reach, especially in emerging markets where Berry sees an opportunity to grow with customers.
Berry has almost doubled in revenue, up from $7 billion in annual sales in 2017 when the name change took hold.
That now includes about $1.5 billion in annual sales from so-called emerging markets. Berry also is targeting growth around what it calls three mega-trends of health and wellness, food safety and electronic commerce.
Growth around the world is a big change from how Berry operated as a smaller company, but one with a still-substantial manufacturing footprint limited to North America.
But that's all changed, and CEO Tom Salmon continues to eye opportunities beyond domestic borders.
Berry, these days, is emphasizing organic growth as an important way to expand the company. It's a bit of a change from the firm that has often relied on acquisitions over the long haul to increase operations.
The organic approach, where the company uses expertise in existing operations and business lines to expand instead of buying others' business, means the company is looking how to best expand from within.
And that's exactly what Berry is doing with a recent announcement to build a second plant in Bangalore, India, for the health care market.
Along with providing research and development space, the new location will increase production for the ophthalmic, nasal, inhalation and injectable segments.
"The level of agility our teams have demonstrated throughout the pandemic and the resiliency of us having a global supply chain has really built and strengthened our relationship with end customers," Salmon said in a recent interview. "I feel really good about where we are at."
Having 295 sites around the world has given Berry the flexibility to respond to challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEO said. The company, like many others, experienced some hiccups in the supply chain. But thanks to a massive footprint, the firm has kept every facility operating during the crisis without having to shut down due to raw material supply shortages.
"The reality is that Berry has been very fortunate with access to truly a global supply chain. We've been able to mitigate some of those impacts," Salmon said.
With far-flung locations around the world, Berry has been able to rely on local resin suppliers and also move materials around to different facilities when necessary to help keep operations in production, he explained.
"We've leveraged material science. We've leveraged access to other geographies," the CEO said. "We have taken advantage of different resources to support different transportation modes and mechanisms to keep our plants fed with raw material."
"The fact that we have 295 sites around the world, we're able to put our businesses as close as to our customers as we possibly can, which reduced some of the supply chain complexities others may face," Salmon said.
"The reality is that Berry has been very fortunate with access to truly a global supply chain. We've been able to mitigate some of those impacts," he said.
With some customers have locations around the world, Salmon said, "having an ability to serve their business locally with local staff, local operations, was very important to us. That opportunity fit right into that sweet spot of taking advantage of that."