Elsner Converting Machinery: A tradition of purpose-built success

GS machineElsner’s been at it a long time. We’ve produced converting machinery for various paper, film, foil and nonwovens end-uses for literally decades. We often get asked: what is the secret to more than 80 years of operating a successful family-owned manufacturing business? According to The Harvard Business Review, around 70% of family-owned businesses fail or are sold before the second generation takes over the business. And just 10% remain active, privately held companies for the third generation to lead. With threats from globalization, and the enduring need to cope with shifts in technology, business models and consumer behavior, some would say it’s never been more difficult for family– owned companies like Elsner. So, with the odds stacked against us, just what is the secret to our success? Here are a few things that have shaped Elsner over the years:

A Passion for Converting Machines with Purpose:

Passion is defined as “a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something,” and we can pretty quickly deduce for you how passion has driven just about every aspect of our business over the years. From a genuine love for what we do, to hiring passionate employees, the vibe of our company fosters an environment ripe for innovation and satisfied customers. The desire to tap into customer needs to create machines with the purpose of satisfying those needs was front and center when Frank Elsner founded Elsner Engineering Works. Our mantra, “if the customer has a need, Elsner has a machine” has stood steady since the manufacture of the first rewinder in 1954. Present day, no one at Elsner gets tired of the process that starts with a simple idea and evolves to watching the design and building of a customized piece of equipment built to solve a problem.

How We Measure Success: Keeping Score on Customer Satisfaction

Keeping customer needs central to the process doesn’t stop with the delivery of the machine. Quite simply, if our customer isn’t happy, we aren’t happy. We have found that keeping our customers top of mind leads to all aspects of the project falling into place. Their goals become our goals. Their challenges, our challenges. And in order to be constantly improving, we have an internal “Score Card” where we conduct 360 degree reviews to assess the “wins and losses” associated with every job. We are brutally honest with ourselves and proactively involve the customers in the assessment because we deem their satisfaction as our overall measure of success.

Continuous Improvement, Continuous Value

If our measure of success is customer satisfaction, then our customer’s measure of success is whether Elsner delivered increased efficiencies and productivity. Over the years we have developed a very effective full circle customer service approach where delivery is just the beginning. Let’s face it, we sell our customers a machine based on the premise that it is going to improve their business. If we don’t take the time to ask the right questions and really get to know our customers, we can’t expect to gain their loyalty. Once a machine is custom-fit to exact specifications based on their needs, we help our customers protect their investment by providing 1:1 education and training. As we grow and evolve, our customers grow and evolve with us as we reach out on a continual basis to offer new ways to continue to boost their productivity.

Our Partnerships Matter

Whether we’re partnering with another manufacturer to ensure a seamless delivery of a converting line or partnering internally amongst our employees to provide a seamless customer experience, teamwork and partnership are imperative to the process. No one can do it alone, and everyone’s role is equally important. Valuing and engaging our employees makes them feel invested in the process. With many of our employees having decades of experience, we can honestly say we have the best people standing behind our craftsmanship, owning their roles, and feeling as passionate as I do about delivering the best possible product. There’s no substitute for a team with that level of dedication!

After 80+ years of manufacturing more than 3000 converting machines operating in 60 countries for the paper, film, foil and nonwovens industries, our processes stand the test of time, and our track record speaks for itself. So to sum it up: what do I think is the secret to our success? Quite simply, continuing to make customers the number one priority which allows Elsner to continue the tradition of purpose-built customer satisfaction.

Elsner logoHave a purpose-built machine in mind? Visit www.elsnereng.com/solutions/party-goods for more on Elsner machines that provide high-speed rewinding and overwrapping of giftwrap and book cover materials, folding of tablecloths and tissue paper, wrapping of festive and seasonal party crackers and crossfolding and tucking of giftwrap, towelettes and more.