The History of PackSmart, Inc.

Donald and Dolores Ross, on May 21, 1979, began a journey of a lifetime together. Pooling their energies, resources, and courage, Don started his own packaging distribution business with another partner/investor – at an age when most others are thinking of retirement!

Don saw a unique opportunity develop when a prior employer of his was faced with closing down their Chicago branch. He immediately purchased the remaining assets from the departing employer. By theend of the first year, Don was in a favorable position to buy out his partner, and finally realize the 100% family-owned business he had dreamed about with Dolores.History of PackSmart

The company was established as Central Staple & Shipping Supplies, Inc., stemming from Don's back ground in the stapling and nailing arena. In the heart of Chicago's bustling Elk Grove Village industrial community, Don steadily grew the business for five consecutive years.

The company began to expand its employee base from two to three in 1982. Don's son, Sean, joined the family venture full time. Prior to '82, Sean had helped his Dad with deliveries, servicing tools, warehouse/office duties, between his full time student responsibilities and supervisory capacity at United Parcel Service. Don and Dolores retired just three years later, in the fall of 1985, the same year Sean, as the new president, hired his first full - time employee and outside salesperson, Jim Randazzo.

In 1987 the company modified the company name, dropping "Staple &". The focus of the business was swiftly moving away from traditional stapling and nailing into systems, machinery and various packaging supplies. As such, the company experienced rapid growth from 1985 through 1990, and Sean was pressed to address the growing complexity and demands of the business. Accounting and Human Resources functions demanded greater skill and attention if the business were to continue at its breakneck pace. As a result, Scott Ross, Sean's older brother, was lured away from his own successful accounting career, to join the company as the Controller.

The company sought to expand its territorial coverage, and opened a Wisconsin branch in 1990. Logistically, the Wisconsin market was well suited for the company's continued growth objectives for the 90's and soon thereafter, full warehousing capabilities were added to meet the growing demands of the marketplace.

By 1992, following seven years of dramatic growth, Central Shipping Supplies boldly invested in a new distribution facility southwest of Elk Grove Village in Carol Stream. Capacity had now doubled! Central Shipping Supplies continued to increase market share over the next nine years, growing at an annual rate exceeding 18%. Additional warehouse space was leased in 2002, doubling capacity again as the company explored strategic opportunities in the corrugated packaging segment. Still, the company faced increasing space pressures.

Embarking on its second new construction project in the spring of 2002, Central Shipping Supplies broke ground nearby in Batavia, IL. The new facility offered considerable warehousing relief and a versatile, office environment. Concurrent with the move to Batavia, the company changed its name to PackSmart, Inc. The name PackSmart was a fitting identifier as the company had steadily evolved over the years from that of a simple, supply item distributor to its present day role as a problem solving team of packaging professionals. Utilizing void fill system technologies and related packaging machinery to meet the changing and demanding packaging needs of today's marketplace, the name "PackSmart" captured the very heart of the company's work, trust, and value to its customers.

Batavia served as the company home base through the summer of 2007. Over this period, despite the rewards of increasing packaging sales, PackSmart experienced growing shipping and delivery pressures. Customers were increasingly looking to reduce investment in raw material inventory which consequently called for faster delivery response from their packaging material sources. Just – in-time was no longer the exclusive mantra of the Fortune 500's. Assessing its customer portfolio in view of this growing customer trend, and mindful of the key I-355, I-290, and I-294 transportation corridors, PackSmart began to search for a new base of operations. By the summer of 2007, PackSmart zeroed in on the ideal location . . . The Village of Addison, IL. Successfully positioned closer to its core customer partners and the critical transportation arteries that serve them, the deal was sealed. Addison, IL became the new headquarters for the company. Today, over 3 years later, PackSmart's relocation decision has proven itself a winner! Opening the doors to new business opportunities throughout the tri-state area and strengthening our valued customer relationships is an ROI that can't be beat!


Working with PackSmart has been beneficial to us in solving both production and shipping issues. Working with PackSmart has been more of a "partnership" in finding solutions rather than just a sales relationship!
Kevin, Medical Industry
I truly rely on my sales person to keep all the items I use in Stock, At all times the company name means nothing it is the sales person that means everything.
Kevin, Fastener Distribution
I am very pleased with the service, customer care and response time received after switching our strapper needs to PacksSmart. We also purchased a demo strapper from which has performed admirably.
Wayne J, Leading Presorting Co.
I have had the pleasure of working with PackSmart for over a decade. PackSmart is more than just a supplier of packaging supplies for us – they are truly a strategic partner that brings solution based ideas forward so we can better serve our customers as well as reduce our overall supply spend. Sean Ross and his team always exceed my expectations with regard to their industry knowledge and professional approach. I would be happy to discuss with anyone the merits of partnering with PackSmart and the impact to the bottom line that we have enjoyed as a result of our partnership.
VP Fulfillment Warehouse Operations
I've had the fortune of working with PackSmart for several years now. My rep uses her energy and expertise to resolved many new projects, quickly and cost effectively. All PackSmart services have happened without a glitch and I feel very fortunate to have PackSmart provide so many important services to my company. Even after extending many free hours, quoting processes and materials for bosses projects that end not working, PackSmart provides a cheerful and professional attitude that will not be found in many places. Get better sleep and don't waste your time with another packaging company, or someone else. Your a blessing PackSmart, Thanks!!!!
Industrial Industry
By keeping up to date on all the latest materials, machinery and practices, PackSmart keeps us ahead of the industry standard and reduces our costs while increasing customer satisfaction. We are excited to have a vendor as reliable and knowledgeable as Packsmart.
Eric, Automotive Parts Distributor
PackSmart has been a valued business partner for many years. They continue to be responsive to our needs with good pricing and friendly service. My Rep. is always the first to let me know of any new ideas that help improve our processes or save us money.
B.B. Major Truck Parts Distributor