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.
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!