NEW EXECUTIVES - At the Helm
Among some of Kocher's other plans are implementing cost reduction initiatives throughout the entire operation and developing exciting product lines to help customers become more innovative and increase their exposure to their consumers. It's all part of his idea of what makes a good executive.
"A good executive surrounds himself or herself with good people and gives them the opportunity to be creative and succeed," he explains.
Kocher, 45, joined MPI in 1981 after graduating from Youngstown State University with a double major in computer science and accounting. The Alliance, OH, native was MPI's first computer programmer before moving on to serve as controller, treasurer and vice president of finance.
The company, which does 90 percent of its business producing labels, tags and flexible packaging, had minimal growth this year, Kocher reports, in part because of the transition at the top.
"Unfortunately, we have had to deal with unfounded rumors about MPI's stability since the president and founder retired," he declares. "(But) we have purchased several new presses, adding capabilities that we previously didn't possess."
That will change in 2001, Kocher predicts, as he projects promising sales figures and plans on continual growth internally, as well as looking for acquisition opportunities. He sees MPI's biggest challenge coming from customers' increasing demand for lower prices, which is driven by retailers and then passed on to manufacturers.
"While the Internet is certainly a valuable tool and MPI will use e-commerce and Internet selling, it is our challenge, and honor, to continue to work with our customers directly in order to totally understand their product lines, materials, constructions and printing requirements," Kocher promises. "This is extremely difficult to do by just selling stickers over the Internet at the lowest price. We must continue to work with our customers to show them that, with the additional value-added services that MPI offers, the customers' lowest price is not necessarily their lowest cost."