50 Years of Norkol: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

August 28, 2018

The Norkol dream started 50 years ago in 1968 with the ambition and creativity of Norbert and Mary Ellen Kolinski. Since our beginning as a small, Midwestern converting services operation, Norbert and May Ellen’s problem-solving spirit drove our brand and kept us innovating. Today, Norkol stands as one of America’s largest independently owned converters and providers of paper and packaging solutions. Despite all that growth and transformation, our family business is still known for industry-leading service — and this is how we did it:

Where We Got Our Start

 
Early on, Norbert and Mary Ellen set Norkol apart as an innovator of existing processes and practices by developing a system for reconditioning damaged paper stock. As a result of their efforts, Norkol has prevented incalculable tons of perfectly usable paper from ending up in landfills, all while lowering the cost of doing business. From there, our founders continued to discover new ways to improve the paper industry and build Norkol’s potential at every opportunity.

Norbert and Mary Ellen also believed that getting creative was good for both the customer and the family business, earning a reputation for truly transformational service. In the decades since then, the Norkol family has continued to find new ways of meeting customer needs, from instituting Just In Time delivery service to cost-saving Vendor Managed Inventory programs. With each new product and service offering brought under the helm of Norkol, we kept to the same family business-oriented priorities our founders started out with.

Where We Are Today

 
What made Norkol a success 50 years ago, keeps us successful today — with the addition of a few technological upgrades. Our converting services evolve with every new frontier, featuring the cutting-edge RollRazor™ — the first model to ever be installed for high-end production in the world. Accu-Trim Technology provides our customers with the utmost precision in sheeting and trimming services. Our new Stanford Winder, introduced at Norkol this past year, is uniquely capable of handling adhesive coated paper products, expanding our service potential to the customers we serve.

In addition to growing our converting capacity, Norkol has expanded our logistics operation to reach both domestic and international customers. To mitigate disruptions in supply chain and expedite shipping, our products now travel by ocean, highway, and rail systems. Every day, the Norkol family commits to seeking out new ways to extend our logistics services wherever they’re needed, and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Our product offerings have grown too, along with our regional coverage. Norkol is proud to help brands protect and market their products with uniquely modern, individualized plastic packaging now available through our partnership with ePac. With the latest in digital printing technology, vibrantly branded flexible packaging is both cost-effective and readily available for all our customers.

Finally, the heart and soul of Norkol’s family business model has been realized through our efforts to give back. Norkol’s philanthropic endeavors range from sponsoring youth sports and Christmas celebrations for disadvantaged children, to helping The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) keep Texas shelters clean and dry during Hurricane Harvey. Norkol also partnered with NAMI— the National Alliance on Mental Illness — and remains committed to operating as a StigmaFree Company in addition to donating a portion of our net proceeds to the cause. Reaching out and helping our neighbors has been a part of the Norkol’s company culture long before it became common corporate practice in America, and we’re proud to lead the way.

Where We’re Headed

 
The Norkol family can’t contain our excitement for all the possibilities the next 50 years will bring, but we do know that a few things will always stay the same. The values our founders started out with continue to drive us in our mission as problem-solvers and industry-leading service providers. We embrace technological change, innovation, and new ways to make our operation as efficient and cost-effective as possible. When it comes to bringing in the latest in converting equipment, or introducing system updates and overhauls, the forward-thinking business culture of Norbert and Mary Ellen persists.

What will change is our range of product offerings and scope of services. The packaging industry is always changing — and that’s why we’re so passionate about it. Norkol is growing into new industries where customers need us the most, bringing our knack for improving processes and practices right along with us. As we seek out new partnerships with forward-thinking businesses, we keep our customers as ahead-of-the-curve as we are. As the needs of our customers grow, Norkol is ready to grow with them.

More than anything, we’re grateful to the customers who are so vital to Norkol’s success. We can’t wait for you to see everything we have planned for the years to come!

For more information on Norkol and the transformational service we provide in the paper and packaging industry, connect with one of our team members through the Contact Page