Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 18

Dedicated
Employee
Base
In a discussion of ST Tissue's workforce at the Franklin, VA, mill, VP Sahil
Tak said that "One of the reasons we
chose this site originally was because
some of the IP and Union Camp workforce was still here, and they understand how to make paper-not tissue
necessarily-but they understood the
fundamentals of papermaking.

The wet crepe PM 6 retained eight dryer drums following the yankee dryer. However, PM 5 will be a dry
crepe machine and will have no after dryers following the yankee dryer.

two-mill, four-machine operation in less
than a decade.
And the possibility of continued growth
still hangs prominently on the horizon. "We're
pleased by how far we have come over the past
few years," Sahil Tak says. "But we also realize our journey has really just begun because
opportunities abound in the industry." This
developing success story is especially interesting considering that neither Sahil nor his father,
Sharad Tak, had any previous background or
experience in the tissue industry, or the paper
industry at all for that matter, prior to jumping
in with both feet beginning in 2007.
Sahil is quick to dispel the "myth" that
US manufacturing today cannot succeed.
He acknowledges the US faces progressively
higher hurdles when competing on a global
stage with countries that have lower labor and
raw material costs, and some with lower transportation and overall energy costs, etc. "A lot

Chris McGrath
process area leader, Fiber Processing Plant

18

Tissue360ยบ SPRING/ SUMMER 2017

of other countries subsidize manufacturing.
China, especially, heavily subsidizes financing
costs and labor, in addition to currency, and so
financially it can sometimes be tough for US
manufacturers to compete.
"Manufacturing is a very capital intensive
business," Sahil continues. "But being tough is
one thing and saying it can't be done is another.
There are a lot of manufacturing businesses in
a wide range of industries that are succeeding
here in the US on a year in and year out basis.
So it can be done."
In regard to ST Tissue's basic business strategy or modus operandi philosophy, Sahil says,
"There are a few layers to it, but it all starts
with our core belief, which I think holds true
across any business, that, among all of the
costly pieces of equipment and machinery the
company has, our employees are by far the
most important asset. It's important that the
employees are put in a position to work safely,
learn new skills, experience career progression,
and be engaged. Plus, the business should be
an integral part of the community where it is
operating by contributing to its well-being and
health. And it's also important that you have a
workforce in a community that is invested in
your operations, and that they care about and
support your success-that they care about
and value the jobs.
"Beyond that, the first layer, if you will,
focuses on whether there is a need within an
industry for something. In our case, for example, there is a need for certain types of tissue
products in the markets we serve. Despite the
fact that it is a segment with gradual growth
and development, there is a defined need for it.

"They have strong roots in this area,"
Tak added "and those we are able to
bring back to the mill with us will likely
be here a long time. It's a generational
thing-their parents or grandparents
have lived in this area for many years.
This is also true for Oconto Falls. A lot
of the hard-working people at both
mills are used to a manufacturing
environment. They have a strong work
ethic and dedication to their jobs."
Of the 85 employees currently at the
Franklin mill, some 50 were former IP/
Union Camp employees. "I think there
are still some former IP and Union
Camp employees living in the area that
might be interested in coming back to
the mill," Tak said, in regard to staffing
for the PM 5 expansion.
Tak noted that almost all of the workers at both Franklin and Oconto Falls
are local. "But from time to time we
do have people go back and forth
between the two locations, usually
to exchange experience and insights
among the two workforces."

"Then there has to be a way to define yourself
in the market-can you differentiate yourself
in the basic way that you do business? I think
we've been able to do that in the way we go
about rebuilding or turning around operations. At the same time, you need to establish
long-term relationships with your customers
to be able to help them drive their growth and
success. In doing so, you can continue growing for a long time. That means consistently
giving them very high quality products-and,
again, 'consistency' is a key word here. You
have to make your customer feel very secure
in this regard.
"Our company also places a focus on being
a good community citizen. One example is
creating good jobs in a community. For every
www.tappi.org


http://www.tappi.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017

Setpoint
Tissue Industry News
ST Tissue Launches PM 5 Conversion to Tissue at Virginia Mill
Global Survey Shows Trends in Yankee Dryer Deliveries
How Will the Tissue Connection Between Europe and North America Continue?
St. Croix Tissue: The Strong Newcomer in the US Tissue Business
Sustainability is Central for Sofidel
RISI and TAPPI to Co-Produce Key Tissue Event in 2017
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - intro
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - cover1
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - cover2
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 5
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - Setpoint
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - Tissue Industry News
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 12
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 14
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - ST Tissue Launches PM 5 Conversion to Tissue at Virginia Mill
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 16
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 18
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 20
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 24
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - Global Survey Shows Trends in Yankee Dryer Deliveries
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 32
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - How Will the Tissue Connection Between Europe and North America Continue?
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - St. Croix Tissue: The Strong Newcomer in the US Tissue Business
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 38
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sustainability is Central for Sofidel
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 44
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - RISI and TAPPI to Co-Produce Key Tissue Event in 2017
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - cover3
Tissue360 - Spring/Summer 2017 - cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0217
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0117
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0215
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http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0214
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0114
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0213
http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/PPIB/PPIB0113
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIB0212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/naylor/PPIB0112
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