It’s listed in Inc. Magazines’ top 5,000 fastest growing US companies, has tripled sales from 2014 to 2017, notched up a growth rate of 179%, and expanded the operation across all 50 states. South Florida Tissue Paper Co is a success story… oh, and it’s recently beaten off the threat from Irma as the hurricane wreaked havoc across Florida. The family-owned company began life in Guatemala, where Juan Corzo Snr established the first operating facility in 1975 in Boise Cascade before years later starting his own paper mill, Papelera Internacional. In 1997 Juan Corzo II expanded the corporation to Miami creating South Florida Tissue Paper. Today, Juan Corzo III continues the family legacy as company president. He explains the company’s success.
We are fortunate to be on Inc. Magazines top 5,000 fastest growing companies for a second year in a row. We have made a lot of investments in the last three years and seen a lot of sales growth.
We’ve consolidated three locations; 40,000 sq ft, 20,000 sq ft, and a third of 20,000 sq ft into one location of 100,000 sq ft in 2015. With the additional space we not only provide better service to our customers, but also produce better quality products through the use of new technology.
That includes a full palletising system for all six manufacturing lines, a multi fold line with case packers, case packers for our bathroom tissue and a complete AfH production line.
In addition, from 2014 to 2017 we have tripled our sales. This is the largest growth margin the company has seen since we started operating in 1997. The growth in sales can be attributed to several factors that include focusing on larger accounts, bettering service to our customers, producing better quality product, and cutting costs through efficiency in new machinery.
This award represents recognition of ongoing efforts by our staff who work through the day and night. It adds confidence to both our customers and suppliers that we are growing and gaining strength in the market.
In America, we see the tissue and towel industry leaving low sheet count products and shifting to higher sheet count with more paper in order to save in freight and warehouse space. We also notice that products made in the USA have a higher value.
The consumer is requesting better quality products that compare to imported paper products that do not meet American standards.
We are planning on growing and expanding throughout the Unites States. We currently service all 50 states, however we plan on opening operational facilities not only in Florida but throughout the country.
Our goal is to open a manufacturing facility in the north-east, the mid-west and the west coast in the next five to ten years. Our main challenges are in freight costs, imported products, and local competition.
Consumers are focusing more on private label products at the right price and products that have consistency in quality.
The European tissue industry has been trying to penetrate the American market very strongly for the last 10 years by purchasing local companies; this has brought more competition to American manufacturers across the country.
We see the American tissue market shifting more to higher sheet count products as opposed to lower count sheet products. For the last decade, tissue products have been reducing in sheets per roll but we are now seeing more demand in higher sheet per roll products.
This helps manufacturers like us turn more tonnes around. We manufacture more paper per shift, which helps reduce space in warehousing, and helps lower freight cost when shipping across the states.
We also see bigger companies making big structural and merger and acquisition changes in this industry. Bigger corporations are buying out smaller converters.
We are seeing a big influence in Asian and European paper manufacturers buying out American converters to step foot into the states. Some have also branched off from overseas and started operations here.
Starting off with a lot of capital and experience we see these overseas companies starting to take a big part of the market in both AfH and retail.
As far as brand and private label products, manufacturers like ourselves don’t really have a preference. If the volume is there we are willing to make what the demand asks.
We are starting to see a demand in higher quality/virgin tissue. With the addition of new paper mills across the Unites States we have been able to see more production on higher quality/virgin tissue instead of the traditional recycled lower quality paper. Recycled has been set for more economical products targeting discount stores.
With the economy doing better people are starting to spend more on higher quality virgin products.
Some 90% of our customers are based in the US while 7% are based in Central America and 3% are based in the Caribbean. We are constantly looking for opportunities both nationwide and overseas but our focus is within the US due to a more reliable payment standard.
It is rare for us to have an issue with a customer in the US when collecting a payment whereas overseas it can be difficult at times.