Chapter 02_Thompson_Packaging

Chapter 02_Thompson_Packaging - Thompson Packaging Chapter...

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Thompson Packaging Chapter 2 Thompson Packaging is a family-run business based in Rhode Island. Thompson Packaging specializes in the production of customized packaging materials for manufacturers, in particular the jewelry industry. In addition to standard packaging materials such as boxes and tubes, Thompson Packaging produces unusual display packaging materials. Thompson Packaging originated in response to a niche market for the jewelry manufacturing sector that was once a very vital part of the Rhode Island economy. With the shrinking of the jewelry manufacturing sector in Rhode Island, Thompson Packaging made a concerted effort to expand their market to other manufacturing sectors, first in Rhode Island, and then in the broader southern New England region. The early efforts included increased advertising, a presence at more trade shows, and an increase in the sales force, with an emphasis on cold calls to potential customers. This strategy worked in the ’80s and into the mid-90s. Growth stagnated after the mid-90s. In 2002, the next generation of Thompsons joined the company with the addition of Julia Thompson as the vice president of Thompson Packaging. Julia Thompson, a graduate of the business school at the University of Rhode Island, is full of ideas for bringing Thompson Packaging into the 21 st century and expanding the customer base to the national arena. She and her father, George Thompson, president of Thompson Packaging, have different ideas about the paths to follow to ensure the fiscal health of the company. Although both agree that the customer base needs expansion, they disagree on how large this expansion should be. Julia also wants to put an information system in place that can provide a seamless, efficient, and user-friendly environment for their business, with a web-based component for customers to place and track orders. Up until now, the sales and office staff has been using a series of spreadsheets with macros for taking orders, generating order details for production, and generating billing. Recently the financial department has moved to a software package that handles accounts receivable and accounts payable, and has expansion capabilities. George understands and can work with spreadsheets, but anything beyond that demonstrated to him has received a negative response, because of his limited comfort level with technology. He also is concerned
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Chapter 02_Thompson_Packaging - Thompson Packaging Chapter...

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