Experience Speaks: Rick Heinl

  • President of Repacorp Inc.

  • Motto | If I can't make money at it, I may as well go fishing.

  • Hobbies | Golf and fishing.

  • How did you get into the converting business? I went to school for accounting and hated it. I took a job with Keebler as a salesman (elf) and was given an opportunity to work for Repacorp by my wife's cousin in 1978. Repacorp stands for “Representing A Corporation.” I purchased the company in 1990 and decided I needed to control my customers' destinies. I bought my first press in 1993 and now have 34 presses in three locations.

  • How would you describe your management style? I believe you have to delegate to your employees and understand that to grow they are going to make mistakes. You just have to put controls in place to minimize the mistakes.

  • What is the key to growing a business in a bad economy? We decided to invest more heavily in digital and RFID so that when the economy improved we would be ready for new growth. This helped us divert from some of our products that were becoming more of commodities and invest in growth and niche areas, giving us a way to improve margins.

  • What is the biggest threat to the converting industry right now? I believe it's the fact that the industry is not growing as it used to, and so many small companies are unable to compete with the big guys, so they are being acquired. Also, the many price increases being introduced by everyone, which I think will continue, thus putting more pressure on all of us and squeezing margins.

  • What keeps you up at night? I recently did an acquisition and have had many sleepless nights associated with that, because you are affecting so many people's lives, and you don't want to screw them up. But you have to make tough decisions that are the best for your company and employees.

  • What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started out? I wish I knew that my company would be a success. I wouldn't have worried so much and perhaps wouldn't have had two heart attacks.

  • What do you most enjoy about your job? I love the people in this industry and my employees, along with my family that works with me, and the challenge it takes to make it all work.

  • What's the funniest thing you've witnessed on the shop floor? Every Halloween we give away cash prizes for the three best costumes worn by employees. It is amazing how a little thing like that brings everyone a little pleasure — you have to have some fun!

  • Who's your personal hero? My mom and dad. I come from a family of seven brothers and sisters, and I saw how hard my mom and dad worked just to put food on the table. I remember being on food stamps and the day my dad got a raise to $12,000 per year; you would of thought he hit the lottery. He passed away at 48, and Mom had to raise us. I get my strength, drive, and inspiration from them.

About Repacorp Inc.

  • 31 Industry Park Ct., Tipp City, OH 45371

  • www.repacorp.com

  • Founded 1974; 3 plants; 143 employees

  • Specialization | Stock, thermal, thermal transfer, laser, and RFID labels.

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