Please review our company statements regarding COVID-19 and view our 2021 Stock Catalog.

2021 - A Busy and Frustrating Year

2021 - A Busy and Frustrating Year

My last posting was over a year ago and I regret that I have taken so long to post an update as to how the can business is doing.

 Since the beginning of the COVID-19 event began, the world of can making has been very challenging in so many ways. It is hard to put this into perspective. I will try and bring everyone up to date on what we have seen and where Independent Can is going.

 In the first few months of the COVID Pandemic, we were very quickly designated as essential. From day one, we never missed a day of making cans and this is the result of dedicated, talented and committed employees. Early on, we sent about 20% of our staff to work from home and even today we have about 15% still working at home and they may continue to work this way as normal.

 As a business year, 2020 was very good for sales as many customers that were internet based saw a significant growth. Fortunately, we were prepared for the growth, having the steel in house and the capacity to delivery at a very high on time rate (84%) after a poor year in 2019 of on time delivery at 62%.

 2021 has been a very frustrating year.

In August of 2020, we recognized that steel was going to be a problem, supply, cost, and ordered enough steel to fill the forecasted commitment for 2021 sales. The challenge that presented itself was that those that had committed to the 2021 forecast did not expect the growth to be as high as it has been this year. We also did not expect steel to be in such short supply. So many of our customers came back to buy tins domestically vs. buying tins from overseas. Today our on-time delivery is standing at 84%. We expect that this number will drop over the next month as we are so late on so many orders.

 Why are we so backed up?

We have the installed capacity for making cans but getting steel through the supply chain challenges and hiring and maintaining the labor force necessary to run all can line has been very difficult.

 What have we done to correct this situation?

We have raised starting wages and most all wages throughout operations. We have given bonuses, place billboards along highways and we have recruiters looking for those that will fit and thrive in our culture.

  Some of our goals are to be the Employer of Choice, the can supplier of choice and to deliver all orders in a 5-6-week period from date of order (this may be the most difficult.)

 What are we doing now to meet the lead time goal?

  •   Increasing Lithography capacity
  •  Automation throughout to minimize number of individuals on each line. (Automation over the years has increased our employee base by allowing Independent Can to protect business that we have and then to onboard new business. Automation protects jobs.)
  •   Training and cross training at all levels. (We have hired a corporate trainer.)

 To be successful in any business Passion and Commitment is required. Independent Can has been committed to “made in America” since our founding and this commitment is stronger than ever.

 To all, I want to express our regret for the lateness on orders this year. We are not sitting on our hands and doing nothing. We will be stronger in 2022 and the future. The investments we are making now are substantial and for the long term.

 As we enter 2022 we will share what some of the investments are, how and when they will come on stream.

 Please stay safe and healthy and continue to communicate with our sales force, letting us know how we can best meet your metal packaging needs.

 Sincerely,

Rick Huether

President and CEO

Third Quarter 2020

2020 - An Unusual Year

As we approach the fourth quarter 2020, I wanted to bring all of our customers, employees and prospects up to date on many exciting actions and activities going on at Independent Can Company.

This year will be remembered as a year of many challenges for individuals and for businesses. Many of these challenges have threatened the existence of companies and has cost a huge number of jobs throughout the United Sates and the world.

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has also brought sickness to many and the death of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. All of these events will have long term effects on how we all interact and how we run our businesses.

Independent Can Company has weathered the challenges very well. Being considered an essential business, due to the food cans we make, has allowed us to maintain our employment and grow. The past few years have been difficult mainly due to the Steel Tariffs imposed on our industry. We also installed a new ERP program (Enterprise Resource Planning program) that took 3 years to really fine tune the data being collected, and today has started show it’s many benefits.[image

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In 2018 and 2019 we were delivering only 50 – 60% on time to many of our customers which was really frustrating to us and to our customers. Today, we have improved our on-time delivery to over 80% year to date with a goal of 90% plus on time.

Every year is different and this year is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has been both good for Independent Can Company and bad. You may ask how can it be both and I will try and answer this is as few words as possible. We have worked for years on new business and much of it has come on line this year, as planned. 

Many of our customers that are internet-based have had a very good year also and have increased their purchases more than we expected as people stayed home and shipped gifts to their loved ones. This unanticipated volume, though welcome, has challenged our supply chain to provide enough steel when need for the orders which were not forecasted. Late delivery of steel means printing schedules become compressed and this bottle neck flows right into the can

plants.

One would think, with the significant number of people out of work, due to the businesses that have shut down, that we could find and hire employees to provide more capacity to run more can lines. However, we have found that hiring individuals has been real problem. Skilled workers are hard to find and young people that are willing to come on board and devote the time to the full training programs are very rare.

Independent Can Company is committed to this business and we will continue to look for ways to on board talent as well as investments in systems that allow us to operate even in times of scarcity. ICC remains committed to building apprentice programs to provide the electrical, mechanical and operators positions for the future.

I want to apologize to those customers that have received their orders late and assure you that we are running our plants 6-7 days a week to catch up. Please stay in touch with your sales representative for updates. We are having all hands-on deck sales meetings so all of the sales reps. know what is going on every day.

As I mentioned earlier in this write up last year we were only 50 – 60% on time. This year we are near 80% On Time. This is remarkable improvement and thanks to teamwork from everyone at ICC. While we are happy with improvement, we cannot celebrate until we have achieved our goal.

Thank you for your patience and never hesitate to challenge us to improve.

Rick Huether

President and CEO