Updated July 7 at 1:07pm

Matlet sees security, sustainability as a package deal

A former executive at printing and communications giants RR Donnelley and Quebecor World, Gary Stiffler formed the Matlet Group in 2005 after buying five companies in the printing, packaging and fulfillment industries, including Packaging Graphics in Pawtucket. Since then, Matlet and Packaging Graphics, which has about 210 full-time employees, have not only survived the recession but grown thanks to some key capital investments.

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Matlet sees security, sustainability as a package deal

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A former executive at printing and communications giants RR Donnelley and Quebecor World, Gary Stiffler formed the Matlet Group in 2005 after buying five companies in the printing, packaging and fulfillment industries, including Packaging Graphics in Pawtucket. Since then, Matlet and Packaging Graphics, which has about 210 full-time employees, have not only survived the recession but grown thanks to some key capital investments.

This past fall, Stiffler was the keynote speaker at the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council’s trade fair and expo, where he offered his perspective on being one of the larger minority-owned suppliers in the region.

Looking ahead, Stiffler hopes to use technology to improve some of the packages his company makes, such as the plastic clamshell, to make them easier to use and more environmentally friendly.

PBN: Since you formed The Matlet Group back in 2005, what has changed the most?

STIFFLER: The biggest change was that in a tough economy, we have been able to weather the storm very well and grow the business with some very well-timed capital investments in 2008. We got that in before the recession hit. We all tightened our belts for a few months, but we came out of that very strong and, in fact, we just finished our fiscal year and Packaging Graphics had a record year.

The most significant investment was a new printing press, which was designed by the press manufacturer and the graphics team. It is basically the only one of its kind in the world.

PBN: What are some of the niche markets that Packaging Graphics targets?

STIFFLER: The folding-carton market has become a fast-turnaround, highly complex type of packaging. One of the benefits we have at our facility is we can do pretty much everything in-house. We don’t have to outsource anything. Our customers can come in and have confidence we can get those types of things done – and on quick turnarounds. We’re not in competition with the large, corrugated, folding-carton makers who do multimillion runs. We’re into the more highly decorative, identify-it-quickly type of clients.

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