Marpak comes to terms with the death of Joint MD, Edward Wheeler
The last 12 months has seen Leicester, England based Marpak, the specialist carton folding company, go from strength to strength. The business has enjoyed a substantial yet controlled year on year growth. In achieving this, Marpak has continued to invest heavily in both its people and its infrastructure.
Of course, life has a habit of throwing a curve ball when you least expect it. Right at the end of 2017 the company was forced to come to terms with the sudden and totally unexpected death of one of its two joint managing directors, Edward Wheeler. “It was a total shock to everyone in the business,” explains Marpak’s Director of Operations, Chris Goodayle. “An engineer at heart, Ed was always full of life and interested in so many different things. I never heard anyone say a bad word about him – he was a lovely man. Ed had this way of making you feel valued, making you feel part of the family, whatever job you did in the business.”
Edward Wheeler’s legacy is Marpak’s great strength. It is one big family and like a family, it looks after its own, particularly in difficult times. Despite the loss of his brother, Managing Director Matthew Wheeler is determined to continue the adventure that he and his brother started some 20 years ago. “Over the last few years, Edward and I had restructured the business to ensure that it would continue to thrive without necessarily needing our day to day involvement,” explains Matt Wheeler. “Our reasoning behind this was twofold. Firstly, we wanted to put in place a management team that was a mix of youth and experience. A team that would look at the business with fresh eyes, dream big and drive Marpak’s continued expansion in the years ahead. Secondly, Edward wanted to step back from the day to day running of the business and concentrate more on its long-term strategic growth.”
Over the last few years the company has invested heavily, moving all its production under one roof in a 30,000 sq ft facility on Craven Street. Chris Goodayle again, “The Craven Street manufacturing plant has made a huge difference to our business,” said Goodayle. “Previously we were operating out of four or five smaller units nearby and while it worked, it was far from ideal. Our new set up has enabled us to provide an improved service for our customers and given the business a more cost effective platform for growth.
“Of prime importance to us is the investment in our people. This year we are taking on a third apprentice and will continue to train our staff to ensure that we can offer the very best solutions and service to our varied customer base.”
From the outset, shrewd management has guided Marpak through the often muddied waters of growth. It has resisted the temptation to over-stretch itself, finding the perfect balance between risk and safety. As a consequence, it has built solid foundations for both its finances and machinery portfolio.
Matthew Wheeler concludes, “We have always believed in buying the best machinery we could afford and our investments in industry leading equipment definitely give us an edge. This high quality, reliable machinery operated by our experienced team means we consistently meet, and often exceed, client expectations. Delivering dependable service on a daily basis leads to building long-term client relationships which are very rewarding for all concerned.”