Recycling is one of the biggest buzz words in the industry, and Jim Lemmons, general manager at McKernan Packaging Clearing House in Reno, Nevada, explains how his company serves the pet care community.
When did McKernan expand its business to include the pet product industry?
Since the doors opened in 1959, McKernan has always had packaging that could be used for the pet product industry. However, a real focus on pet products and the pet industry happened about 10 years ago, after we began to notice how much of our personal care packaging paralleled packaging in the pet industry.
At that time, we began reaching out to businesses in the pet segment by advertising in magazines and attending trade shows specifically focused on pets and pet products. As interest grew, we brought a larger focus to the pet industry and how we could help businesses in this segment.
What are some examples of how McKernan works with pet product manufacturers?
One thing that we noticed is that pet products were evolving very quickly with many new products being introduced to the pet industry. Unfortunately, some of those products failed. We saw a niche where we could help some of these businesses recoup some of their lost revenue, and keep the packaging out of the landfills, by purchasing their unused and unbranded bottles, jars, and closures and reselling them to other businesses or industries. This was not a new concept to McKernan; it just had not been realized how much this was needed in the pet industry.
Fast forward a few more years, the pet industry is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds and we recognized that the packaging that we were buying was also needed by other companies in the pet industry as more new product innovations were coming out. Gone were the days of just canned food and pet shampoos. Now, you find supplements, dental care, topical treatments, sprays, grooming products and more, all needing packaging. Much of the personal care packaging for people is now being used for similar purposes in the pet industry, as pet owners tend to lavish their pets with the same attention given to themselves.
What sets McKernan apart from its competitors in the surplus packaging market?
In the surplus packaging market, there really aren’t any main competitors. In 1967, Ed McKernan saw overstock and surplus packaging that was being discarded. He saw an untapped opportunity to take that unused and unbranded packaging and sell it to other businesses at a reduced cost.
In the packaging industry, McKernan is able to offer a large selection of packaging with over 95% of it in stock in our warehouse. This large inventory allows us to ship quickly and offer lower minimums, all at a lower price. Another aspect that we offer is sampling of our packaging. We want to be sure that our packaging works with our customer’s product, so we offer free samples to our clients for them to test the packaging.
How would you describe your company’s relationships with its clients?
While we don’t have “feet on the street” selling our packaging, we do have a large staff ready to assist our customers for either sales or surplus purchasing. We offer multiple ways to contact us, including our website, by email ([email protected] or [email protected]) or by calling us directly at 775-356-6111 or 1-800-SURPLUS. When you call us, you get a live person who can direct you to the appropriate department.
We work diligently to offer free samples to ensure that your products work with our packaging. We also make sure we get your packaging sent quickly. Most of the time, it is ready to ship within 48 hours after receiving the order. Ultimately, we want to help our clients to get your products from idea to the shelves in a shorter timeframe. As the pet industry offers more innovative products, McKernan is there to help get that product in the stores, whether online or brick and mortar, to sell.
Our constant is that we can provide high quality packaging when our customers need it most and to help alleviate that inventory when it is not.