It's safe to say that 2015 was a big year in many ways. And, though we’ve been blogging regularly since September of 2012, we’ve never published a year-end wrap-up post like this one.
Part of the reason is that we consistently have so many interesting things to share, like tips for promoting restaurants, branding businesses, how to make the perfect brisket, and new trends in the culinary industry. In a lot of ways, 2015 was truly a banner year for Oren International. That's why we wanted to express our gratitude and share some of our major moments from 2015.
Exciting technological advances!
We installed a new packaging line this year that automates the packaging of sheets, dramatically improving speed and efficiency for one of our core services.
Also, we started using a new logistics reporting software that has greatly improved our shipping and receiving processes. Our entire supply chain has noted improvements in speed and efficiency as freight is able to be moved in and out much faster.
Product releases and international expansion!
We were thrilled to launch our direct-to-consumer line of pink butcher paper this year. With the increasing rise in popularity of this BBQ staple, small independent restaurants and even backyard chefs across the country were looking for an economical means to get their hands on lower volume rolls of pink butcher paper and we were happy to offer a solution.
In addition to focusing on the consumer market, we also gained new national retail accounts this year that we expect to be serving for many years to come.
We didn't just limit efforts to the United States either: in 2015 we expanded our market to Australia as well!
One of the key drivers of growth this year was our custom printed and branded paper options.In fact, the custom printing segment of our business nearly doubled compared to the end of 2014.
In the spring of 2015, 11 brave members of the Oren International team did the famous Tough Mudder Gulf Coast. If you’re not familiar with it, the Tough Mudder is “a team-oriented 11 mile obstacle course designed to test physical strength and mental grit.”
In other words, it’s a long, difficult, dirty couple of hours But, it’s also a lot of fun and it gave us a chance to work together doing something other than paper converting for little while.
With pink butcher paper and other food service papers being some of our most popular products, meat looms large in our legend. That’s why we participated in the Arrogant Steak Cook-off, hosted by the Seville Rotary Club where our carnivorous prowess helped raise money for several well-deserving local non-profit organizations.
We also sponsored and attended the Carnivores Ball in Austin, Texas this year, providing them with custom printed menus on pink butcher paper.
Another incredible trip we won’t soon forget was our trade missions to Puerto Rico and Cuba this year where we had the opportunity to meet with current customers and prospects as well as the Port Authority at the Port of Mariel in Cuba!
What’s ahead for 2016?
Without a doubt the biggest news for Oren International going into 2016 is our move to a new Pensacola location with over three times the floor space of our current facility!
This added room will allow us to add a new Folio Sheeter, a new automated wrap line, and a new slitter/rewinder machine to our current lineup. Plus, we’ll have more room for storing stock items and finished goods, which will reduce lead times and make for faster shipping.
Our new facilities will also include an expanded machine shop to support our research and development so we can continue to focus on innovation and improvements throughout the year.
Finally, as we enter 2016, we are thrilled to be celebrating 20 years in business!
We are grateful with the year we’ve had in 2015, and we look forward to fantastic things coming in 2016. Above all, we want to say “thank you” to you and all the other visitors, customers, vendors, and community supporters who have helped us continue to build Oren International into the thriving business it is today!
As always, if you you ever have any questions about paper options for your business, we welcome you to contact us to learn more.