Message from Mark Burgess (Audio) – Executing for Success in 2024

Michelle MachenMauser News, Leadership Messages

Listen to Mark Burgess, President and CEO of Mauser Packaging Solutions, outline priorities and initiatives for a successful 2024.


(Mark Burgess, President and CEO of Mauser Packaging Solutions):

Good morning,

One month ago, I had the opportunity to gather our business unit leadership teams to speak to them about the current state of the business.  We can all agree that 2023 was a frustrating but important year for the Company as we were hindered by a weakened economy, rising interest rates, international political tensions, and worsening conditions for banks. Destocking also had a major impact on our top line revenue. While all these headwinds were out of our control, each played into the current state of the company and, as a result, we will miss our EBITDA budget, but will achieve our cash flow target due to outstanding working capital management that all of you helped drive.

Even though we didn’t meet our financial expectations, we did accomplish a lot throughout the year:

  • Our safety performance in MIPS improved by 50%.
  • The organization learned to flex labor much more aggressively than it ever had before.
  • We had a record year of EIP.
  • And we added 50+ new resources in key areas to support our long-term needs as well.
  • And finally, we reinvigorated efforts associated with making acquisitions.

2023 is behind us and 2024 presents even more opportunities for growth for our company and industry alike, if we execute. Execution means moving forward with and progressing against the Billion Dollar Plan where we must continue to create a workplace where employees feel valued, inspired, and confident about the future and where our customers and investors will see us as a vibrant, strategically focused, innovative and customer-centric company. Likewise, it’s important that we will continue to invest in improving our plants, equipment and technology for safer, more efficient operations and work in an environment where we can beef up our ESG agenda as well.

We have the opportunity and unique capabilities to work on something that really matters for our company and our customers, families, and communities, and for the global good from an ESG perspective.

Therefore, consistent with our Billion Dollar plan, and executing on people priorities, our leaders agreed on the following specific priorities in 2024 that you will continue to be hearing about throughout the year.

Number 1: We need to achieve organic sales growth per the budget.

That means hitting our budgeted growth and volume, making your number and we need to figure out how to grow more in 2024. Our volume trends have not gone our way in the last several years because of the economy but I know that we can win back lost business and we can also improve our performance by aligning and growing our unique distribution network.

The second thing we need to do is execute on our key inorganic initiatives.

And that means continuing to do small bolt on acquisitions like Zapata, Consolidated Container and other things that are in the pipeline today.

The third thing that we must do execute against our achieve key operational and productivity initiatives.

That means improving our safety performance. It means focusing on OTIF. It means fixing problem plants that exist today and we can do that by keeping it simple by you doing your job and doing it safely.

We can also do it by driving our EIP program and if we continue to drive results through that program we will continue to drive improvement for our company and make us more competitive and a better vendor for our customers.

And then finally, a fourth objective for the year is to expand into other adjacent markets, drive a sustainability agenda, and really drive innovation strategies like we never have before.

We need to do things like “what do we sell” and “what will the customer buy” and how that really willy help us understand what adjacent markets we should get into. We need to figure out how we can drive a PCR agenda more effectively. The customer wants it so now we need to go out and do something about it in order to meet their needs. We need to be innovative in thinking about things like onsite plants that we can make into a more sustainable approach to our customers. We need to continue to think about other innovative ideas that our customers are looking for and I know that through our efforts this year we will be able to accomplish all of those things.

So while 2024 brings about new challenges, I know each one of us will continue to endure as we make our company and ourselves stronger. As we navigate throughout the year and the headwinds in front of us, our commitment to our initiatives and priorities remains the focus. To deliver on these initiatives, we must do the following this year, again, achieve sales growth. Number two is to focus on additional strategies that will drive value for us. And then ultimately making sure that our priorities are not just tasks but they will determine our future success and purpose. Let us forge ahead and drive results. In Q1 of this year we are right on track and ahead of budget. So, there is no reason we can’t continue to do that for the full year.

Thanks again for your commitment everyone and I look forward to working with you this year.

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