Perhaps nothing has constrained America’s industrial packaging industry as much as labor. Over 20 million employees exited the U.S. labor force at the onset of COVID. Still, there are reasons to be optimistic. Employee participation rates are back to 2019 levels, just 1.5 million below pre-pandemic totals. The turnaround has been especially encouraging for Americans in their prime working years, 25 to 54. The “Great Resignation,” as it’s been called, appears to be over. The “Great Reshuffling,” as University of Massachusetts professor Arindrajit Dube calls it, is on.

“It is unusually easy for U.S. workers to find jobs and unusually hard for employers to find workers,” wrote economist Paul Krugman in a recent op-ed. However, the data tells us that employees are no longer leaving their jobs for stay-at-home benefits and safety. They are quitting for other, better jobs. Even so, our way out has not changed. Each of us must be an employer of choice. Moreover, each of us must do more with less.

Out of adversity comes opportunity. We have all begun to look at our businesses through a new lens. At home and work, that often means relying more on fast and efficient online tools. It is no wonder that packaging distributors are logging on to Laddawn.com more often. Yes,
it is about getting prices and lead times quickly, but adoption rates for all of Laddawn.com’s features are on the rise.

More of you are emailing pricing, specs and ship dates right from Laddawn.com. You are calling up past orders, repricing and reordering. You are checking order status. To populate your own e-commerce platforms, you are downloading sell sheets, product photos and descriptions. No question, Laddawn.com’s tools help you do more with less.

On the pricing front, we continue to leverage our manufacturing capacity and sourcing power to mitigate increases. Being the only master distributor of industrial packaging to manufacture the majority of what we offer affords us the flexibility to be measured and targeted. For example, this month we implemented a modest stock price increase on a small subset
of sourced can liners (less than 3% of our stock items), but prices on the rest of our 2,100 stock items remain unchanged.

Of course, behind the velvet curtain of Laddawn.com sits a dedicated group of Laddawn team members. Their sole purpose is to make your life easier and help you grow. If you have not reached out lately, give us a call. Better yet, log on to Laddawn.com and speed the flow of your work.

On behalf of all of us in Atlanta, Dallas, Devens, Manchester, Sparks and Sterling, thank you for your business.

Mark P. Bourgeois
Director of Sales & Customer Experience