RPA Editor: Tell us about your experiences at PendaForm.
Cavezza: I’ve been with the company for 17 years. I started out as a project manager, went into engineering, and then into sales in 2003. I became the head of sales in 2010. My background gives me the experience to guide customers through the collaborative engineering process to deliver a high-performance product that meets their needs. Staffing at most companies today is really lean so they need someone who can make the process easier and less time-consuming for them. I can say, “give me this information, and then I can take it from there.”
RPA Editor: PendaForm and Fabri-Form recently merged. What was the reason for the merger, and what is the impact on the market?
Cavezza: Fabri-Form was a very successful family-owned business. Under John Knight, the CEO, the company reached its highest profitably ever. When John had to retire because of health issues, the two companies merged. Today, we are the largest industrial thermo former in North America, and we are double the size of the second largest manufacturer.
We are the only North American company that has extrusion, a pattern shop and tooling, test lab, and the capability to manufacture parts. The merger created new resources and technologies for us to use to support our customers. And we have more machine and extrusion capacity that lets us get into production faster.
We also gained a lot of efficiencies in our corporate structure, and we can leverage our buying power to get the best costs on raw materials. This all adds up to more value for our customers.
RPA Editor: Are there any new developments in your market?
Cavezza: The material science behind plastics continues to evolve. It’s crazy what you can make out of plastic today because it is so strong and durable. We can customize just about any product.
We do a lot of work in automotive, like manufacturing bed liners. For grocery, we supply pallets; and in apparel, we do sleeve packs and pallets. We also do a fair amount of business in providing products for oil and gas, like developing site savers to protect the ground from leakage. The government’s emphasis on going green makes us confident that the reusables market will continue to grow
RPA Editor: What are the roadblocks that keep companies from implementing reusable packaging?
Cavezza: Education is the biggest hurdle. These products are more expensive than what people are used to paying for packaging, and a lot of our products have tooling expenses. But our products last 8 to10 years. And they eliminate the cost of paying someone to clean up the packaging and dispose of it in a landfill. Most customers don’t realize all the costs associated with disposable packaging. We have tools to help them calculate the ROI of reusables and see their value.
The other issue is making them feel comfortable that they will get their assets back. That’s less of an issue if it’s a closed loop system.
RPA Editor: You recently joined the RPA Board. Why did you decide to get involved?
Cavezza: I want to be part of the conversation. The Board includes some really smart individuals. As a Board member, I can hear what other companies are talking about and what they are hearing from their customers. I might learn about an opportunity that I can take back to my company and try to address it.
RPA Editor: Tell us something about yourself.
Cavezza: I’m happy to say I’m a Steelers fan – winner of six Super Bowl championships. I’m also an avid golfer and hunter. And my wife and I are expecting our third child in August.
RPA Editor: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Cavezza: Stop by and meet me and my team in Chicago. I’d love to meet more members of the RPA.