A knack for getting customers out of jams
is just one reason Southern Champion
Tray’s Texas plant is positioned to grow.
MARISA PALMIERI | EDITOR
Photos by Kevin Brown
The goal at Southern Champion Tray is to be “easy to love and hard to leave” – a motto that President and CEO John Zeiser jokingly says sounds like a bad country song waiting to be written. But
he’s serious about it, and you can tell in the way the
company operates its Mansfield, Texas, plant.
“We try to serve customers in a way that makes us
“It’s been steady and there is evidence that we’re
easy to do business with and makes them think twice
about leaving us when a competitor offers them the
same item for a nickel less,” he says. “Customers will
get themselves into jams, and they need a supplier that
says ‘Yes, let’s get this done.’ That’s an attitude you see
in the people in our Texas operation.”
By focusing on customer service and continually
reinvesting, the Southern Champion Tray Texas plant
(SCT-Texas) is holding it’s own in a competitive market.
doing a good job with our customers,” Zeiser says,
SCT-Texas added capacity in September 2010 with a second press, a KBA Rapida 106.
General Manager Jim Miller (right), a relative newcomer
to the folding carton industry, gives credit to Production
Manager Robi Siklosi (left) and Finishing Department
Manager Jeff Terral (center) for showing him the ropes.
naming Justin Boots as a decades-long customer from
one of SC-Texas’ predecessors.
At a time when many carton companies are struggling to grow, SCT-Texas added capacity in September
2010 with a second press, a KBA Rapida 106, is in the
process of adding another salesperson, and is prepared
to add a third shift.
Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., Southern Champion
Tray is a third-generation family business run by the Zeiser
family. Bruce Zeiser serves as vice president and Chuck
Zeiser, John and Bruce’s father, is chairman of the board.
SCT-Texas, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth me-troplex, is the company’s custom packaging division;
it’s a regional manufacturer of folding cartons and
sleeves for food, consumer goods, and light pharmaceutical customers. The Chattanooga plant produces
and distributes stock products internationally.
SCT-Texas was born of the acquisition of Campbell
Paper Box in 1981 and AD&D Packaging a year later.
Combined, the two businesses moved to Mansfield,
Texas, in 1985.
The two predecessor companies were both focused on
lower-end retail packaging, says Zeiser, who served as the
plant manager of the Texas operation from 1982 to 1991
but now works out of Chattanooga. One of the first things
that SCT did was purchase a used four-color Planeta be-