Success Story: Personalized Bottle Water
From small, locally owned businesses to large corporations, and everything in between, Rusken’s customer base is a melting pot of them all. Each customer relationship of tremendous value, there is something about the small, locally owned businesses that makes you feel at home.
On this National Mom-and-Pop Business Owners Day, we recognize our partnership with Personalized Bottle Water, located in Little Rock, AR. Having successfully grown into one of the largest suppliers of personalized bottled water within their region, Founder and CEO, Mark Sikes, attributes the start of his entrepreneurial spirit to his Hot Wheel painting business started at only 10 years old. And 15 years later, at the age of 25, Mark’s entrepreneurial mindset had not waivered, leading to the start of a new business, Sikes Labeling. Continuing to hit his stride, Mark tried his luck in the bottled water business in the 90’s, targeting schools across Arkansas with personalized bottled water highlighting beloved mascots. As Personalized Bottle Water began to grow, Mark set his sights on getting enough business to purchase labeling equipment that would relieve his employees from labor intensive work, hand-labeling each bottle of water. Driven by the need to improve the workplace for his employees, Mark picked up momentum, opening his customer base to businesses and organizations, earning Personalized Bottle Water their current status.
As with any rapid influx of business, there comes growing pains. Originally, bottled water orders were anywhere from a half to several pallets. Orders requiring shrink wrap, tarps, intensive labor, and delivery, the current method was proving to not be cost effective. Additionally, lack of storage space at many of their customers made it difficult to deliver everything in one shipment, resulting in increased shipping costs jeopardizing the business. Eager to smooth over these problems, Mark partnered with UPS, creating the Personalized Bottle Water Stocking Program. The relief of finding a solution for the shipping problem was brief before another problem presented itself. Complaints for damaged product began to ring in, resulting in an increase in returns that lowered the profit margin as Mark was stuck with the water and shipping costs. The problem this time, however, was within the packaging. Lacking the proper construction to withstand the weight of the water bottles, their packaging glue tab would start to tear away from the seam, causing the entire box to fall apart during UPS’s various stages of delivery, arriving to the customer in a state of disarray.
Desperately searching for a solution to this shipping chaos, Mark reached out to Rusken Packaging in 2010, thus creating our long-standing partnership. When asked about his experience as a valued Rusken partner, Mark had this to say:
“Rusken to the rescue! I reached out to Rusken back in 2010, and within no time they redesigned my box and helped me find a solution to my shipping nightmare. Our ground freight business that I used to avoid has become one our core services that differentiates us from our competitors. We now proudly ship Personalized Bottle Water all over the country in very attractive, well-constructed – LOVE the white boxes – to individuals with special occasions, such as weddings and birthdays, and to businesses both big and small. Our damages are less than ½ of 1% of all our UPS ground shipments, and our
customers absolutely love being able to receive their water without having to buy a pallet at a time. The Rusken Team has always been responsive to our needs and understands the struggle of small businesses. Our sales rep, Brad Alpe, has been nothing short of the best darn box person I know, and we proud to consider Rusken a Valued Supplier for PBW.”
Thank you Mark for your kind words; this reiterates exactly why we are in business and proud to truly partner with all of our customers. As our tagline states, our passion is making your first impression!
In need of custom packaging for your mom-and-pop business? Contact us today, we are here to help!
About Rusken: Rusken is a dynamic, modern integrated packaging company with locations throughout the Southeast United States. With fifteen (15) facilities in eight (8) states, Rusken is a forward-looking regional organization. Headquartered in Cullman, Alabama, Rusken has experienced exponential growth over the last decade. This success is driven by an entrepreneurial spirit, focus on family-based values and a commitment to a truly remarkable customer experience. From standard corrugated boxes to highly customized packaging solutions that require robust design-work, colorful printing and hand finishing, the good people behind the Rusken name are passionate about quality, delivery and customer smiles.