Mohawk announces reinvention plan

Tom O'Connor presenting at the Mohawk employee meeting

At launch events held in New York over the last three weeks for customers and employees, Mohawk Fine Papers, Cohoes, N.Y., revealed its blueprint to transform its premium paper business to thrive in today’s digital world. In his presentations, Thomas D. O’Connor, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Mohawk, outlined his vision.

“Everywhere you read that print is declining, but the opportunities with the new digital technologies, or with what I would call ‘the new generation of print’, are great,”says O’Connor. “Technology disrupts, recessions clarify, and successful companies reinvent. That’s what we’re doing right now.”

O’Connor outlined Mohawk’s framework as:

Mohawk will focus its manufacturing exclusively on high-margin papers and products that will bring distinct value to the new generation of print customers, a unique positioning in an industry historically driven by volume and capacity.

Mohawk will develop strategic acquisitions and partnerships that successfully leverage Mohawk’s expertise and operational excellence.

Mohawk will continue to move closer to the end-customer across all business segments.

O’Connor said Mohawk will continue to seek strategic partnerships with companies like business card company Moo.com, differentiating their products with unique substrates like proprietary Moo Luxe. He shared the example of Blurb.com, which now offers a high-end product line requested by its customers and advertises the use of Mohawk’s Superfine and ProPhoto papers to help sell its products.

Mohawk fully expects to leverage its industry expertise and operational excellence as an incremental revenue stream. “Last year, we earned over $1 million consulting with other paper companies,” he said. O’Connor predicted MakeReady, the service platform for digital printers launched by Mohawk last year, will become a consulting business.

“At our core, we are a paper company,” said O’Connor. “But we are rapidly becoming much, much more.” O’Connor indicated that customers would soon see substantive changes in the marketplace.

As of April 16, Mohawk will launch Project Streamline, a strategic consolidation of Mohawk’s core paper lines, taking 22 paper grades (brands) down to six. For customers, Streamline is a simpler, clearer presentation of Mohawk brands and products, resulting in the elimination of more than 50 percent of its SKUs.

Also, a new technology/operations initiative, Unified Service Delivery Platform, will create a seamless purchasing experience for all customers from merchants to printers or small businesses. Customers will be able to choose how and when they want to do business with Mohawk.

And, the new name of the company will simply be Mohawk. Mohawk will also unveil a new brand identity. O’Connor noted the “energetic” new logo suggests paper rolls, circuit boards, and connectivity. O’Connor described the color palette with words like “fresh,” “optimistic,” and “youthful.” He remarked that the new brand speaks directly to Mohawk’s transformation, — “an expression of who we are and what we are becoming.”