Breaking Rank: The Complete Package

From Macy’s to Marriott, PaperSource Hawaii Inc. supplies hundreds of local firms with loads of products.

August, 2002

Chances are, wherever you go in Hawaii, you’ll encounter a product that once passed through PaperSource Hawaii Inc.’s 61,000-square-foot warehouse in Campbell Industrial Park.

The list of clientele for this wholesale distributor of fine and industrial papers and plastic products includes a few thousand Hawaii companies, including its most prominent hotels, nearly all of its printshops and its major retailers.

“We have a breadth of products in here: janitorial supplies, panty shields you see in dressing rooms, retail packaging for Macy’s and Hilo Hattie’s, fine-print paper for the print shops like Hawaii Newspaper Agency, the foam trays used on supermarket shelves — basically anything paper and plastic,” President Rich Meachen says. “We’ve got the lion’s share of the market because we have the complete package as far as products go.”

It was just four years ago that Meachen bought out the operation from his then employer, Unisource International, during the company’s restructuring. Last year, PaperSource gross sales grew to $21 million, up 1.9 percent from $20.6 million in 2000.

Unfortunately, that figure does not include the $1 million in lost revenues the company attributes to Sept. 11, Meachen says. That loss was primarily due to the reduction in fine-printing paper orders from local printshops, a cutback that resulted from the decrease in ads placed in media publications.

PaperSource’s sales remained relatively stable because of the range of industries represented by its numerous clients. The company, owned by Meachen and his wife, also benefited from recently expanding its product line to include cleaning supplies.

“We saw a lot of growth in our cleaning supplies,” Meachen says. “Since we already provided hotels with toilet paper and tissues, it was a natural progression to add cleaning chemicals, mops, brooms, so they could call us up for their one-stop supply.”

To accommodate its growing inventory — shipped to Hawaii from the Mainland, Canada, Mexico and Asia — another 30,000 square feet will be added to the company’s warehouse next year.

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