New Pig goes hog wild in the international marketplace
When it comes to exporting, New Pig Corporation’s presence on the global stage is no accident.
The manufacturer of absorbents and spill control products for more than 200,000 industrial customers in over 70 countries was recognized for its excellence when it was named a recipient of a Governor’s ImPAct award at the inaugural program earlier this year.
Clark Stapelfeld, Vice President, International Division, said his father’s vision was to be a player in a global economy. Ben Stapelfeld, Clark’s father, is a company co-founder and Chairman of the Board at New Pig, which is based in Tipton, Blair County and employs 360 people.
“From the time my father was young, he always enjoyed travel,” Stapelfeld said. “So he fulfilled his desire to operate in other parts of the world by making, then fulfilling, a commitment to having an international footprint. He is our biggest advocate for our international work.”
Another major driver of exports is the mind-boggling number of products that have been developed during the company’s 28-year history. The company’s industrial-based clientele has more than 4,000 products to help contain, control and clean-up leaks, drips and spills at their worksites and perpetuate workplace safety.
Daniel Silver, Vice President, Product Development, says New Pig staff doesn’t hide in the company’s “pigpen” (headquarters), but is out in the field meeting with customers – and potential clients – to address their workplace needs.
“We go out and look for the duct tape,” Silver says. “When I see ‘duct tape’ being used as a solution to a problem, the hair on the back of my neck stands up because that is a customer who has a need that we can address.”
The Product Development Division, Silver notes, is also committed to seeking the next big thing. A recent innovation led to the development of solutions – and a spin-off company, New Pig Energy – for the shale gas industry.
“We’re product geeks,” says Silver. “We’re all about finding new products that solve problems for our customers and address their needs.”
Internationally, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan are its three biggest markets, according to Stapelfeld.
The company recently expanded its product line into South America after New Pig participated in the Gov. Tom Corbett-led and Team Pennsylvania Foundation-funded trade mission this past April to Brazil and Chile.
Stapelfeld said two distribution deals have been completed in Chile and at least one project is pending in Brazil.
“The trade mission has more than paid off in terms of our financial investment,” said Stapelfeld. “The ROI (return on investment) was immediate and we are very happy with the results. Pennsylvania’s trade reps did an outstanding job lining up meetings with potential customers, and having the state delegation there also helped open doors that we probably couldn’t get opened ourselves.”
Although New Pig primarily manufactures and sells items for mitigating minor spills and leaks, the company did supply products during clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska in 1989 and again during the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2006, according to Charles O’Rourke, Manufacturing Director.
One item deployed in the clean-up was the company’s very first product, the Pig Sock. The Pig Sock is a tube-shaped containment device with a polypropylene outer skin filled with recycled material that absorbs contaminants while simultaneously filtering out water.
Since the creation of their first product, the company has expanded to include a plethora of items designed to lessen the likelihood of a workplace accident and help ensure businesses are meeting the requirements of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.
“Pig products are manufactured right here in Tipton,” O’Rourke said. “We are proud to be a Pennsylvania company that provides world-class products, quality service and a money-back guarantee on every item we sell.”
New Pig is not only committed to ensuring a clean planet, but sustainability is integral to its product line. Grounded corn cobs, shredded newspaper and post-industrial diaper scraps comprise the internal material in a number of its absorbent products.
“Sustainability is at the forefront of what we do and has been a core component of our business for many years,” says O’Rourke.
As it looks to the future, Stapelfeld believes the company has limitless growth opportunities in the international marketplace.
“The world is looking to Africa as the next developing and interesting place to do business,” Stapelfeld said. “There is obvious political strife, but there is great potential because Africa has abundant resources, a youthful demographic and interesting potential and opportunity.”
For more on New Pig, visit their website.
Editor’s note: New Pig is one of 20 organizations represented on Pennsylvania’s International Business Advisory Board.