Robert (Bob) Mavity
Strategic Advantage, Inc.*
Bob Mavity is a 25-year veteran of the corrugated packaging industry. During his time in the industry, he was active in all phases of the manufacturing and marketing of corrugated products from plain “brown boxes” to complex process-color direct printing on corrugated.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, Bob began his career as a designer-intern at the Western Kraft corrugated plant in Elk Grove Village (Chicago). He advanced through multiple positions, including sales representative, facilities engineer and general manager of Boise Cascade’s plants in Tennessee and Connecticut. As an officer and board member of Pacific Southwest Container, he managed their central California sales staff, leading PSC to become a powerhouse in value-added display packaging for the Silicon Valley electronics industry as well as a leading provider of five-color packaging for California wineries.
Before starting his own company, Bob was named President of Schiffenhaus Packaging of New Jersey, a company that has celebrated its 100th year of operation. His career at Schiffenhaus was featured in Paperboard Packaging’s cover story, “What Is It Like To Run Schiffenhaus.” At Schiffenhaus, Bob was a leading champion of the introduction of Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Lean Manufacturing into the corrugated industry. In Boston, his speech on SPC to over 350 members of the industry association, AICC, was also featured in industry magazines.
PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE RELEASED
In 2000, Bob launched his dream of creating a method to overcome the pricing warfare between corrugated suppliers and buyers. Strategic Advantage, Inc. (SAI) was born, and its first product was the breakthrough software, “Box$hop®-2000.” Historically, corrugated buyers had only one tool to work with to try to get good prices. That tool was to threaten suppliers with a bidding war, and even then, they could only negotiate down from supplier quotes. Many suppliers would commonly quote prices at-or-below variable costs, hoping to get the business, and then try to grow margins. If they could not then make a profit, they would often just walk away from the customer, leaving the buyer to scramble and willing to pay any price just to restore supply.
In contrast, Box$hop provided buyers with a unique analytical tool called “NightVisionTM”. Buyers could then see what the real supplier costs were and then negotiate up from supplier costs. But as sourcing departments began to experience downsizing, companies turned to SAI to do the negotiations for them. Coming from the box industry, Bob knew exactly what it would take to bring suppliers and customers together and to work on the same side of the table, resulting in savings for buyers and reasonable profits for suppliers – a win-win relationship.
THE BOXPRICE METHOD – Turnkey Negotiation Delivers
Historically, the corrugated sales representative had to excite prospective customers in order to be selected as the supplier. This process often took a sales representative 7-9 calls just to get an audience with a buyer. Bob’s solution was to invert the selling dynamic. It was clear to him that it is the customer who must excite the supplier. Unexpected opportunities materialize when a buyer invites a seller in and states, “We want you to supply us!” The BoxPrice Method has perfected this technique.
After completing the course “Program On Negotiation” at Harvard Law School, Bob incorporated those principles into the BoxPrice negotiation process of bringing buyer and seller together in a win-win relationship. His unique negotiation skills combine his knowledge of the corrugated supplier’s mindset with the savings target enabled by the software analysis to secure a turnkey savings outcome to corrugated customers.
SAI has created significant value for buyers and fair price levels for suppliers for 15 years. Once a savings target has been established, SAI has never failed to reach or exceed that savings target.
As the SAI team likes to say, “We love it when our plan comes together!”
*The BoxPrice Method is a product of Strategic Advantage, Inc. (SAI)