#20: Matt Malin – Owner of M3 Packages
Matt Malin Podcast Transcript
Neil Dudley: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Pederson’s Farms podcast. We are so excited you’re here. We appreciate you joining us. And we look forward to sharing these conversations with thought leaders from our industry. They’re going to paint a picture from every perspective – consumer, customer, vendor, employee, and peer – that I think is going to be super valuable, and we’re really excited to share. So, thanks for tuning in. Remember don’t tune out, and grab life by the bacon.
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining the Pederson’s Farms podcast. I’m excited about this episode. I’m excited about every episode; it’s the truth. I say it every time, but I can’t help it. I love the idea of what we’re doing here, the purpose for this podcast, which is just telling the story of this industry, thought leaders in this industry, people that make Pederson’s what it is from their eyes, whether they are a vendor, customer, consumer, peer, employee, all of those peoples paint the picture of this company. So today, we’ve got Mr. Matt Malin joining the podcast. Matt, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for you just flying right up here and being a part of it.
Matt Malin: Well, thank you, Neil. It’s an honor. You guys are very important to our business, M3 Packaging Solutions. And of course, we’ve provided packaging to you guys for a long time. And let me just, before I start talking about what I do to try and help you sell bacon, I was downstairs in the lobby, and I saw the independent processors had selected y’all as Processor of the Year of 2021, and that is congratulations deserved.
Neil Dudley: Well, thank you. You bet. We managed to get noticed. And that feels good, doesn’t it? I mean, it really does. I’m proud of that. We’ve been here turning along for 20 years or something, and somebody looked around and said, oh, these guys might be doing something worth recognizing. So, it does feel good. And thank you for that. I’m stumbling now, what is it?
Matt Malin: M3 – Matt, Misty, and Morgan. We’ve got the whole family involved.
Neil Dudley: Which is why it was kind of cool, you brought Morgan in, I don’t know, a couple months ago or something.
Matt Malin: During the summer.
Neil Dudley: I got to meet her. I love that legacy. She’s interested in the business. That family thing really ties well to what Pederson’s is all about, I’m all about. I love the people really more than any of it. I mean, it’s fun making products and solving puzzles and figuring out the next move. But the truth is I just love the people, you, your family.
Matt Malin: Morgan enjoyed coming out and having a conversation with you. And I appreciate you giving her all the time you did. She spent the next two and a half hours on our drive back to New Braunfels asking questions about you and expressing her appreciation for the interest you took. She’s in her second year of college, and she’s still trying to figure out what she’s going to do. And you know what, I remember being in that exact same place.
Neil Dudley: That’s absolutely true. I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do at that age. Not a hundred percent sure I do today. I just keep turning along, staying in business, and you guys are part of how we’re able to do that. So, let’s talk about that a little bit. What does M3 Packaging do? Just paint the picture of the array of things that y’all do.
Matt Malin: Sure. So packaging is very boring. I mean, there’s no way I can sit here and try to make a cardboard box or a polybag or an L board or some tape or stretch wrap sound interesting at all. It’s not going to happen. The good news is, and it’s something that I tapped into, gosh, 35 years ago when I got into business, is that when I walk in your front door, I’m a bacon salesman. When I walk into a door that manufacturers ham, I’m a ham salesman. I’m not going to sell anything until my customer sells something. So, I tap into, well, what you guys want to be in the marketplace, who you want to sell to, and that’s when my creative juices try to figure out how do I make packaging help them sell more bacon?
Neil Dudley: And you’ve done that. I mean, I had a little pet project for a company called Costco, and you were up here two or three different times trying to help us decide what the best display box would be, rationalize it. Of course, I had what I wanted, then the production team has what they want. You’re playing that kind of go between, and even sounding board, just like okay yeah, I hear that, I hear that, here’s what I think I know we can do with the box. That is all a piece of- all of this stuff is how bacon gets to a consumer. It’s how sausage, ham, anything you deal with, there’s going to be boxes that come in play, plastic that comes in play, stretch wrap. Like maybe you think stretch wrap is boring, I think it’s really awesome. Look, you start loading pallets of product on trucks, and it’s not stretch wrapped right or with quality stretch wrap, guess what, it falls down, it is damaged, it’s ruined. That’s wasted money. Every bit of that just goes into waste, which is ultimately more expense to the consumer and that’s not good.
Matt Malin: Sure. Again, getting back to where I get my motivation every day, it’s every time I walk into a company, I usually get to work with an owner or someone that has some interest in the company and a lot sharper people than I am, and I get to support them in their effort for their company to grow and succeed.
Neil Dudley: What are the challenges in that?
Matt Malin: Oh gosh-
Neil Dudley: Let me paint a picture for everybody just real quick. This is how Neil operates. Matt, we need labels tomorrow. That’s always my expectation. And that’s not a reality. It’s not a- it’s not even feasible.
Matt Malin: Well, a couple of years ago it was. Things are different today. What it takes, for instance, getting back the labels, what it takes to get a label overnight is you’ve got to have paper, you’ve got to have adhesive, you’ve got to have press time, and you have to have someone to run that press. And finding- lining those four things up these days are very difficult.
Neil Dudley: Is there one of them that’s more difficult than the other?
Matt Malin: What we do at M3 Packaging is we distribute packaging products. So, I will work with your marketing people and your purchasing people. I have three qualified label manufacturers that all have provided letters of guarantee to you, and y’all have signed off on them, and they actually do the production. Again, I’m the sales guy. I cost less to Pederson’s as a sales guy than if they were to assign a sales guy to you. So, I’m in the distribution business. I’ll buy and resell.
Neil Dudley: Do you warehouse anything?
Matt Malin: Yeah, sure we do.
Neil Dudley: I feel like we have you warehousing quite a different- you help us capture some economies of scale by providing that service, a little warehouse for us. Maybe we don’t have room for everything here, you help us out with that. That’s just one small piece of our relationship that’s valuable.
Matt Malin: Well, getting back to the label thing real quick, the three manufacturers that I work with, it seems like at least one of them has those four things in place.
Neil Dudley: Right, that’s why you need three.
Matt Malin: But two weeks from now, they might not. And so, I have the flexibility to juggle around where things are going to be produced to meet your needs. Now, getting back to the last comment that you made about warehousing, yes, the safety stock, the products that I need to have on hand, I’ve had to increase because lead times have extended. Like I said, labels typically were five to seven days, and now they’re four to six weeks. So, of the products that I do warehouse, I’ve had to increase it fourfold.
Neil Dudley: Or you’ve got to convince us to put our orders in with longer lead time.
Matt Malin: Well, and I’ve worked very closely with your team, and we do keep an eye on that. I mean, I know your computer system, maybe not better than you know it, but I know it pretty good when it looks as to what y’all have booked to be produced. And Luke and myself look at that a couple of times a week. The first big project that I ever got with Pederson’s, and cost is important – absolutely cost is important – I realized that at the end of the day, my goal, if I’m going to be a good supplier to you, is to supply a high-quality product when you need it, it’s got to be competitively priced, and oh, by the way, the paperwork that accompanies that order has got to be correct and flow through your operation. So, I try to accomplish those goals, but the first time that I met with Cody, it was, oh, it was years back. There was an awful, awful snowstorm up in the Midwest. At that time your L boards, which is the decorative wax paper board that lies next to your bacon in the package, there were multiple pallets of that that were in the process of being shipped from the Illinois-Chicago area, down through Denver, and they were stuck. And so, if you think about it, I don’t know what your production rate was at that time, and that was probably 15 years ago, but I know these days in packaged bacon alone, y’all can package 65,000, what, 12-ounce packages in a day. Well, that could translate to about a half million dollars in bacon sales. If you don’t have- What does it matter if you’ve paid $400 more for that pallet of L boards, which there are 72,000 L boards on a pallet. I mean, and Cody expressed-
Neil Dudley: You are just disproving everything you said about what you do being boring because every bit of this is exciting. I mean, it’s totally exciting. And you understand that truth for us. Like if that line’s not running-
Matt Malin: You could lose a million dollars in sales just not having an L board for four days.
Neil Dudley: Who even knows how bad that spirals into the future with a consumer that couldn’t get your product the day they wanted it and needed it on a retail shelf. Now they picked somebody else up and they never come back. I mean, look, a bird in hand is way better than a bird in the bush.
Matt Malin: Not to be too much of a name dropper here, but I was really lucky to supply Michael Angelo Foods and their frozen entree business for years. And one time, we did have some product that was late, and the owner of that company at the time, Michael Renna the founder, explained to me something that I never knew, and that was he’s got product going in this grocery store chain, and he has been for about six months. Now, all of a sudden, it is not on the shelf because of my box or lack thereof. Well guess what, that consumer that walked in there to get Michael Angelo’s lasagna just picked up Stouffer’s, and that’s a lost sale forever. And that has stuck with me. I would say 90% of our customers are food and beverage. And I never want to sit down in a meeting facing an owner of a company, and they’re talking to me about how they didn’t have product on shelf. I mean, that puts me out of business.
Neil Dudley: Well, it just paints the tight, important, real relationship we have to have. That’s one reason you guys have to be a part of this podcast. When I say you guys, it’s you and people like you that serve a need for our company to do whatever it might be. Freight, man, that’s a tough one. How much do you deal with freight?
Matt Malin: Freight is- the packaging business in general, when I start talking about, for instance, corrugated boxes, okay, corrugated box factories are regional, so you can pretty much draw a 100-mile circle around where we’re sitting right now in Hamilton, Texas, at the Pederson’s bacon plant, and it’s going to be a box company in that circle that’s going to be your provider. So, on the box side of things, which is kind of bulky and you can’t get a whole lot of them on a trailer because they’re full of air, that’s one of the easier challenges. Some of the tougher challenges, of course, I mentioned L boards earlier, by setting up that vendor managed inventory plan, we can bring stuff in literally a month before I know you’re going to need it. And I don’t have very much difficulty shipping from here to San Antonio because we just go right up 281.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that does make it a little easier when you’re having less of a long haul. I feel freight- we have long haul freight going all over the country every week because we’re doing business from coast to coast. The long haul truckers, truck drivers, well, they’re sitting in a good spot because there’s more demand for their services than ever before, less supply. So, it just becomes a tough just problem to solve or to come up with like how do you convince more long haul truckers to drive? Or how do you convince the ones that are there to take your product? Well, you just start bidding higher, you start paying more, and that just all shakes out to I think what we’re seeing in the economy today, inflation.
Matt Malin: But you’re right. They say, I’ve heard figures from 50 to 70,000 truck drivers short. There needs to be a- boy, I’d love to be running a truck driver school right now.
Neil Dudley: We were delivering bulls, I was delivering some bulls with my dad, and we had a blow out and we went to a little tire shop. And it was a high school age, college age kid changing the tire, and I got to talking to him. He was like, yeah, I was going to school, going to get my CDL, be a truck driver, and well, I just decided not to, I just thought this is good enough, I’m happy doing this. So, I mean, how many different scenarios out there are just like that. Some other thing just distracted them from going and doing that, or they felt like they could have the kind of life they want or the kind of income they want doing something else.
Matt Malin: Well, there’s nothing wrong with him pursuing- I’m sure he’s probably going to own his own tire shop someday. I’m a big believer in- Well, I’m a perfect example of someone who’s still doing what they were going to do until they figured out what they were going to really do with their life. I mean, I went for the- once I graduated from college, I went to work at the box factory until I was going to figure out what I was going to do, and I’m still doing it. I just got better at it.
Neil Dudley: Right. Started seeing solutions and problems you could solve, and it turns into a career.
Matt Malin: Now rumor has it that Cody and yourself were working day jobs, cowboying, for $50 a day. Now, the most interesting story is how did you get to run an organization that sells over half a million dollars’ worth of fresh and fully cooked bacon every day? You really pulled that one off.
Neil Dudley: It’s just a work in progress always. Like you never know how it’s going to happen, where it’s going to happen. The sole secret in my mind is hard work, just that kind of grit. And it’s not a sole secret because I’m fixing to add things to it. I’m trying to come up with integrity, the word, that’s what we do. We stand behind what we say we’re going to do. And if something messes up, we own that. And we just work hard, care about people, care about the consumer, care about what we’re doing, and take responsibility. That’s that other piece of the puzzle. Anybody in our organization has a good chance to go to another level the second they realize you’ve got to raise your hand for the responsibility.
Matt Malin: No, you’re right. I was fortunate early in my career to make packaging for a company that was not only sponsored, but this gentleman owned an interest in the company, it was Bum Phillips, the legendary Coach Bum Phillips. And he used to always say you can coach a lot of things, but you can’t coach want to. And that goes for us, that goes for employees, that goes for suppliers.
Neil Dudley: It works for everything in life. It goes for being a husband, being a dad, all those things, you’ve got to deploy the want to. It’s such a key ingredient.
Matt Malin: When we were talking this summer, and it was one of the things that, we mentioned my daughter Morgan earlier, one of the questions she kind of had for me. She said there was something that Neil said that was very interesting to me, and I wish he would have spoke on that a little bit more. But you mentioned that, and I can’t speak for you, I don’t remember if you said in the last few years or recently or what, but you’re really, really working to be better. Tap into that a little bit.
Neil Dudley: When did you start interviewing me in this situation?
Matt Malin: I wanted to hear the rest of that story.
Neil Dudley: Well, I think just a truth in my life is I spent a lot of my career head down, working hard without my head up thinking what’s the future? How am I going to get to another level? And that’s kind of what I mean, like I’m spending time doing these podcasts. Like just this conversation with you is so valuable to me because there is stuff in here I learn, we build our relationship a little tighter, a little closer. So, when the thing happens, we are able to work together a little better. But I would say that’s absolutely true in my life. I am kind of reevaluating myself and saying how am I going to expect more from me than I have historically? And then that just means I’m listening to people on the podcast, reading books, talking to peers. And everybody, they’ll give you a little nugget of a thing that you could do a little better if you listen, and that’s a tough thing for me – I talk too much.
Matt Malin: The reason I hung on to it and the reason I brought it up today is because that statement motivated me. And sometimes we get so busy putting out the daily fires and dealing with what I always call the now that it’s hard to pull yourself away and think more about what could be.
Neil Dudley: And I was proud of you for thinking, having some kind of forethought to be saying, look, I’ve got to get Morgan some experience with this because we all know she doesn’t know for sure. She sees what I do, she thinks it’s fun, she’s interested, all those things, but I would argue nobody knows for sure until they really get in a business, out in the workforce, hammering out the truth of what it will take.
Matt Malin: Yeah. I can remember making sales calls with my dad even all the way back into high school, and he would always end his meeting by saying, “It’s a business doing pleasure with you.”
Neil Dudley: Right. That’s a good way to flip it because if you’re doing it that way, and that’s a true statement, you’re having some success, I’ll guarantee it. Okay, so let’s explore- Let’s see, there’s going to be some other packaging guys listening to this. What’s some nuggets of information or what’s just your perspective on where that industry’s going? How are we going to- Are these lead times going to be this way forever? Are there plants being built that we don’t know about? You’re my pulse on all of that stuff, so I don’t worry about it.
Matt Malin: Sure. And again, M3 Packaging Solutions is a packaging distributor, and we primarily ship boxes, stretch wrap, tape, tape machines, graphic L boards, pressure sensitive labels. And packaging, I mean, it’s huge. It’s kind of like sitting down and saying, all right, young man or young woman, what do you want to do with your life? Well, someday I really want to own a pro sports team. Wow, you can really peel the onion back on that – is it going to be football or baseball or soccer or whatever, and then there’s minor leagues and major leagues and farm clubs. And that’s kind of the way packaging is. It is just huge.
Neil Dudley: It’s a multiple layer onion for sure.
Matt Malin: When people go to college and get a packaging degree, boxes is just one three-hour course. Polly is just one three-hour course. I mean, it is vast. And much of, for instance, bottling and form fill, packaging can get very, very complicated. I’m on the easiest end of packaging, being the distributor. So, all that’s to say is that if you put a project in front of me and you said I’m selling this whiskey in a glass bottle right now, but I want it to be in a paper bottle, I’d look at you like-
Neil Dudley: Paper is not available.
Matt Malin: But so, there’s a lot of innovations going on in our industry. Most of the innovation that I’m involved in is for instance, what you brought up earlier, we probably kicked around four different designs for your point of purchase bacon display that was going to go into Costco because I had to somehow try to figure out how do I get what Neil wants? How do I get what Luke wants out in the factory? And how do I get the buyer at Costco what he wants? And we finally got there.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. And that is the dynamic of it. Like there’s, I mean, you just talked about peeling that onion back, and I may start calling this the Peel the Onion Back podcast because that’s really what it’s all about. I want people that listen to this, that ever eat Pederson’s bacon or think about coming to work for Pederson’s, to go listen to these podcasts, listen to these conversations, and over time, feel like they’re getting a good cross section of really what all it takes to get a food product, bacon, sausage, ham, whatever thing we might have, to the shelf or delivered direct to their home, in any way, to a consumer’s table for enjoyment.
Matt Malin: Exactly. Okay, so just getting back to one of your questions earlier, you mentioned supply chain, and we were talking about freight. We’re just going to talk about one of the packaging products that’s sold throughout the world, a corrugated box. Well now let’s talk about M3 Packaging, how I’m going to buy a corrugated box and how I’m going to get it to you when you need it.
Neil Dudley: And what drives the cost of it. Put that in there too.
Matt Malin: But yeah, so paper probably drives 70% of the cost of a box. And the paper in North America, at least when you’re selling boxes east of the Rockies, the paper that’s going to make the box that is eventually going to come in your factory, I’m talking about the raw material liner board, it is going to be made out in the Southeast somewhere, the Carolinas, Florida.
Neil Dudley: Well, that’s kind of cool because I would’ve thought across the ocean somewhere.
Matt Malin: Yeah. Well, some paper does come in from across the ocean. There is an export and import trade on liner board. But generally speaking, the big companies, the international papers of the world, they want their paper to stay domestic, and they’ll keep their exports relatively low as it relates to driving their costs. So anyway, you get this big roll of paper, and eventually, it’s going to take three of those big rolls of paper to make a corrugated box. And they get made out on the East Coast, and they get shipped to a warehouse. That warehouse, liner board is a commodity, just like oil or corn or whatever. And in those big warehouses, millions and millions of square feet, that’s considered our nation’s domestic inventory of liner board. Well, what has happened in the last couple of years due to absenteeism, due to the COVID, due to the truck driver shortage, due to unprecedented e-commerce purchases.
Neil Dudley: Right. Now, somebody said Amazon is selling so much stuff they’ve bought all the boxes so you can’t have any. Have you ever heard that?
Matt Malin: Absolutely. I’ve sat in meetings, like I said, in the San Antonio-Austin area in the last month, and I’ve said the reason you’re not getting your boxes on time is because there’s five major distribution-
Neil Dudley: Yeah, Amazon fulfillment centers right there close.
Matt Malin: And the big contract people are getting it. It’s trickle down.
Neil Dudley: Oh, sure. And then you get an Amazon package, which I can’t imagine there’s a listener here that hasn’t gotten an Amazon package or two. They’ve infiltrated our social economic realities so well. I mean, it’s like high five Bezos, you’ve really done that so good. Everybody just thinks Amazon.
Matt Malin: I can remember once or twice a week, and it wasn’t that long ago, we would get a box at our house. Now I have a full recycle bin at the end of the week.
Neil Dudley: Do you ever get one tube of toothpaste in a box that’s about two by two and you are just like-?
Matt Malin: Yes. Yes.
Neil Dudley: As a box man, that’s got to make you sick.
Matt Malin: Well, I’ll tell you what, I see some very creative- well, let’s just say that the person that was on that fulfillment line that packed that particular item must have got very creative because they used a heck of a lot more packaging than the little widget that I just bought.
Neil Dudley: That’s the thing. They only have that box, so that’s what everything goes out in. I mean, it’s this, or that’s a kind of a waste in their system that they’ve got to figure out.
Matt Malin: Well, I’ve been on those floors, and yeah, they do have a bin and they do look at products and they know, okay, it’s going to be one of these two bins that I’m going to pull the box out of, but I think there’re shortages all across the country, even at Amazon distribution centers. They’re just using what they’ve got.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. It kind of compounds the problem.
Matt Malin: Well, yeah, I mean, because it’s cost of goods sold. It increases theirs.
Neil Dudley: It increases theirs. They’re using what they’ve got instead of the box that would be appropriate. Nobody’s willing to wait. Everybody and all humans are impatient. Amazon spoiled us in that way – if I ordered it now, I get it tomorrow. That’s just the way it is.
Matt Malin: We’re a regionally small packaging distribution company. We serve all the state of Texas and Arkansas, and my cost of goods sold are up hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to date, and it’s for one reason. It’s to take care of the customer. I’m sure they’re thinking the same thing.
Neil Dudley: Yeah, that’s true. Oh, absolutely. I mean, I’m not trying to throw anybody under the bus. I’m just trying to paint this picture of this is how we are where we are, at least from my seat where I’m sitting and watching things, and I’m absolutely blind to a lot of stuff. Like I wouldn’t know there was some paper inventory somewhere that people track. That’s why I’ve got Matt. But so, what drives the cost of paper? Or that base board, is that trees? Or is it just a commodity on its own and it’s bought and sold and that’s where it comes from?
Matt Malin: It’s a commodity item, and the cost of liner board, which is tracked in many publications, and it’s costed by ton, is something that is monitored, regulated, and when the powers that be see trading activity that suggests there should be an increase or a decrease in the cost of a ton of liner board, it happens. Right now, on account of the COVID, absenteeism at the mills, paper hasn’t been able to be produced as fast as the domestic inventory has declined. Paper’s getting made in the Carolinas or in Georgia, but guess what, there’s no truck drivers to ship it toward the Rockies to all the box makers that are over on this side of the marketplace. And so, what are they having to do? They’re having to take it and put it on rail car. And so, paper that used to be able to get from the East Coast to Dallas, for instance, it’s taking three weeks instead of two days. And so, all of a sudden, lead times start getting pushed out.
Neil Dudley: Well, and this is a real example of this for the listener. One of our customers wanted to make a label change. And I’m kind of calling this liner board a variable for sure, an L board for anybody that doesn’t know, it’s just kind of a square. We call it an L board. It could be called a label. It could be called a chip board. It’s called a lot of different things, but it’s just the bacon labeling. And they want to change their label, the look, so that means all that printing needs to happen again. Well, in order to avoid throwing a lot of good L boards away, we had to tell them, well, we’ve got about 30 weeks of stock in house, on hand. It’s a big customer, they use a lot, but if you ever run out or you hit one of those 16 week lead times or something. So, you’ve got slowing down of the whole process for a customer of ours just because of those realities. And they understand; they‘re not mad. I mean, they’re probably a little disappointed because they’d like their new look, their new thing to all kind of come out at the same time. That’s why you have to have a partnership. They know we’re doing everything we can for them. We know they’re going to work with us as long as we’re doing the best we can, they can understand. Because part of the time, we had product when they needed it and our competitors didn’t because we were keeping a bigger inventory. So, all of those things play into this whole fun game of business and how you make it work.
Matt Malin: Right, right. Yeah, I mean, again, my business is simple – have high quality products on hand, ship them when you need it.
Neil Dudley: I’m not going to let you say that. It’s not simple.
Matt Malin: Some people try to make it very hard, but I think-
Neil Dudley: No relationship is simple. And that’s really, if you ask me, that’s what you do.
Matt Malin: Well, I was in the corporate world for over 30 years, and I was the 50-year-old regional manager at a nationwide company who one day walked into a meeting and never saw that last envelope that said, “This is your last day” on it. And so that was kind of an eye opener. I called Misty when I walked out of that meeting, I said, well, you’re not going to believe this. And she said I’m going to run down and get you an iPhone. And you just take your time driving home. We’re going to call some of the customers that you’ve worked with over the years, and we’re going to start our own company.
Neil Dudley: That’s a beautiful story. I never even heard that before.
Matt Malin: We just started our ninth year.
Neil Dudley: Oh my gosh, we’re so out of time and I wish we could explore that. Let’s just do it. I don’t know if it’ll make the podcast or not, but tell that story. So, was that a broad-based layoff? Was that you actually messed up and deserved to be let go?
Matt Malin: No, actually we had a great run, and I was on the sales side of the business, the company in the seven years that I was with it – and I’m not saying it was me, but I got to be part of the team – we took it from about 200 million in sales to about a billion. I was in some pretty high-level meetings, but obviously, there was a lot higher ones- because when the company decided they were going to start to position to sell and start looking at multiplies and EBITDA, there were many of us managers across the country that had a pretty high price tag on our head, and for all the right reasons for the owners, we got let go.
Neil Dudley: Man, that’s a tough decision to make as an owner, isn’t it? That would be really tough for me. But like, wow, that’s such a beautiful insight into the realities of even how businesses think about exits and those kinds of things. Like you build a thing, whoever owns it may decide they’re ready to turn loose of it, and the realities of that are we need to make these books look just as attractive as we can, and then people lose their jobs in that scenario. Matt’s one of them that that happened too. But guess what? He went and started his own business.
Matt Malin: I know this is probably isn’t going to make the podcast either, but just to expand on it a little bit because I was more afraid of the situation than my wife was, but I had just finished reading a book by legendary Coach Lou Holtz, and he talked about some certain principles that guided him, and it’s not like I plagiarized it, but I concentrate on five, well, four of his major principles every day when I get up to go call on customers. And I think that it’s important for every company to have an identity, to have a playbook, to have a flashcard that they look at every morning to remember what their responsibilities are to their customers.
Neil Dudley: Man, that’s great. What’s the name of that book? We’ll put it in the show notes.
Matt Malin: I think it was called Lessons, Losses, and Life, or something like that.
Neil Dudley: So, check out that Lou Holtz book. Johnny, let’s see if we can find that book and link to it because I think that’s great insight. Matt’s just coming out more and more as this really insightful guy for people to hear from. And so, people you should- Matt, can anybody find out more about M3 Packaging on a website or social media or those things?
Matt Malin: Sure, m3packages.com. We are a regional company.
Neil Dudley: You might be national after this, come on now.
Matt Malin: But yes, our website is relatively simplistic, but I think it tells a good story about who we are, how we got started, and the services that we provide.
Neil Dudley: So, are you on social media? Do you have a LinkedIn? Tell me about those things, or is Morgan in charge of that stuff?
Matt Malin: I’m sure we’ll have a bigger presence someday, but right now we’re-
Neil Dudley: See, I’m going to challenge you on that. Even for me, you just have to think about that. Your regional, you’ve probably got more business than you can handle right now anyways. That’s a lot of work. You haven’t expanded to more people. Maybe you never want to. But this, what we just talked about could be so endearing to consumers, and I am so glad we got to it because I believe consumers of Pederson’s products now have kinship with you. They’ve lived through a similar thing. They’ve got a kid that’s going to college. They’re trying to figure out how to fund that, also are they going to come be a part of their business? There’s so much relationship there, man, it is just beautiful. I just wish you’d put it out there. It does take work. It’s not easy. Like all those- it just takes time to be on social media and those kinds of things.
Matt Malin: We have had, with the exception of the last year and a half, we’ve experienced probably 20% growth.
Neil Dudley: And word of mouth only, probably.
Matt Malin: That’s exactly- referrals. Exactly. And the Southwest Meat Association.
Neil Dudley: Oh yes, we’ve got to plug them, the Southwest Meat Association.
Matt Malin: I wouldn’t be in business today if it was not for the Southwest Meat Association. The first order I ever got in 1985, the first order I ever got, it was to Glen Kusak down in Yoakum, Texas. And the first question he asked me, are you a member of, at that time it was Southwest Meat Packers. And I said I don’t know what that is, but I bet you I can. And the next week, he gave me my first order I ever got. And it’s that group of business owners that have kept me in business all those years.
Neil Dudley: Golly, everybody, go check out Matt Malin, Misty Malin, and you can probably find some stuff about her. Their story is really awesome. I mean, we could dive into what it’s like to support your wife from a horse wreck and all those kinds of things, and coming back- like this just could go on forever, so I’ve got to stop.
Matt Malin: She runs the company.
Neil Dudley: That’s right. Misty, shout out to you, Morgan, I hope you’re listening too, I mean, I look forward to learning more from you. See, that’s the thing – I think I have more to learn from Morgan than she’ll ever learn from me because the truth is she’s got the insight of what’s coming, what business will need to do to be successful in the future. That generation is, if you’re not thinking about them, you better start real fast because we’ve all got ourselves figured out, but we need to figure out those younger ones coming on. Anyways, everybody, thank you so much for listening to the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. Matt, thank you for being a guest. Come back next time. Listen to the next one. Listen to the 20 that came before this. I promise you you’ll hear some stuff in there from people that I really value, and it’s highly likely you will too. Thanks for listening. Later.
Hey, everybody. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Pederson’s Farms Podcast. It’s been a blast bringing this to you, and I sure hope you enjoyed it and found value. If you did, tell a friend, share it out on social media, hit that subscribe button, or go check us out at pedersonsfarms.com. We sure hope you do. And thanks for being here.
(1:10) – Introducing Matt & M3 Packaging
(6:10) – What challenges do you face in your business?
(12:46) – How much do you deal with freight?
(17:28) – Having a ‘Want to’ attitude in every aspect of life
(21:01) – What’s the state of your industry and where do you see it going?
(24:17) – How M3 gets their products to the end consumer
(26:26) – Amazon as a competitor for buying box products
(29:39) – What drives the cost for base board?
(32:43) – Matt’s business is NOT simple!
(33:52) – The story of Matt starting his company
(36:40) – Where to find Matt & Wrap up
The Pederson’s Farms Podcast is produced by Straight Up Podcasts & Root and Roam.