Paper Cutters Inc. owner and President Randy Mathena, has lived by the motto – “The Greatest Ability is Dependability”. His company, a custom converter of paper and paperboard products in Greenville, South Carolina, has found success by those words for 35 years. The source stems from a chance encounter with Colter & Peterson, North America’s largest independent distributor of paper cutters, who has handled all of Mathena’s cutting needs since day one.
“I started the business in 1981 with two employees and a guillotine that I wound up getting from Colter & Peterson,” recalled Mathena. “Our companies have had the perfect relationship and it couldn’t be any better. Bruce Peterson, his father and his brother took care of my upstart business many years ago and words can’t express my gratitude. They’ve been remarkable.”
Paper Cutters Inc. www.papercuttersinc.com now employs 35 people who work from a 120,000 square-foot facility in Greenville, located between Atlanta and Charlotte. Three paper cutters currently handle the work; the newest addition is a reconditioned 87” Lawson that was put into service last October. Along with a pair of older 65” and 51” Seybolds, they are equipped with Microcut®, the automated and advanced back gauge cutting system. Mathena said every paper cutter purchase has been a used machine.
“Everything we’ve bought were old, reconditioned machines and we worked them to death. The Lawson is so versatile and fast, we now only have three paper cutters since I sent a couple back to Bruce,” laughed Mathena. “But it’s been that way since we first opened for business. I had worked at a paper mill in town and decided to start Paper Cutters Inc. as a converting facility.
“Three months before we opened, I found a paper cutter I wanted to buy and made arrangements. A few weeks later, I couldn’t get in touch with the person. I called a friend of mine, Rusty Carter with Atlantic Packaging, and told him my plight. Rusty actually called Bruce Peterson, and told him who I was and that he thought Bruce should sell me a paper cutter. It was a great endorsement from Rusty and much appreciated. Bruce and I agreed on a reconditioned 51” paper cutter, which I considered to be a new cutter because of everything they did to it. It arrived on time before we opened, as Bruce promised, and we have become good friends.”
A good friendship has led to good business. Mathena says Paper Cutters Inc. services customers across the U.S. with a mixture of work. It includes everything from push/pull slip sheets, picture frames and pallet covers, to tier sheets, box dividers for apparel – shirt collar boards – and more. His employees work a steady eight hours a day, five days a week and no more – all by design.
“We have a good reputation and do good work, selling products to the end user, distributors and through brokers,” explains Mathena. “And we’ve done it with no sales people. I always believed in our ‘Greatest Ability is Dependability’, and we’ve lived it. “When we tell our customers they will have it by a certain date, they get it on time. When you do good work, people will find you.”
The C&P paper cutters are doing their part, cutting anywhere from 5,000 to 500,000 pieces per job, says Mathena, including plenty of sheet board before it is die-cut. He says cutting accuracy has always been a huge factor, indicating that “as our business developed over 35 years, accuracy has grown in importance for us.
“The 51” Seybold cutter is the very first one I bought from Bruce in 1981. It’s in great condition because of the customer service C&P has performed all these years. They have a sophisticated system and they take great care of getting everything worked out. This machine and the others are now computerized with Microcut, which improves both speed and efficiency and trims within 1/64th of an inch. It still cuts a lot of work.
“The 65” Seybold cuts all kinds of material. We bought it in the late 1980s to exclusively cut our furniture tack strips. It’s an antique but it has the versatility to cut many different things. The 87” Lawson will cut tack strips but we use it for everything else. It can trim four sides and already handles a large volume of our business. It’s going to be a bigger workhorse for us.”