Compac Industries: A Family-Owned Manufacturer and Distributor Driven by Family Values

Kristin Swenson, Wholesale Distribution Industry Marketing Lead

March 12, 2019

A family-owned business founded by Jamaican immigrant Frederick Hart in 1980, Compac Industries is an admirable example of what most would consider the American Dream. The Georgia-based business is a manufacturer and distributor of products designed to make life simpler, ranging from kitchen gadgets, to oral care, to baby accessories. Compac Industries was built on an important set of shared values focused on serving others. Now run by Frederick’s son Dean-Paul, Compac Industries continues to embrace its roots and identity as a tight-knit, family-run company committed to improving the lives of others. The company still employs Dean-Paul’s mother and father as well as other extended family members, but considers all employees to be members of the Hart family.

Responding to Industry and Consumer Trends

Over its 40 years in operation, Compac Industries has navigated many significant changes across technology and consumer behavior that ultimately shaped the way the company went to market. By closely following and responding to these changes, Compac continues to grow.

Historically concentrated mostly on the B2B space, Compac Industries has traditionally relied on its partnerships with retailers to reach end customers. B2C was less of a focus, driven primarily by call-in customer orders from product catalogs. Yet, as technology advancements drove the growth of the ecommerce sector, both Compac’s consumer and competitive landscapes were revolutionized. Exposed to the shopping and buying experience of companies like Amazon, consumers began to expect similar online shopping experiences elsewhere. As a manufacturer and distributor of solution products, Compac understood the importance of keeping pace with consumer expectations. Compac chose to partner with online retail giants like Amazon and Wal-Mart to put their products in front of online consumers.

Additionally, Compac began to recognize that consumers were beginning to identify and engage directly with brands. That led the company to rethink both its product delivery and brand strategy, seeking to create a stronger connection between its customers and its brands. Between 2015 and 2016, Compac rebranded all of its products, putting them into specific segments under corresponding brands. Compac now maintains five distinct brands of products, allowing the customer to more closely engage with a specific brand, driving customer loyalty and like-product purchases.

Choosing the Right Technology Partner

As the business continued to evolve, Compac recognized the limitations of its antiquated ERP system and its manual processes often done in Excel. To propel its brand strategy and future growth, Compac knew it needed the right technology partner to manage the entirety of the business, from customers, to inventory to financials. Compac ultimately made the decision to switch from its Sage ERP platform to NetSuite in 2017. Compac is utilizing the full business management suite, managing financials and accounting, inventory, warehouse, customers and email marketing on the NetSuite platform. During a recent webinar, Dean-Paul proudly shared that, after installing NetSuite, the company’s inventory was fully reported and work orders were automatically generating for the first time in 20 years. He values the out-of-the box dashboards the system provides, allowing him to keep tabs on all major departments while empowering his employees to focus on their value.

Ensuring Multi-Generational Family Business Success

Compac has successfully navigated 40 years of operation through two generations of Hart leadership. Building on the foundation of strong family values established by his father, Dean-Paul has helped guide Compac Industries through changing customer and competitive landscapes. As he looks to the future, he knows he needs to use what he learned about his own succession into company leadership to plan for the future leadership of Compac. To learn more about Compac Industries’ approach to succession planning, download the recording of NetSuite’s “The Family Business: Succession Planning” webinar here(opens in new tab).

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.