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Rocket Industrial's Employee Spotlight series highlights a different employee every month, offering an inside look at our company culture and the awesome people who work here.
This month's employee spotlight features Product Line Manager, Bob Schymanski. Bob has worked at Rocket for 40 years, and in his time here has been instrumental in sharing his equipment knowledge with our sales team and customers. Bob discusses trends in the packaging industry, his milestones at Rocket, and what he enjoys doing in his free time.
Describe your role.
I am a Product Line Manager and work with the inside and outside sales team to sell packaging equipment. The sales team and I perform on-site customer visits and schedule virtual sales calls to look at the customer's process and see how equipment can make their operation more efficient.
What is something you are proud to have accomplished at Rocket?
My favorite milestones include my involvement with developing the Rocket service department and the original launch of our eCommerce website. We've been selling equipment online for 20 years and are one of the first packaging distributors to sell equipment online.
I'm also proud of my experiences selling equipment. I have sold a lot of case sealers, banding machines, and battery-operated strapping tools. I have also sold many stretch wrappers, including many unique to the industry, such as roll wrappers, window wrappers, and concrete block wrappers. I positioned Rocket to sell more palletizers, case packers, and additional automation. That includes selling the first palletizing robot to a customer.
Here are a few of my favorite memories of selling equipment to customers. I remember helping sell a stretch wrap machine called a "roll wrapper." This customer was the first to wrap paper rolls with stretch film instead of paper at the time. We sold additional roll wrappers to various customers afterward and still sell roll wrap film today. Another customer experience includes selling two fully automatic orbital stretch wrap machines for wrapping windows, a new packaging technique for this specific industry at the time.
What are some current packaging trends you are seeing?
We are selling a lot of semi-automatic equipment due to the labor shortage. Popular equipment includes case sealers, stretch wrappers, and strapping tools. Stretch wrap machines with built-in scales are also becoming popular. Smaller customers are buying semi-automatic, larger customers are buying fully-automatic equipment.
I'm noticing people are looking for case erectors and case packers. People are also considering fully-automatic case sealers and stretch wrappers. Overall, I'm seeing customers purchasing as much automation as they can afford.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I stay active by biking, swimming, and lifting weights. I also enjoy spending time outside hunting, golfing, and fishing. Watching sports is another one of my interests.
Any other fun facts?
My wife and I have been married for 41 years, and my wife has a travel business. Before I got married, I worked at Marathon Cheese during the summer while attending college.
When I first started working at Rocket I worked in the warehouse for nine months before moving into sales.
For the first 20 years at Rocket, I had my own sales territory in Central Wisconsin. For the past 20 years, I have worked in my current Project Line Manager position.