AndersonBrecon’s Worldwide Strategy

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- With over one million square feet of production space, AndersonBrecon has quite a local presence. Within the last decade the drug packaging company has built a global presence to be envied as well. AndersonBrecon has been an industry leader in pharmaceutical packaging for almost four decades .

"We actually have some people that are original, were some of the first people working here which is pretty neat,” said Senior Director of Marketing Justin Schroeder.

Today, AndersonBrecon has blossomed into a 12 hundred employee operation with 8 different facilities in the Stateline.
"I think a lot of people would be surprised to know how big we are here in the rockford area and really globally too."

Going global was the perfect prescription to increase the market share for the number one drug packaging company in the world
"Products that we are packaging here in Rockford are going out to over 100 countries in the world." Due to FDA regulations, AndersonBrecon is not allowed to divulge their clients. But it's safe to most are companies you have heard of.

“The clients that we have are household names in the pharmaceutical industry and the products that we package are very recognizable brands that we're seeing on TV and store ,” Schroeder says.

To help its global reach, Anderson partnered with a company in Wales completing the name change from Anderson Packaging to AndersonBrecon just last summer. Schroeder tells me the facilities in Wales are a mirror image of the ones in Rockford, just at a smaller scale.

“Really work collaboratively with Wales they bring a lot of insights into our business to really help us learn how to grow and expand not only in Europe but those target countries.

Schroeder says countries like Ukraine and Brazil are growing markets to target. That now have some disposable income and those pharmaceuticals are really targeting those growth markets as a way to grow their business. Anderson says it's important to understand the customs culture and even news of the day in the countries they do business with. It's a global market certainly things can be made locally but where the products end up.. There are so many things that are exported you really have to have a global mindset about it.
AndersonBrecon will have representatives at next Wednesday's Go Global conference sponsored by the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC). There’s still time for other local businesses to attend. For more information on the event, visit

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Technological advances have opened up a world of new markets and a number of local companies are starting to take advantage. One of those Stateline companies with a worldwide game plan is Gleason Cutting Tools in Machesney Park.

"We are a global manufacturer of all gear related projects."

Spence Greenwaldt has been working at Gleason Cutting Tools for 35 years and he knows as well as anyone the impact going global has had on this local company of nearly 150 years.

"About 15 years ago a strategic decision was made to attack, if you will, the export market," Greenwaldt said.

The first three years was a bit of a learning process for Gleason.

"What we found is globally you really have to be price competitive. A lot of people in Europe and Asia buy based on price only."

Now, Gleason's international market has blossomed to the point that the Machesney Park company now has about 4,000 customers worldwide.

"About 25 percent of total sales is export," said Greenwaldt. "When we started out we were in one to two range so that's quite a growth in market share."

One of the keys to Gleason's global gains has been getting a good handle on logistics. Greenwaldt credits Gleason's partnership with UPS with that sometimes overlooked part of the global marketing process.

"We ship to 40 different countries in the world and the UPS delivers to every one of those countries for us."

UPS delivers about 2,000 small packages for Gleason every month.

"Paperless invoicing for foreign customers, clearing customs all those things logistic are stuff that they are the experts in and we're not."

Gleason has plants in Germany, Switzerland, China and India as well as sales offices in Great Britain, China, and India among other places. Greenwaldt says there are no plans to slow down Gleason's international reach.

"The biggest advantage we have is lead time so in the World Market place we can take an order design it manufacture it and get it to Japan, quicker than they can get it from a local supplier."

Gleason's clients are really anyone that uses gears, which includes everything from Toyota in Japan, an Earth moving equipment company in China and of course Forest City Gear in Roscoe. Of course their gears on the Mars rover, so you could say Gleason is not just an international company, but an intergalactic company.

Gleason will be taking part in next weeks' Global conference. There's still time for businesses to attend the event. It's May 1st at Giovanni's. For more on the event, visit

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Next Wednesday, area businesses will have the opportunity to learn more about the best strategies for going global.

There’s still time to sign up for the Go Global event sponsored by the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. Learn more by visiting

One local company who's had an international reach for 15 years is Gleason Cutting Tools in Machesney Park. Gleason is now an international leader in the manufacturing of gear related tools. With about 4 thousand customer's worldwide, manufacturing supervisor Spence Greenwaldt has been with Gleason for 35 years.

He will share what gives Gleason an advantage in the world marketplace and how huge a role logistics play in making your business successful on a worldwide level. All that tonight on the 23 News Update at 10.

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