Business of the Year: Uline

2016 Ovation Awards

Matye

Uline
Industry: Packaging and distribution
Address: 12575 Uline Drive, Pleasant Prairie
Employees: 5,200
Website: www.uline.com


Uline moved its corporate headquarters from Waukegan, Illinois, to Pleasant Prairie in 2010.

ULINE moved its corporate headquarters to pleasant prairie in 2010.
Uline moved its corporate headquarters to pleasant prairie in 2010.

Since then the company, founded by Liz and Dick Uihlein, has grown significantly.

Dick and Liz Uihlein, founders of Uline.
Dick and Liz Uihlein, founders of Uline.

“We’re thrilled to be here. We’re delighted that we made the decision to move to this community,” said Frank Unick, chief financial officer of Uline. “We continue to see more of the same robust growth.”

Uline has taken an aggressive sales approach and has seen double-digit sales growth as a result.

Unick
Unick

“We continue to add approximately 3,000 new products a year and in 2017, we will add an additional 30 pages to our catalog,” Unick said.

The company has opened new facilities in Mexico, California, Illinois and Canada, in addition to several new buildings in Kenosha County.

Uline recently completed a second 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center at its current corporate campus.

In 2017, the company plans to relocate its remaining Waukegan operations to a new 800,000-square-foot location in Kenosha, and will also complete construction on a second corporate office building at the Pleasant Prairie headquarters.

To support that growth, Uline continues to hire. With the expansion of its headquarters, the firm plans to hire another 500 people by mid-2017.

In August, Uline completed a new, 14,000-square-foot conference center on its Pleasant Prairie corporate campus.
In August, Uline completed a new, 14,000-square-foot conference center on its Pleasant Prairie corporate campus.

“To support our double-digit growth, we continue to add to our employee count. We expect to be close to 6,000 (employees company-wide) in the next year,” Unick said.

Uline expects continued growth for the company, despite a sluggish economy, Unick said.

“We will continue to grow and expand as opportunity allows,” he said.

The skilled and dedicated workforce in Kenosha County and the support of local government leaders have helped the company sustain its robust growth, he said.

“The region has such a tremendous workforce,” Unick said. “The individuals we hire are key to the continued success of the company and we’re proud to say the employee base here is energetic and highly promotable, which is important for rapid growth.”

The company has also established relationships with the education and nonprofit community in the area. Uline has built two homes for Habitat for Humanity, and has participated in multiple fundraisers, run/walks and drives like the United Way Day of Caring.

Each year, Uline employees participate in a homemade boat race at the company’s annual barbecue in Pleasant Prairie.
Each year, Uline employees participate in a homemade boat race at the company’s annual barbecue in Pleasant Prairie.

“We’re thrilled to have a workforce that is not only great at what they do for our company, but also what they do for the community,” Unick added.

“They are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and give back, and we are very proud of that. We’re proud to be a large, significant employer in Kenosha County, and we feel we have an obligation to give back. We gain as much as we give by being a part of this vibrant community.”

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