An AMMA Conversation with Doug Wynalda, National Sales Manager, Wynalda Packaging
July 26, 2023

Making PPE in America is Patriotic…in Every Way

How did you get started in the PPE business in America?

Wynalda is a packaging company.  We make boxes.  Several customers heeded the call to make PPE during COVID and asked us to provide them with the necessary packaging. We helped quite a few companies in a short lead time.  We also worked with many defense contractors who had to remain open during COVID. We understood the importance of this work and prioritized keeping our nation’s safety and security at the forefront. 

Why is it important to support domestic manufacturers in the PPE industry?

America has always been a country of manufacturing. Our firm employs a diverse blue-collar workforce. The pandemic opened many eyes – especially in the medical space – to the fact that we overly relied on other nations for our safety. It makes a lot of sense to bring back manufacturing work to the USA. These are jobs that can support families.  We can make PPE in the States without relying on China and other nations.

What’s one idea you have to improve PPE in the USA?

I’d say it’s the 15% rule. Why not encourage government, industry, and medical employers to utilize domestically manufactured PPE for 15% of their needs?  It doesn’t take a massive investment and would be transformative for our nation to have a robust supply chain to meet our current and future needs. We have the companies ready and willing to make the PPE. We need a commitment from the marketplace to pay just a bit more.

Why did you join AMMA?

Only a unified group can make the case that it’s good business to have a diversified supply chain with a large footprint in the USA.  Together, we can help make the case that spending a small amount more can transform the US industry.  We need CFOs, CEOs, and decision-makers to buy up the available capacity in our industry. Believe it or not, we know of American medical manufacturers that are running at 5% capacity while PPE imports are booming. This is an easy fix and a chance for industry leaders and the government to show leadership.

Are there lessons from other industries that Government can learn to apply in PPE?

Absolutely.  The US government pays defense contractors to maintain capacity and availability in the event of a military challenge.  For pennies on those dollars, we could ensure a strong, stable PPE manufacturing industry.  Our global competitors in PPE are pushing to drive domestic PPE out of business through a race to the bottom.  If we want a strong industry, we need to support it.

What problems can a robust PPE industry in the USA solve for its customers?

First and foremost, we shorten lead times. We remove transit and import uncertainties. Domestic producers generally offer better quality products.  We also see the multiplier effect of employing people in the USA.  Jobs making PPE mean jobs in transportation, packaging, and logistics. Domestic PPE manufacturers can meet or exceed the demand if our customers commit to investing in building a diverse network of domestic suppliers.

Finally, can tell us a bit about Wynalda Packaging?

We are a family-owned business with almost 50 years of experience.

We believe in continually innovating and have been responsible for many milestones in our industry.  Today, we have expanded our operations to operate internationally.  We have traditionally focused on specialty folding carton manufacturing and design. Today, we’ve expanded to offer a wide range of capabilities and a highly flexible structure, making us a great partner for all folding carton needs.