Pièce de Résistance
Abbe Corrugated reveals some of the secrets to running a successful family owned and run business, and explains how it is formalising processes to ensure it stays that way for generations to come.
Abbe Corrugated can trace its history back to the early 90s, although the O’Sullivan family has been a name in Victoria’s packaging business for decades.
The father of current Managing Director Anthony O’Sullivan started a small printing business in 1990. Since then small factories have become bigger factories, from Campbellfield to Broadmeadows, ending up today at a 32,000-square metre site in Coolaroo.
Abbe Corrugated also invests in two other businesses. The first is a timber crate and packaging business based in Dandenong, and the other is Austcor Packaging, a Sydney copy of the Melbourne firm. For the latter, the family owns a majority, but chose to take on a partner because the three family members didn’t want to split.
Abbe Corrugated’s first generation comprises the two shareholders in the business:
Executive Chairman, John O’Sullivan and Non-executive Director, Julie O’Sullivan. And three members of the second generation are currently working in the business: Managing Director Anthony O’Sullivan, Sales Director Daniel O’Sullivan, and Production and Quality Director Chris O’Sullivan.
Talking to Business State, Anthony O’Sullivan says that, while some may think it has its challenges, working with the people he grew up with has been a great experience. “We were all living at home for a long period of time and even going to work in one car!” he says.