Area Company Shows How Inclusion drives Innovation

Read the article on MRCI’s website

When Burnsville-based Apothecary Products needs to get orders packaged and out to clients quickly, they have a unique workforce standing by ready to help: MRCI.

Apothecary Products is a leading innovator, manufacturer, marketer, and supplier of simple self-care solutions, pharmacy supplies and wellness aids. Apothecary Products provides consumer packaged goods products found in major retailers worldwide. Products packaged, in part, by MRCI clients.

“There have been multiple benefits in using MRCI,” says Kristine Clausen, Director of Human Resources for Apothecary. “Through the relationship with MRCI, we are able to manufacturer our products achieving our customers’ expectations on quality and value. Plus, part of our culture here at Apothecary Products is our commitment to caring, as our corporate values spell out “We Care”. So we see this partnership as an extension of that.”

On average, 25 MRCI clients support the Apothecary Products team onsite daily at the Burnsville headquarters.

“Our team members here really do a good job of making the MRCI clients feel like an extension of the team,” she says. “They are not segregated, they are right on the floor with everyone else. They all eat lunch and take breaks together. They help make us better!”

Apothecary Products also hosts employment appreciation events that always include MRCI talent and staff which shows MRCI workers how much they are appreciated and truly are part of the team. Apothecary believes in MRCI’s mission and goes well “above and beyond” to ensure success with that mission.

Apothecary Forecast Manager Kent Halvorson has fostered the MRCI relationship for a number of years. “It’s a good way for APL to help the community by giving MRCI individuals the opportunity to work and in return we get a good value for the work, including price and quality”. Kent also said a benefit of the relationship is how pricing is structured. He indicates that pricing with APL is by the unit versus labor hour.”

Rhonda Kalal, who is in charge of business development for MRCI in the South Metro, says one of the best things about MRCI’s long-time employment relationship with Apothecary Products is the trust and reliability that has been built amongst the two teams.

“Through cooperation and good communication, almost all of our clients can participate at some level.” Kalal says. “Together we share needs and find solutions. We appreciate the cooperation, efficiencies and how well this company communicates with us.”

In addition to the onsite work crews, Apothecary Products also provides a great deal of work for multiple MRCI sites within the metro area and in southern Minnesota. At MRCI Shakopee alone they provide MRCI with around 50,000 different items per month to package.  The many employment opportunities provided through Apothecary are vital to the success of so many individuals, giving them a chance to become trained and skilled for community work.

Tony Ryan, a buyer/planner for Apothecary says MRCI’s willingness to be flexible and ability to adapt to changes has been crucial to the success of the partnership.

“MRCI greatly benefits APL by extending our internal and external Production capabilities by providing a very cost effective and flexible work force. Because of the type of products we sell and the customers we are in business with our demands for items will drastically increase or decrease from week to week, this makes planning very difficult but MRCI has a very large pool of clients at several different locations that gives APL a huge extension to our internal work capacity in a very short notice so we can fulfill customer demands,” Ryan says.

In turn, MRCI appreciates Apothecary’s willingness to reach out when needed.

Kalal says, “Apothecary’s inclusion mentality runs throughout the organization and is evident in the way they treat our clients like their own employees at the site. Their culture of inclusion is also evident in the way they take time to work with us if there is ever a problem. MRCI and Apothecary Products are definitely in this together and we so appreciate their partnership and dedication!”