Peter Browning

Essay by penellaUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, April 2005

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Week 6: Peter Browning and Continental White Cap

General Introduction

White Cap Company was started in 1926 by William P. White and his two brothers. It was located in an old factory on Goose Island, in the Chicago river. The White Cap Company was involved in a lot of areas: in closure production and distribution, in new product development, and in design of cap-making and capping machinery In 1954 White Cap[ came up with the twist-off type of closure and a few years later came up with the press-on / twist off type of cap which was very popular. White Cap's customers were producers of ketchup, juices, baby foods, preserves, pickles, and other perishable foods However, in 1956 White Cap was bought out by Continental Can, and the name turned to Continental White Cap, and became the most profitable of the firm's nine other divisions. When White Cap was bought out by Continental Can, the White family continued to manage the company, and its traditional company culture continued.

W.P. White and later on his son, Bob, made the working environment a very friendly and relaxed, family like place. The main plant was in the middle of a Polish neighborhood, and those people made up of a lot of the employees.

Question #1: What was Browning¡¦s predicament at White Cap?

From the very start, Browning recognized two major obstacles that he would have to address. First, three were only a few people at White Cap that would acknowledge the need for change because business results had been quite impressive for last 50 years and slumps were perceived as cyclical and transient. Second, there was a family-style culture well known for long-term loyalty from the employees, long-standing traditions of job security, liberal benefits, and paternalistic management. Browning had almost a...