Executive Perspectives: Halls & Company President Patrick Napurski on Making Tough Decisions, Supply Chain Partnerships and More
As part of our ongoing Executive Perspectives feature, we get to know leading professionals in the print and promotional industry. This month, we interviewed Patrick Napurski, president of Halls & Company, Minneapolis. Here, he reveals what led him back to promo, shares his approach to making tough decisions and illuminates the powerful impact of supply chain partnerships.
How did you get started in this industry, and what path did you take to land in your current role?
Patrick Napurski: I started in the business working various jobs during high school, college and early [on] in my professional career. Family discussions about the business found their way into almost every get-together, and this company has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. But it was during my time in England—when I was earning my MBA after spending years in different industries—that I truly missed it and knew I wanted to build my career here. I have spent quite a bit of time in the IT sector in various industries and with the changes that are happening in the promotional products space, I believe it will help [our] IDLine and ActNow [lines] be on the cusp of great things.
How do you set goals for yourself? For your business?
PN: I tend to follow the “Aim for the best, prepare for the worst” adage when setting goals. Looking forward at the next five to 10 years, I have big aspirations for this company, and I know we have a phenomenal foundation to build on to reach them. But day-to-day, year-to-year, we need to look more concretely at those goals and put in the preparation to work toward them, while making sure that we never derail from our primary mission: excellent customer service and quality. We need to invest wisely to build, but we can’t ever let aspirations take us away from our most fundamental goal—what has always been our most fundamental goal—which is high quality and excellent service. We can aim high, but the way to truly serve our mission is to put in the work to be prepared to meet our customers and partners where they need us as this industry changes.
How does the economy continue to affect the industry?
PN: I really think it depends on the products that are being sold and how flexible a business can be. We try to know our capabilities really well, so that when the economy throws a curve ball (enter COVID) we can do our best to adapt and find the items that are still needed by our customers.
What do you expect to be some of the biggest changes or challenges the industry will face?
PN: There has been a lot of contraction lately, both on the distributor and supplier sides of the business. The pandemic has also created some supply chain challenges that give us the opportunities to work even closer with our distributor partners on solving unique problems. Keeping that personal feel to the business is going to be a key factor going forward.
What keeps you up at night?
PN: Our employees. Through the challenges of the last couple years, our people have really developed almost a second-family mentality. Knowing that our decisions really affect their livelihoods always gives me that extra moment of pause.
What do you think is the most exciting, cutting-edge thing your company is doing right now?
PN: We have a lot of exciting irons in the fire right now, but one of the things that is really unique is the way we’re working to integrate with our distributors. The back-office part of their work takes them away from what they truly want to be doing. So, we are very focused on alleviating that workload to make it quicker and easier to order our products.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
PN: Probably two things: One is that our family loves to travel. We really try to focus on experiences—even (or maybe especially) when they’re on a shoestring—and our oldest had been to six continents by the time he was six (we were shooting for seven by seven, but Antarctica is pretty tough to get to for a young kiddo unless you have an unlimited budget). The second is that my wife and I met playing tennis, so naturally we had to play on our wedding day—her in her amazing dress and sky-high heels and me in the tuxedo. And for those wondering, yes, she won.