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Creative, Flexible, and Pioneering

Creative, Flexible, and Pioneering | Eric Zwigart

Eric Zwigart

CEO RPP Products

Eric Zwigart, CEO of RPP Products First and foremost, has always wanted to create a compelling advantage for customers, a continuously improving corporate culture, and to never accept the status quo. This mindset of Eric armed with a continual focus and obsession on both systemic and offer growth, along with hiring world-class team members has led RPP’s incredible growth over the last 10 years, from 2 employees to 185, and from $5MM annual sales to $175MM.

According to Eric, RPP was born entirely due to need, and has adapted and grown from there. “It is a fairly small category within the Convenience channel, with many fragmented suppliers delivering into wholesalers at quantities far less than truck level,” he explains. “This was not optimal for the supplier due to high logistics costs, or the wholesaler due to the administrative and operational time devoted to checking in multiple suppliers’ small deliveries.”  At the same time, Eric saw that there was a gap in meeting the needs of the customers in the category, so they begin producing value, and private label brands within the various sub-categories. “Once we started executing against this, we found the same opportunities existed with the Drug, Grocery, and other retail channels as well,” he adds. “We have software that allows us to take a customer’s data, and run that against the external market, 

evaluating gaps and opportunities within their Automotive Planograms.” As authorized distributors for the vast majority of the industry’s biggest brands, RPP also has almost unlimited access to the many micro-trends within the Category, so they can validate those findings across multiple manufacturers, and offer the best recommendations to their customers.

RPP has invested in software programs to assist their customers in making the best shelf space and category decisions that they can. “We have also invested in a brand new and advanced ERP system to help facilitate even better production and planning within our multiple production facilities, which will help us to be substantially better moving forward,” adds Eric. “For the hand sanitizer product line, we have donated over 1,000 gallons of the product to homeless shelters and food banks nationwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  In one instance, the San Diego Convention Center using the company’s assistance has been to reduce the COVID cases compared to other large homeless shelters. RPP has also assisted 800+ homeless in temporary housing at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA, Los Angeles motels run by HOPICS and part of California Governor Gavin Newsom’s “Project Roomkey” of 3,000 hotel and motel rooms statewide for the homeless.

According to Eric being creative, flexible and willing to take a risk every so often are key qualities of being a true leader. “By doing so, I was able to create a whole new product line based on necessity, nimbleness and ability to move quickly.  Hire top-notch staff that understand your mindset and are willing to work with you to make extraordinary successes happen.” Eric adds that perhaps the most important aspect of any organization is the team members who have been brought on board to help turn any business into a world class organization. “We have within the last year brought on several senior executives with broad industry experience in Operations, Production, Retail, Wholesale, Re-Distribution, Human Resources, Marketing, and Sales,” says Eric. “These individuals will help bring us to the forefront of everything we do.  All of the investment in systems and people will have a beneficially positive impact on all of our customers.”

Throughout history, private American businesses have stepped up to fulfill emergency needs during times of crisis, and it is in this spirit that RPP quickly pivoted to hand sanitizer production. “I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to create in such a short amount of time, and the positive impact it will have on my fellow Americans during this crisis,” he says.  For the days to come Eric & his team will concentrate on their ERP system to facilitate full integration between their Corporate Office and Production facilities, alongside the Planogramming Software to improve how they support their customers.

“We have within the last year brought on several senior executives with broad industry experience in Operations, Production, Retail, Wholesale, Re-Distribution, Human Resources, Marketing, and Sales.”

Eric Zwigart

CEO RPP Products

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