Berkshire Corporation

Berkshire Corporation

Berkshire is the global contamination control leader for clean room and controlled environment consumable products. We provide customers with technically advanced materials aimed at application performance. We focus on total solutions that consistently minimize the risk of product and process contamination. With our customer relationships we continuously focus on complete engineered clean solutions. For 50 years Berkshire has understood and delivered world class manufacturing, reliable supply chain, highest standards for quality, technically advanced products…assuring mutual success each step of the way.

Company details

21 River Street , Great Barrington , MA 01230 USA
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Business Type:
Manufacturer
Industry Type:
Workplace Safety
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

BERKSHIRE CORPORATION has established a set core values by which it operates. These values define what Berkshire stands for, throughout time, regardless of changes to our internal structure and leadership or changes to external factors or market conditions.

Berkshire's Mission

Berkshire strives to be the global leader in developing and manufacturing products for critical surfaces and controlled environments. Our products deliver superior performance, consistent quality, enhanced productivity, and the lowest total cost in use. We measure our success in terms of customer satisfaction, expressed by sales growth and profitability.

Core Values

Berkshire’s core values are the fundamental principles that guide our individual and collective decisions, strategies, and actions. We define our values as:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Courtesy
  • Trust
  • Continuous  Improvement
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Innovation
  • Individual Respect & Responsibility
  • Loyalty to Valued Relationships

THE PRINCIPLES outlined below represent the code by which Berkshire Corporation conducts business. It applies to all Berkshire employees.

People

Berkshire Corporation will:

  • Promote a culture in which fair employment practices extend to each member of the diverse Berkshire community.
  • Strive to continuously create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
  • Sustain, through leadership at all levels, a culture in which ethical conduct is recognized, valued, and exemplified by all Berkshire employees.
  • Be honest, fair, and trustworthy in all Berkshire activities and relationships, recognizing truth as the key component in all communications.
  • Be conscious of its duty to help protect the environment.
Business

Berkshire Corporation will:

  • Obey the applicable laws, trade regulations, and restrictions imposed by recognized U.S. and international authorities. Require the same from our vendors and customers.
  • Avoid situations in which a conflict of interest (or the appearance of a conflict) exists between work and personal affairs. Appropriate business courtesies — such as giving and receiving gifts, gratuities, meals, refreshments, and entertainment — are often used to strengthen business relationships and are common business practices in many countries. These business courtesies, however, should never compromise (or appear to compromise) Berkshire’s ability to make objective and fair business decisions nor should they reasonably be perceived as constituting unfair business inducements that would violate law, regulation, or polices of Berkshire or its customers and suppliers.
  • Honor privacy. In the course of work, you may be exposed to nonpublic information about Berkshire or the companies with which Berkshire does business. This information may include business or manufacturing plans, new product ideas or processes, business risks, sales, negotiations, or other financial information. Unauthorized use or disclosure of this nonpublic information could have severe consequences for you and the company, including criminal liability. 
  • Respect people. Berkshire has a zero-tolerance approach to harassment, discrimination, bribery, and/or corruption. We are committed to maintaining the highest ethical and legal standards in our relationships around the world, including our relationships with governments and government officials as well as with other businesses. The prevention, detection, and reporting of bribery and corruption is the responsibility of all Berkshire employees, its subsidiaries, and joint venture partners.

TODAY, Berkshire Corporation is the global leader in developing and manufacturing products for critical surfaces and controlled environments worldwide. But in the mid-1960s, the company literally “started from scratch” — scratch paper, that is.

Berkshire Paper Company

Before he was Berkshire Corporation’s founder and CEO, Whitmore B. “Nick” Kelley was in need of money to pay for college. With an idea, he picked up waste paper from a local Western Massachusetts paper mill, brought it home, and began making scratch pads.

Calling his fledgling creation Berkshire Paper Company, Kelley was one of the nation’s earliest recyclers, taking waste that would have otherwise been headed to the dump and turning it into usable product.

Berkshire Paper Company soon outgrew the basement of his home. Rescuing a building slated for the wrecking ball, Kelley purchased and converted what would soon be his first manufacturing plant. He acquired used processing equipment, developed new manufacturing efficiencies, and built a steady base of customers — until business was interrupted by national affairs.

After a tour in Asia, Kelley returned to Western Massachusetts to pick up where he left off. Over time, he won back most of his former paper customers — they ranged from retail insurance companies to office supply stores — and he began branching into cutting and packaging services for local paper mills as well. With a prime location near Boston and New York City, Berkshire Paper Company’s products and services began to attract new clientele throughout the eastern United States.

Low-Lint Specialties

In the late 1970s, Berkshire Paper Company continued to reinvent itself. After experimenting with new materials, Berkshire introduced a low-linting specialty paper for use in the emerging semiconductor market.

“I received an inquiry from a national semiconductor company in Utah,” Nick Kelley explains. “Attached to the letter was a 2x2-inch paper, accompanied by a simple request: ‘Do you make this kind of paper? If so, we want to talk to you about buying some.’”

In fact, Berkshire didn't make the paper, but Kelley set out quickly to make it happen. Through a series of investigations and experiments with what he describes as “a derivative of teabag paper,” he created a low-lint paper expressly designed to reduce microcontamination. Labeled “Labx,” the product was packaged with the Berkshire brand name, and a new direction was launched.

Equipped with a rental car and a telephone book, Nick traveled around Silicon Valley in California to show his low-lint paper samples to technology companies. By the time he returned to the Berkshires, he had half a million dollars’ worth of orders.

Berkshire Corporation

Now known as Berkshire Corporation, Kelley’s company grew. It started its own lab, developed standardized testing methods for cleanroom disposable materials, and established comprehensive quality assurance methods.

In 1995, Berkshire Corporation’s Quality Management System received registration to the ISO9000 Standard, the globally recognized quality management system standard developed by the International Organization of Standardization. Since then, the company has launched a Lean Manufacturing training initiative through which employees participate in ongoing quality training focused on operational performance improvements.

“The key attribute in business is innovation,” Kelley says, “coupled with the drive for continuous improvement — and the integrity that keeps innovation and drive on track.”

Today's Berkshire Corporation demonstrates just how well Kelley’s formula for success works. Over the past two decades, Berkshire has expanded its business overseas, with manufacturing and strategic sourcing operations in the US, Europe, and Asia, and sales offices throughout the US, UK, France, Japan, Singapore, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Mexico. The company now has more than 200 employees and 36 product lines, ranging from wiping materials and lens tissues to face masks and glove liners. Beyond the semiconductor market, key customers work within the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, both of which are highly regulated industries with special needs for aseptic processing.

Berkshire Corporation is a privately held company, but it is governed by an outside, independent Board of Directors. “Our directors ensure our company is guided objectively, with keen business insights and solid judgment,” Kelley explains. Board members' blended expertise reflects an array of backgrounds, from manufacturing and publishing to investment banking and business consulting.