Association News

Old-school sustainability

April 15, 2014

The TLMI 2014 Converter Meeting focused on business fundamentals – raising revenue, reducing costs and having a plan.

Sustainability has become one of the label and packaging industry’s key themes, and it usually refers to green business practices and environmental stewardship. However, at the TLMI 2014 Converter Meeting that took place March 9-12 at the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, CA, USA, the term sustainability was used in the context of business fundamentals. The theme of the meeting was “Old School Sustainability: Raise Revenues, Reduce Costs, Have a Plan,” and the focus was on ways label business owners can maintain long term sustainability within their organizations.

The meeting opened with a presentation from Terri Sjodin, principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, and she focused on crafting effective and persuasive sales presentations, including the “do’s and don’ts” that go with them. “In a typical call, you have 37 seconds to make an impact,” she said. “And the majority of the time the person you are selling to is trying to determine whether they like you or not. You have seven seconds to establish credibility,” Sjodin said, adding that establishing credibility starts with how you’re dressed. “You dress up to show honor and respect for your client’s time.”

Sjodin discussed three characteristics shared by top producers: the belief that you can grow; listening skills for adapting to the marketplace; and persuasive presentation skills. “The average person will only recall 50% of a presentation,” she said. “And the best time to get someone to make a decision is immediately after the presentation. People forget as time goes on.”

Visual aids, Sjodin added, can help people retain information, but cautioned salespeople about using Powerpoint. “Text on a screen is not a visual aid,” she said, adding that it is important to cater presentations to the various demographics. “Do we create presentations that appeal to all of the generations?” she asked. “You need crossover illustrations and anecdotes.”

Sjodin stressed that sales presentations often lean too heavily on being informative, as opposed to persuasive. “There is no risk in information, and a persuasive presentation is supposed to inspire action,” she said.

Closing out day one’s educational program was Cameron Herold, an entrepreneurial CEO coach and mentor, who spoke on the theme of “Building a World Class Culture.” “Culture is a choice, it doesn’t just happen,” Herold stated. “The first step toward developing a culture is to align people with your vision. Your vision needs to trickle down to your employees.”

Herold emphasized the importance of having the right people, and offered advice on getting these people to work for you. “In employee recruitment, is your building, website and workplace attracting A-level people are pushing them away?” he asked.

In addition to having the right kind of person as an employee, Herold warned against keeping the wrong people around, those not aligning to your vision. “Every company should have both job descriptions and scorecards for every position in the company,” he said, adding that you shouldn’t hesitate to fire someone who is impeding growth and not falling in line with what he referred to as the “painted picture,” where your employees are totally in line with the vision and know what you’re thinking. “The cost of keeping the wrong person is 15 times their annual salary,” Herold said.

According to Herold, appealing to A-level employees on a personal level is a good way to retain them. “If you care about your employees’ dreams and goals, and help them meet them, they will go through brick walls for your business. And then you ‘handcuff’ these A-level players with what they value.

“A great workplace culture is not about the free lunch, the perks. It’s about the vision, and the strong foundation,” said Herold.
The TLMI 2014 Converter Meeting’s educational program concluded on Tuesday with Marshall Goldsmith, who discussed employee engagement. Goldsmith stressed the importance of engaging both oneself and one’s employees. “The key factor for increasing employee engagement is the person not the program,” he said.

Goldmsith  also noted the importance of  analyzing happiness and meaning both at work and at home. He emphasized the importance of having the right people, those that fall in line with the company’s vision, and what to do with those that don’t. “If people do not care, do not waste your time,” he said. –Steve Katz

Singer Award Winners Honored
In addition to the educational presentations, the Converter Meeting also featured a golf tournament, several networking events, the ratio study presentation and the annual awards dinner, which included the presentation of the 2013 Eugene Singer Awards for Management Excellence.

One of the label industry’s most prestigious and highest honors, the Eugene Singer Award recognizes excellence in business management measured and defined by an established set of growth and profitability ratios through participation in the TLMI Management Ratio Study. Nearly 100 narrow web converters throughout the United States and Canada participate in the TLMI Ratio Study, however just four converting companies are awarded the honor each year. The 2013 TLMI Eugene Singer Awards were given to the following companies:

Centennial, CO-based Columbine Label Company won in the small company category for the third time. Greg Jackson, the company’s president, commented, “Winning the Singer award again is thrilling and a great honor. This award is really a terrific recognition of the hard work and effort put in by Columbine’s employees and our partnerships with our customers and suppliers as well. We strive daily to stand out in what we do. Recognition within the industry, especially considering the companies we are measuring against, is really a special honor.”

Yorba Linda, CA-based Digital Label Solutions won for the mid-range company category. This is the company’s first time winning the Eugene Singer Award and company co-owner, Sandy Petersen, commented, “When we began our trade business, we wanted to show our core customers (successful, established flexo printers) we were up to the challenge of becoming the best vendor partner possible. With last year’s exclusive ‘Best of the Best’ Award at Labelexpo in Brussels and now this year’s Eugene Singer Award, we feel we have proven we have one of the best teams in all of digital label manufacturing. Both awards are the sum total of the efforts of every manager, supervisor, and employee, as well as their families. We gratefully accept this award on their behalf.” 

Aurora, IL-based The Label Printers won for the medium company category. This is the Label Printers’ fifth Eugene Singer Award. The company’s COO, Lori Campbell, commented, “Winning an award is great and I’m thrilled for our organization. I truly believe however that the reward is in the report we receive from the Ratio Study; I look forward to getting that report more than I do the award. Yes, it is helpful to know how we fare against our competitors, but I also think that the competition isn’t actually against our friends in the industry but rather against ourselves. I want to know if we made improvements in the areas we identified last year or where our numbers might have slipped. The award is the icing on the cake and the experience of letting the employees receive the outside validation of their work.”

Sanford, FL-based Consolidated Label won for the large company category, the company’s 12th Eugene Singer Award. President Joel Carmany commented, “This is Consolidated Label’s 30th year in business and to win the Singer award for the 12th time is something which makes our employees very proud. I want to thank all of our 230 employees for helping us build a company that has had solid, sustained growth and performance since we began in 1984. Additionally, we have moved into new company headquarters of 170,000 square feet, which gives us the platform to continue our growth for years to come.”

TLMI President Frank Sablone commented on the Eugene Singer awards. He said, “The TLMI Ratio Study is one of the greatest assets our converter members have. Participating companies repeatedly claim that the study and the customized report they receive every year as a result of taking part, are amongst the most valuable business tools available. I want to personally congratulate each of this year’s Singer Award winners.”

IML awards competition announced
The In-Mold Decorating Association has announced its eighth annual IMDA Awards Competition. The competition will open May 1, and close on June 30, 2014.

The 2014 competition will recognize the industry’s best in-mold labeled packaging and in-mold decorated durable products. The winning entries are chosen based on creativity in design, engineering and innovation. The categories have been expanded this year and now include the following:

Best Part Design
Best Thin Wall Packaging
Best Injection Molded Durable (IMD) Part
Best Injection Molded (IML) Package
Best Label Design
Best Blow Molded Part/Package
Best Product Family (common style or brand)
Best Thermoformed IML Package
Best Thermoformed Durable IMD Part
Best IML/IMD Prototype Part/Package

All entries must be received at IMDA by June 30, 2014.

FLAG names Pamarco preferred anilox supplier
nPamarco Global Graphics, an anilox supplier to the global label market, has announced its designation as a preferred supplier for the Flexo Label Advantage Group, LLC. FLAG was founded in January 2010 as a buying group for independent label printers and has provided a streamlined approach to purchasing for many label printers.

Pamarco and FLAG will work together to ensure that the partnership will provide an efficient sales process as well as products that are engineered for performance. John Rastetter, VP of sales and marketing for Pamarco, says, “The partnership between FLAG and Pamarco brings a new level of value to the independent tag and label facilities in North America and provides significant purchasing power to its members.”

FLAG President John McKay comments, “Through this agreement, FLAG member companies will have access to Pamarco’s  full line of world class products and services along with FLAG program incentives.”

FINAT announces first recycling awards competition
FINAT has announced its first Recycling Awards Competition for label converters and end users who have their paper or film release liners recycled by dedicated programs. A growing number of sustainable and economically-viable recycling programs offer companies site-specific solutions for the collection and recycling of used release liners, allowing them to reduce both their carbon footprint and landfilling costs.

FINAT is organizing its first Recycling Awards Competition to raise awareness and promote best practices in liner recycling. The competition will culminate in the announcement of the winners at the FINAT World Congress in Monaco, June 5-7, 2014.

“Release liner recycling is picking up pace. More and more, recycling initiatives are offering turnkey solutions to recover a valuable secondary material that no longer needs to go to waste. The FINAT Recycling Awards Competition was created to recognize the advances these programs are making in our industry,” explains Jacques van Leeuwen, chairman of the competition.

There are two award categories, one for end users and one for converters, divided into three areas: Achievements, Communication and Promotion, and Innovation / Opening New Markets. All entries must be submitted by Friday May 2, to the FINAT secretariat. For more info, visit
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