When I told a friend of mine I was heading to Florida to write an article about a label company, he said, “I guess every company has a story.” While that may be obvious, it sure holds true. Whether a business’s front door is attached to a brick-and-mortar building, holding large numbers of people, office space and equipment, or just a website serving as a gateway to a home office, there’s people – or at least a person – behind it, and a story about how it got started and how it makes money.
What you hold in your hand is Label and Narrow Web’s 2012 International Buyers Guide, and I believe it to be a useful tool, a stepping stone toward learning about and getting to know the label industries’ leading suppliers. What they have to offer, the advantages they provide and the people behind the operations are just a phone call or click away. We’ve made every effort to make this guide as up-to-date as possible (a story unto itself), and we hope it helps you find what you’re looking for, and in some way improves your business.
Over the years I have visited dozens of label plants, getting first-hand accounts of label converters stories. Many of these stories include Lean Manufacturing journeys and endeavors. This month’s issue marks the last installment of Tom Southworth’s Printing Lean column. For five years, Tom has used these pages to educate the industry on all things Lean, and I know that his advice and guidance have been great assets in developing and continuing your Lean journeys. We thank Tom for all of his contributions, and wish him all the best.
As we bid farewell, we also say a hearty “Hello again,” to Jack Kenny, whose prose returns to L&NW with this issue. Jack returns to us with the first installment of Front Row, his aptly-named new column. Having covered the label and narrow web industry for 16 years, Jack has been privy to many a converter and supplier story. You might say he’s been in the Front Row of the industry – at trade shows, manufacturing plants, machine demonstrations and more. There aren’t too many people with the distinct perspective and breadth of label industry journalism experience he has, and we’re excited to get his insider’s view.
And so the stories go on – all of ours. I look forward to learning and sharing from yours, and in the spirit of Lean, hope that you continuously improve.
As always, we welcome your thoughts and comments.
Steve Katz, Editor