His 32 years of experience started in Zimbabwe’s printing industry, where he operated printing presses, gained sales experience and expertise, and ultimately climbed into management ranks. “My wife and I started a business competing against major companies in Zimbabwe. We were contemplating retirement at the ripe old age of 55, when political instability caused us to re-evaluate priorities. We decided in 2002 to pack up everything, and bring our daughters aged 12 and 14 to the US, truly the land of opportunity. We started life all over again,” notes Jubber.
They decided to revive their early retirement dream, and bought a “mom and pop” printing operation in 2006. Ninety percent of their work was for the real estate industry, and when the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008, it affected the Jubbers the same way. The business failed.
Hunting for jobs, the couple discovered that qualifications and certifications from Zimbabwe were far less valuable than demonstrating ability. That meant starting as a press operator for a digital, offset and wide-format banner company in Colorado Springs, and eventually moving up the chain to lead foreman, manager, director of operations, and president.
Ultimately, the lure of the Denver metroplex brought Jubber to Lightning Labels in November 2017. His life experience, drawing heavily on growing up Zimbabwean, has reinforced Jubber’s drive to maximize opportunity in his adopted land of opportunity.
“If you’re willing to engage and do things right, you can achieve dreams and goals. That’s what I’m doing here—putting into place standard operating procedures and efficiency-driving ideas derived from Lean manufacturing principles. It requires team participation, involvement initiative, and buy-in of people to create efficiency-enhancing standards and then implementing them,” Jubber points out.
He adds, “While it’s all KPI-driven and objectively quantified, the real heart of the program is the heart of the people. As they take ownership of more productive workflows and processes, they drive better performance from the front door through shipping—minimizing duplication and equipping themselves in their areas of influence to be as Lean as possible—cutting waste of both materials and productivity, and shortening timespans and touchpoints. The adage, ‘measure twice, cut once’ really comes into play here.
"While a more engaged and enthusiastic workforce is the immediate reward, customers are the ultimate beneficiaries," Jubber says, “We promise a quality product turned around in 48 to 72 hours, almost impossible in this industry. Yet, we deliver on our commitment day in and day out. Our customers deserve to see us keep that commitment standard, with a reliable quality product time after time after time. We’ve got to make sure that what we talk truly lines up with what we walk.”
The ultimate test used by the workforce harkens back to the simplicity and sincerity of less technology-driven times. Notes Jubber, “Employees ask themselves if they would spend their money with Lightning Labels, using tests of timeliness, quality, reliability, flexibility and affordable pricing. Our people need to pass those tests every time, from prepress, digital production to finishing through to shipping.”