9445 – 49 Street, Edmonton, AB T6B 2L8 Canada
Jet Label & Packaging is soaring into the future. Since its humble beginnings in 1998 – when it was a two-man operation started by co-owners Darrell Friesen and Rod Froment – the company has grown to become Western Canada’s largest label manufacturer. Earlier this year, headlines were made with the announcement that Jet Label acquired Vancouver-based United Label Company, a move that effectively doubled the size of the company.
Jet Label is no stranger to making bold moves, as it takes a leadership approach within the Canadian label market. In 2012, the company installed its first HP Indigo WS6600 digital press, at the time the very first of its kind in Canada. A year later, Jet Label added another – this was before anyone else in Canada had even bought a first. To make room for the added capacity, in 2015, additional space was tacked on to the company’s Edmonton facility, thus increasing manufacturing space to 37,000 square feet. Also that year, the company purchased all assets of Kelowna, British Columbia-based Challenge Labels.
In March 2016, Jet Label welcomed a brand new Delta ModTech Spectrum finishing machine, and later that year added another 14,000 square feet of warehouse space, thus increasing production capacity to 55,000 square feet for the manufacturing of labels and printed tape.
Jet Label converts labels and printed tape for a broad range of industries, including food and beverage, as well as grocery stores, consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and forestry markets. In addition, Jet Label excels in providing labels and tapes for industrial applications, where it produces a range of durable, reliably water- and weatherproof labels that stand up to the types of harsh conditions in which many of its customers operate. The company also supplies parking and boarding passes and baggage tags to the Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton international airports. The Edmonton Police Service is also a longstanding customer.
Acquiring United Label Company greatly expands one of Jet Label’s key end use sectors: mass-market retail. United Label Company’s client roster currently includes an impressive variety of retailers, wholesalers and pharmacies, among them Costco, IGA, London Drugs and Safeway.
“Combining forces with our friends at United Label Company is a perfect fit for Jet Label strategically, bolstering our retail sector business segment while providing much-needed additional capacity to other branches of our customer portfolio,” says Darrell Friesen, president of Jet Label & Packaging. “Along with VP of operations Rodney Froment and the entire team at Jet Label, I’m proud to welcome the staff at United Label Company into our family, and look forward to years of continued growth and success.”
United Label’s facility operates four conventional flexographic presses ranging in web widths from 7–10" and 3-8 station color capabilities, as part of a fully capable manufacturing facility with a wide variety of slitters, rewinders, finishing and inspection systems. Soon Jet Label will be adding to this lineup new machinery and, as needed, additional personnel. Jet Label’s Edmonton facility, which operates 24/7 across three shifts, utilizes two state-of-the-art HP Indigo digital presses, along with 12 traditional flexographic presses ranging in widths from 6–20" and 3-10 color station capabilities. Flexo presses within the company’s equipment portfolio are from Mark Andy, Allied Gear and Aquaflex, along with a Siat tape press.
Equipment redundancy is a key factor to Jet Label’s success. Among its equipment portfolio are two HP Indigo WS6600 digital presses, two Delta ModTech Spectrum finishing units, two 8-color flexographic presses, two 6-color flexographic presses, and two mid-web flexo presses. Jet also has multiple “twin” rewinders and air compressors, ensuring that machine downtime never affects its customers.
Montana Cull, marketing manager, says, “This redundancy is critical for us, as our customers count on us to be up and running. They know they can rely on us to get their rush/unexpected orders done – because we’ve got that extra equipment.”
The Jet Label sales team consists of nine representatives located across Western Canada. Cull stresses that Jet Label’s most important and fastest growing segment is its digital department. “In fact, we do more HP digital labels than the rest of Western Canada combined,” she says. “And our Delta ModTech Spectrum finishers have been an outstanding asset to our digital label department. We are very proud of them.”
Jet Label’s Western Canada location presents certain obstacles that other label companies in North America don’t have to contend with. Cull explains, “Our marketplace is very challenging due to the fact that delivery often takes longer than the time required to make the product.”
However, she says, “We are blessed to have a wonderful group of employees who care about our business. We treat our customers with the same respect our suppliers treat us. Avery Dennison, HP and Delta ModTech have been amazing. And our customers have supported our vision and are the reason we get to work in the world’s best industry.”
Jet Label has offices and outposts in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George, Winnipeg and Saskatoon. Each location is tied together through Jet Label’s culture of teamwork, togetherness and excellence. The company’s core values imclude: “We get it right the first time; We win and lose as a team; We build, repair and maintain positive relationships. We push our abilities to the limit. We bleed orange and blue.”
Among the company’s popular employee activities are free yoga classes for Jet staff and their families; a Jet curling team and Jet slow pitch softball, 5K runs with free running shoes, and monthly BBQ’s and pizza lunches. Cull adds, “And these lunches can sometimes be very long if Team Canada happens to be playing Olympic hockey at the time!”
Going forward, Jet Label is striving to achieve its goal of having four manufacturing locations by 2025. And keeping with its sporting theme, Friesen says, “We are happy with our progress but not satisfied. If this is a 400-meter race, we are only on the back stretch and just beginning to feel the pain that separates champions from the field.”
He adds, “I hope I leave our customers, employees and suppliers with the undeniable feeling that I care; meaning I promise to always do my best, every time. I invite everyone to come celebrate our 20th anniversary on May 25, 2018. Trust me, the trip will be worth it.” –Steve Katz