Century Printing & Packaging Team Members

Cindy Julian has been working as a rewinder at Century Printing and Packaging for 17 years. She is one of the most tenured employees. We sat down with the Greenville native and long-time Greer resident to talk about her role in the company and the changes she’s seen over the years.

Tell us about your role at Century Printing and Packaging?

I am a rewinder. I take the rolls that come off the press and rewind the labels on them down to the size the customer wants. Then I inspect the rolls to make sure the labels are in the direction the customer wants. When the presses are running and something is flagged we stop them and take those out and then start it over.

So you are essentially quality and control?

Yes, that’s what I’ve done all my life. I started doing this with the looms in a cotton mill after I graduated high school and then worked at Kemet electronics in the same role with capacitors.

Our job is to make sure the labels on the press are exactly what the customer has ordered. We catch tears, faults, or mistakes before the labels are shipped to our customers. Quality is critical to our company because if we don’t get it right customers aren’t going to want to pay for something that isn’t right and they won’t return. For example, in the job I’m working on today I’ve got 77 rolls with 2,000 labels per roll, and then I have other jobs I’m doing in between. We have to multi-task between the printers, jobs, and rewinders. I would say I do an average of 50,000 labels a day.

You have really been able to be part of Century’s growth over the years, haven’t you?

When I started 17 years ago we had two tabletop rewinders and two old presses. Now we have four great presses, a digital press with one tabletop rewinder, two upright rewinders, and two fan-fold machines. When I started we literally did fan-folding by hand. Technology has really helped us increase production and picked up the speed of things. We are putting out more than I ever remember during my time here and it’s quality work.

We still have a tabletop rewinder but we use it for smaller jobs like tiny rolls which is hard to do on an upright. Now with the digital press when they take those rolls there may be four different jobs on one roll and you have to run them, slit it and flip it so you get it in the right direction which is easier to do on the tabletop because on the upright you have to web it up.

So what kind of numbers are we talking about in terms of a typical day for you?

It varies, but it could be over a hundred rolls a day, it just depends on the size and the size of the order. We are working on multiple jobs at the same time. You could have 10,000, one-inch labels on a roll and you may do ten rolls, or you could do larger labels with 200 on the roll. It really depends on the number of labels than it does the rolls.

Can you describe the culture of your role and the company?

You really have to be self-motivated to be a rewinder. No one is riding your back or trying to micromanage you. You are expected to know your job and do it, but you control your day based on the production schedule and customer orders. There is a greater sense of team. Like any job, we can ruffle each other’s feathers from time to time, but we are more like family, you disagree, work it out and move on. Even though we are all working in different areas and roles we communicate and work together. I’m one of the longest to be here and that makes me really proud and the fact that they’ve put up with me for this long.

Century was an “essential business” at the height of Covid, what was that like?

I never really felt it because I got up every day and came to work, nothing changed except for wearing a mask and wiping everything down all the time. We were working and yet it was hard to see how so many others lost their jobs or were laid off. I was very grateful our company kept going.

Cindy, why would you tell someone to choose Century over other printing and packaging companies?

I would say because we are loyal to our customers, we offer competitive prices on high-quality work, and we exceed customer expectations. And if something slips through the cracks we go back and make it right. We make good on our word to our customers.

Tell us about your family and what you enjoy doing when you are not working.

I’ve been married for 21 years and between us, we have four adult children and 9 grandchildren, four girls and five boys. We love to hang out at the pool and play with our grandkids. We have a new baby in our house, a Miniature Pinscher puppy who keeps us busy.

At Century Printing and Packaging we have a long line of tenured employees who make up our team. We are proud of their work, spirit, and the contribution they make to our quality of work and production. All of them work hard to fulfill customers’ orders and produce high-quality work.

Logistics As Total Service

Logistics is critical to the manufacturing process and supply chain management. The term itself was born out of the military. Think along the lines of moving military hardware, troops, ships, planes, rations, and all the supplies that accompany any military operation. Today logistics affects everything we manufacture, build, or purchase in business or as consumers.

Global shipping was brought to a halt last March when the world’s largest container ship, the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal blocking a major shipping artery. The massive ship took two weeks to move. Meanwhile, 400 cargo ships loaded with goods had to wait until Ever Given cleared the canal. It set off a huge supply and logistical nightmare that touched nearly every aspect of daily living worldwide. Goods and products move around the globe every single minute of the day. We tend to take it for granted that our ketchup, bandaids, tires, lawnmowers, and other goods will be available when the end-user is ready to purchase them. The Ever Given reminded manufacturers, consumers, and suppliers just how fragile logistics can be.

Covid-19, the Colonial Pipeline hacker disruption, fuel shortages and hikes, acts of terrorism, severe weather events like hurricanes, natural and human-caused events can all affect the supply global and national supply chain. Who knew a year ago there would be a shortage of computer chips affecting everything from vehicle manufacturers to electronics?

The printing and packaging industry depends on logistics in two aspects. They are dependent upon supplies like substrates, ink, laminate, roll stock, paper, plastic, metalized film, etc., to deliver for their customers. You need to make sure you are using a printing and packaging company that has long-term relationships and solid communication with suppliers even when the global flow may be hampered. The second consideration is the shipment of your order and goods in a timely manner in accordance with the master production and project schedule.

Customers should be able to ask hard and fair questions in regard to timelines for obtaining assets to do the job, production timelines, and target delivery dates upon project completion. Experienced printing and packaging companies have to develop relationships with FedEx, UPS, to ensure a timely flow to meet target delivery dates for customers. An accurate timeline for your order cannot be generated until the shipping times of the required pieces, and the shipping time to your destination is known.

Printing and packaging companies have to have time to develop all of the information regarding an order. Their calendar will include what assets and materials are needed, how much is required, shipping times from their suppliers, scheduling the job with the production, and shipping the order to the customer. This is an example of total customer service.

Ask your printer if they use tracking software for shipping orders and if they can set you up to receive email notifications from the shipping agent. Proof of Delivery can be a useful tool if your product is packaged at a third-party facility, such as a contract packager, to know the packaging is delivered.

Remember when you place an order there is a lot of behind the scene activity from securing supplies, to scheduling press dates, coming off the press, and being prepared for shipment.

Century Printing and Packaging is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company located in Greer, South Carolina. Flexographic, roll stock film, flexible packaging, digital printing, CBD, and craft beer labels are among our extensive print products and technologies. We are family-owned and operated. Call us today about all of your printing or packaging needs. Our southeast location allows us to have a two-day shipping point via FedEx or UPS ground to 80% of the U.S population and we can expedite as necessary.

Ben Waldrop President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651

Taking Correct Action When There Is a Problem

Every company experiences delays, mistakes, and problems related to customer orders, production,  suppliers, shipping delays, and other customer-related matters.  No company is perfect, but wise companies have built-in accountability and operating systems that help rectify problems and prevent them from reoccurrence.  These systems ensure accountability, consistency and help manufacturers keep a record of them in an organized manner that is designed for efficiency and results.

While many smaller manufacturing companies may “wing it,” when it comes to problems that require corrective action for the customer, others maintain certification in an internationally recognized system of standards.   ISO is a quality control system that meets global standards and helps customers, suppliers, and vendors.  The qualification process is intentional and sets those willing to maintain certification apart for their willingness to improve, meet compliance and allow their customers to hold them accountable.  

When a mistake or defect is detected it is documented and logged into the system.  This will generate a formal document about what happened and prescribe corrective action.  Let’s say it is a problem with a flexible film that is showing up in every 200 runs of trail bar wrappers.  Through the system, the manufacturer can track down the film supplier, lots, inks, artwork and through a process of elimination identify the source of the problem whether it is an in-house issue like a worn machine in need of a subtle repair,  or due to the quality of a specific supplier’s product.  ISO allows companies to identify the source of a problem or issue, correct it and resume production to provide full customer satisfaction.

Century Printing and Packaging consistently reviews these reports through regular sales and management meetings in order to stay on top of quality issues, raise the bar on customer satisfaction and ISO compliance.  The system provides peace of mind for indentifying, reporting and handling the inevitable problems that come through the manufacturing, printing and packaging processes.  When your company is dealing with a supplier that has a quality control system you can rest assured it is a company that is honest and up front about them, but seeking to constantly improve their service and product quality.

By setting standards for quality and customer assurance we recognize there is a way to learn and grow from mistakes.  Our system allows us to own mistakes quickly and find solutions while preventing future mistakes.  At Century Printing and Packaging we are serious about quality and service.  Striving for excellence is important to us and having systems in place to provide us with valuable information while achieving customer satisfaction is paramount.  

Ben Waldrop
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651