Century Printing & Packaging Team Members: Madison DeShields

Recently, we sat down with Madison DeShields in the Production Department of Century Printing and Packaging to discuss her role and work.

So Madison, tell us about yourself?

I’m originally from Woodruff, South Carolina and I started working here when I was 20 years old and it will be five years this month. I had some experience with screen printing in high school and experience in printing but nothing like at this level.

How did you find the job and where did you begin at Century Printing and Packaging?

I actually found the job on Indeed. I started in the back with entry level duties folding paper and putting it in boxes for shipping. Then I started doing different printing in the plate room, rewinding and I’ve done a lot of different things.

How did that prepare you for what you are doing now?

It helps me understand printing to know what they are doing in finishing. There are things I know now in how to help them back there.

What is your current role and what do you do?

Right now I’m a press operator and I’m on the digital press and bounce around wherever I’m needed. I fill in for people on breaks and run their press for them. Mount plates and do whatever is needed. If someone calls out I can fill wherever I’m needed.

What do you like about your job?

I like the communication between everyone and how we always work as a team together. We have a high level of communication and we are cross-trained on multiple presses or machines to be able to fill in the gaps when someone is out sick, or can’t be there. We don’t miss a beat and cover well for one another.

What have you noticed about the growth of the company in the five years you have been here?

I’ve seen so many different jobs that keep coming up. It’s such a wide variety. Some of the artwork is really cool like the beer labels and other stuff. It keeps everything interesting.

What’s a typical day like for you?

When I started this morning I had some @CityRoots labels to run picking up from yesterday on the digital press. They are a family-owned, urban, organic farm that specializes in year-round microgreen production based out of Columbia, South Carolina. Then I fill in for someone and when they get back I will fill in for someone else so I will be bouncing back and forth between printers and jobs. It makes the day fly by and I like it because I’m always busy and not standing in the same spot all day.

What do you like about your company?

They are just really nice people. They are understanding and have taught me everything I know about printing. All around good people!

What have you learned?

Coming from high school it’s a completely different level of printing. I’ve learned so much. I take notes on everything I’ve learned and have notebooks on everything. It’s a lot to take in but I just keep learning every day. I’ve always loved graphic design since tech school and I’ve loved the artwork and the process.

Tell us what you like to do in your free time?

I like outdoors stuff like tubing, kayaking, hiking and those kinds of things. I have two cats and live in Spartanburg so I’m relatively close to the shop. My family is from Woodruff and I’m close to them. I am the youngest of three with an older brother and sister.

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.

Connie Vincent, V.P. of Operations at CP&P

Tell us how long you’ve been with Century and your background

I’ve been with Century for seven years and working in the print industry for over 30 years. I had been working for another company and they downsized so I was looking for a position when I interviewed here. Initially, I was producing artwork and had a lot of experience working with color so flexo was ideal for me.

When I started I already had an understanding about different substrates, white inks, adjusting color for flexographic printing and things like that. Getting involved in artwork helped expand my skill set. Previously we had to manually enter job numbers, ink and other materials but software and automation have enabled us to focus on the artwork.

Describe your role at Century Printing and Packaging

I supervise the pre-press department and I initially work with the sales staff to preflight the art and help determine colors and any special concerns in printing and what we can do to maintain the aesthetics whether it is digital or flexo printing.

What’s your favorite part of relating to clients/customers?

I deal with the clients and their artists. Just being able to take their vision and reproduce it in flexo, which isn’t always very forgiving is rewarding. I often ask, “how will this go or look?” Then I huddle with Neil and Roger to see how we can help the customer. We come up with stuff that clients are not taking advantage of like silver substrates and more, or we’ve inverted the white ink and the client was thrilled. Exceeding customer expectations is really important and so professionally satisfying.

What do you still get excited about in your job?

I get a thrill any time I walk into a store and see packaging or printing that I had a hand in producing. Back in the day changes were crazy. Before everything went to the computer, we manually worked the camera, trapping and setting up the file for plating, etc. When using film we moved to less manual input and today it’s nice and neat. Technology has increased the rate of production and things that took ½ day we can now do in 10 minutes. It used to take us a long time to do one thing or concept, but now we can move faster and eliminate errors on the fly.

What do you like about Century Printing and Packaging?

It’s a family-owned business and that family-style transcends down to all employees. We get to know each other and know our strengths and weaknesses. The last seven years it’s evolved into a team atmosphere. It’s more than a place to work and the culture of “that’s not my job” has shifted and evolved into, “how can I help you and what can I do to make this better.” When you’ve got a label that works really well from start to finish everyone has a sense of pride in the production of it, so team pride is a big thing here.

Tell us about yourself, Connie?

I am Spartanburg born and raised. I’ve been married for eight years with three children and five grandchildren. My grandmother had a tradition of cooking Sunday dinner for the entire family and I grew up doing that so when her health began to fail we ended up serving at my house and I lost my Mom and grandmother, but we’ve kept the tradition going.

How did Covid affect your work?

It changed the dynamics of our work. Newspapers had lots of cancellations all in advance. We responded really quickly to adjust with masks, safe distancing, PPE, etc. We noticed what we are printing is changing with lots of labels for industrial, chemical, food and beverage like craft beer labels. Our labels are getting more sophisticated with performing and a more pronounced look and feel.

What have you learned in your tenure?

Well, grocery stores were one of the first jobs and I was fascinated by the labeling and how certain things sold better than others and how the value of packaging, aesthetics and appearance have evolved to impact branding and target audiences.

What do you do in your downtime?

I am an avid reader and an attempted novelist with a passion for Southern fiction.

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.

Expand Your Craft Brewery Brand Awareness with a Story-Label™

The craft beer industry in the U.S. increased its footprint in 2019 to nearly $30B. According to the Brewers Association, craft beer captured 13.6% of the U.S. beer market by volume and grew by 4% in volume. Overall beer sales were slightly down (2%) but craft breweries sales went up 6% to $29.3B. Craft breweries own a 13.6% share of the $116B beer market that includes domestics and imports from the big breweries. The numbers are encouraging although we expect a drop due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, a 3.6% increase while the overall beer market dropped to -1.6% is a hopeful sign.

One of the biggest hurdles for any beer in today’s market is brand awareness and positioning. Standing out from the crowd has never been more important. While many consumers have a “go-to” beer there is a significant section of the market that is influenced by packaging, labels, graphics, color, and layout. Craft beer drinkers like to explore and experiment with various brewers. Telling your story has never been more important, but limited space on labeling has always been a challenge because you have to include certain things by law like contents, calories, nutritional info, etc., which takes up valuable label space.

Building a loyal following begins with consistency, taste, flavor, and appeal. But if a consumer has never tried your brew it’s hard to capture all of that on six-pack printing, or a beer label until now. Traditional beer labels typically are identified by their logo, a positioning statement, or tag line and color. Beyond that there just isn’t a lot of space to expand on your brand.

The all-new Story-Label™ is a marketing dream for craft breweries. You can double your print space and expand on your brand. Positioning your brand has never been more important and the Story-Label™ enables you to enhance your brand by telling your unique story while other beers settle for a logo and a few words. Imagine connecting with the consumer in a way like no other? If your brand has a unique story about its formation, name, family of origin, or mascot you can use a Story-Label™ to tell the story without worrying about space limitations.

You can feature a note from your Master Brewer to explain the brewing process, feature employees, or seasonal brews with detailed information. The sky is the limit on what you can do from a branding perspective.

These high-quality labels perform in cold and wet conditions. The flexographic labels ensure stunning colors and graphic details of your product stand out from the competition. Because the plates are made in-house the turn around time for these cutting-edge labels is fast whether you are running a few thousand or several hundred thousand. The ink used in the process is a proven water-based product that is environmentally friendly. This is a craft beer label like no other.

The Story-Label™ is a powerful customized brand marketing tool that allows you to provide engaging content for consumers and attract a bigger following for your product.

The label is like a door on hinges. You can “unhinge your brand™” and tell your story when the consumer opens it. Imagine gathering a loyal following of your labels being collected and posted in man-caves, garages, or collected like bottle caps, or cans. Your fall (Octoberfest, Harvest) or summer seasonal brew could be promoted in a way like never before. The possibilities are endless for creating engaging content driving your brand for consumers and building a loyal following.

We are a family-owned, local business that has carved out a niche in producing high quality, performing labels for CBD oils, craft beer, and neutraceuticals. Every craft brewery has a story to tell and we want to help you tell yours with a Story-Label™

Go to www.cpandp.com/story-label for more information.

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC
800.344.7509

Sustainable Packaging

New minimal impact, airtight custom glass component packaging is available. School House and Tata Harper partnered to create the brand’s iconic Supernaturals collection opening the door for the entire sustainable packaging market. The new packaging maintains product quality and, “compliments the air, elevated quality of the luxury product.” When it’s taken out of the box the light hitting the bottle creates a picture of the potent plants within and the ingredients contained within.

Other products like Radio Roaster’s new single-use Steeped Coffee Bags employs guilt-free, biodegradable packaging that is fully recyclable and environmentally friendly. The packaging has a six-month shelf life which is a bonus for hikers, travelers, campers, and diehard coffee drinkers to get their fix while on the road or at home.

Both products demonstrate the hunger and need for sustainable and recyclable products in today’s “green” obsessed market. Maintaining brand identity, logo, color, and quality is essential in providing sustainable packaging.

One of the first things to consider when thinking about a printing and packaging vendor is their experience with producing biodegradable and “green” friendly packaging. Asking hard questions about the ink used in the process is important. For example, water-based inks are environmentally friendly. Does your vendor provide water-based inks to ensure environmentally friendly resources? Is the packaging rated? Does it meet EPA standards for recyclable materials?

If you are considering a packaging design and solution that meets recyclable or biodegradable packaging it’s important that you protect the product within the container to ensure sustainability. Rigid plastics offer a strong alternative. 90+% of the U.S. has access to retail bag takeback initiatives, the primary outlet for recycling flexible plastics. But recycling rates for curbside rigid plastics are higher than for flexible plastics according to the EPA.

The majority of recycled content comes from rigid packaging. There are a variety of factors that enter into the end process such as PCR supply, manufacturing technology, government regulation, and customer specifications.

Plastic packaging is lightweight and in comparison to glass, or metal it weighs significantly less reducing costs. The sustainability of rigid v.s. flexible packaging is just too close to call. Both have advantages and drawbacks. This is why it’s important to have a printing and packaging vendor with experience in sustainability and recyclable packaging.

At Century Printing and Packaging we have been working with clients to provide creative and sustainable printing and packaging solutions for years. Eco-friendly papers for labels, water-based inks, and recycling solutions to protect and sustain the environment have been at the forefront of our products for several years. We welcome enviro-friendly packaging clients and are eager to help them seek sustainable solutions to their packaging and printing needs. We also have a commitment to environmentally responsible policies in our own facility, such as motion sensor lighting, replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED, and minimizing scrap to help reduce waste sent to the landfill.

At Century Printing and Packaging, we support and affirm environmentally friendly resources and products. We use water-based inks and have access to FSC certified papers and compostable films. We provide labels and print packaging for a variety of products and we are eager to explore compostable and recyclable product options with our clients. Contact us today to discuss your unique printing and packaging needs.

Ben Waldrop
President
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Century Printing & Packaging Team Members

Robyn Dewitz is originally from Eden, NY, but has resided in the Upstate of South Carolina for nearly 30 years. She is a Customer Service Representative for Century Printing and Packaging, where she has been employed for seven years. Her previous employment and experience are steeped in customer service. Robyn has a degree in Early Childhood Education and spent 25 years in the industry. She served as the director of a successful preschool and later as the CSR of a pet crematory. She is no stranger in relating to the public and customer service.

Robyn, what is your role at Century Printing and Packaging?

I’m a customer service representative and started mainly for newspaper clients and have expanded to non-newspaper clients for labels of different products. It’s been a great learning experience as I have learned to help in the plate room with orders and helping wherever I’m needed in the company.

What do you enjoy most about working at Century Printing and Packaging?

I enjoy my coworkers and how they appreciate each other as well as management. They let you know the in’s and out’s of the business while encouraging you in areas that are new to you. They are always available to explain things. I was very blessed when Ben Waldrop hired me, more or less on the spot from my interview and I’ve loved it ever since.

Tell us about your customers.

I have my favorites, of course, and some that can be challenging, but, since working here this long, you know what to expect from each customer. I know my job and what we need to do to provide great customer service. In the past year, due to Covid-19, everything has slowed down.

What kind of relationship do you have with your customers?

Beyond work, I am on Facebook with many of them and over the years have developed friendships. For example, there is one who lives in New York and just had her first grandchild and they were working remotely due to Covid-19 and due to some underlying conditions, she had to continue to work from home. I got together a care package of supplies she could not get and Century sent it to her along with some chocolates and a teddy bear. One client in Lowcountry knew we were expecting our first grandchild and she shared her experience and excitement with me. It’s really neat to see how these friendships develop from work and beyond.

What is one of the most critical things about your role at Century?

We have to work closely to make sure all the right information is obtained from clients and correct for the production department. I’m literally two feet from my boss in my cubicle so we work together to get things right with no delay. The graphics department is right behind me so if they are having trouble getting proof approval I can go back and forth with them without having to wait for days or weeks as some companies have to. We all work together to provide value and quality to our customers. I have to work with shipping and logistics to make sure the orders are fulfilled to meet or exceed expectations and on-time delivery. We are like a family, a team, when you lose one then something could fall through the cracks. But with us, we double-check each other and help wherever needed to stay on top of things.

What changes or trends have you noticed in the industry?

Newspaper coupons and labels aren’t as popular as they once were because everything is going digital. We deal with a diverse group of customers and products. Covid-19 has affected a lot of our customers and our output as a result of their slowdowns, but it is starting to pick back up.

Tell us about yourself

I’ve been married 31 years and we have two children and four grandchildren. We enjoy the outdoors, hiking, camping, gardening, and spending time with our grandchildren, three dogs, and two cats.

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.