2020 Was Quite a Challenge for Small Business

2020 was a year unlike any other in terms of the Covid19 pandemic and its impact on the global and U.S. economy in particular. Many small businesses did not survive in the hospitality and service industries. Others struggled with logistic and shipping issues and a lack of manufacturing part sourcing. Small businesses that survived and even succeeded despite these challenges owe much of it to innovation, technology, collaboration and creativity.

These businesses were able to make critical decisions on the fly while also relying on intentional planning and marketing. Vaccines are going in arms and pharmaceutical companies are ramping up production to fulfill the global demand and the outlook for 2021 is hopeful.

One of the most important aspects of economic survival in the small business production and manufacturing sector is the ability to navigate choppy waters and be nimble. Nimble in the sense that leadership, production and sales can work together to overcome incredible obstacles and turn on a dime. An aircraft carrier cannot be turned quickly, it must make many tiny corrections and because of its size is limited in its ability to turn in a timely fashion. However, a tugboat can turn quickly and adapt to its environment because it does not carry the same weight as an aircraft carrier. A tugboat is lighter, more flexible and nimble.

Successful small businesses that survived and even thrived during 2020 understood the tugboat concept. They took care of their tenured customer base while creatively seeking new customers and alliances for their products. They made a commitment to survive through innovation. Every business in America was challenged by the pandemic and many are still trying to climb back to pre-pandemic production and sales levels.

It was a very tough year, but Century Printing and Packaging finished strong thanks to many of these principles, the commitment of our team and our faithful customers. This year we produced 249M labels for our customers both established and new. We worked hard to bring innovation and collaboration to the forefront in seeking solutions for our customers. We had zero layoffs and were able to pay performance bonuses every quarter! We were able to serve over 120 new customers while 86 tenured customers have used our printing and packaging services for over 10 years.

We continue to remain humble and grateful for our established and new customers. We worked hard to make sure we had the resources to provide our customers with products that met or exceeded their expectations on time. Our team does not take success lightly and we know that it is only because of our “heroes,” our customers.

As we enter a new year we are already seeking ways to improve quality, production, customer satisfaction and delivery. We will continue to seek partnerships with innovative companies and meet their printing and packaging needs with creativity and collaborative solutions. We are grateful for a committed team producing some of the best products we have ever produced.

Our goal in 2021 is the same, to provide our customers with a high value, high-quality product at a competitive price in a timely manner.

Too often in business companies take a bow without giving credit to the source of their success, their customers. We want to thank all of our customers for the confidence and trust they place in us to produce exactly what they need when they need it!

We are hopeful that many of our friends, neighbors and fellow small business owners will experience an incredible 2021 as we boldly face the challenges of our times in each of our sectors.

At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing labels that stick, but have great eye appeal and consistently tell your brand story. We don’t mind tackling a challenging problem if it means we can help you produce something that is more appealing and a higher quality. We have produced labels and packaging for over 23 years, so trust us to work with you like a partner instead of a job number.

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

Printing & Innovative, Technology-Driven Products

Printing technology continues to advance and deliver innovative technical-driven products that were previously unthinkable because of old technologies. Unique partnerships with cutting-edge companies producing industry revolutionary products are no longer the exception for printing and packaging companies that invest and master the printing advancements available for their customers. Having the technology or capability is only the beginning. To become an industry leader blazing the trails of innovation and creativity you have to have experienced personnel who can harness and apply the technology with confidence. Printing and packaging companies that are ahead of the curve have been able to deliver finished products that meet or exceed their leading-edge customers.

BitRip is an example of such a simple finished product loaded with complex algorithms, codes, and an app designed to provide solutions for on-site project management organization and information. BitRip is a “scannable tape that embeds digital messages in physical locations allowing workers to communicate across space and time.” The possibilities for this technologically advanced tape on project and construction sites are endless. However, the tape which will not only simplify but also revolutionize and streamline project sites will find countless applications across industry lines as word spreads about it.

How does it work? Someone on a job site rips a piece of the tape and applies it to a pipe, beam, framework, wall stud, or just about any place that needs to be addressed, changed, finished, or fixed. After placing the tape in the desired location detailed information can be uploaded so it is available for everyone related to it. The information such as a punch list, special instructions, videos, images, links, and even spreadsheets can be embedded in the tape so the next worker or subcontractor can simply scan it and know what needs to be done at that location via the app. The worker or engineer can then input information about the status, repair, or for someone to sign off on the work, or make changes. BitRip is an inexpensive, simple, cost-saving solution for job sites. It provides clear communication and saves valuable time.

BitRip needed a printing and packaging partner that could run their algorithm for the embed code that would also stand up to job site scratches, tears, and smudges. Yes, the tape can still be read even if this happens. Production would require the merger of multiple technologies to ensure such a high performing product. BitRip partnered with Century Printing and Packaging Inc., in Greer, South Carolina to produce the tape that comes in multiple colors, yet another important production consideration.

Century is no stranger to cutting-edge technology within the industry having delivered similar innovative products with craft beer labels, CBD oils, and many flexible packaging products. They produced the perforated tape using their Marc Andy Digital One Press. The algorithm presented a complex, technical challenge because it had to be integrated into the digital press to produce the precise embed code. To learn more about BitRip go to https://www.bitrip.com/

At Century Printing & Packaging we strive to deliver printing and packaging results that exceed expectations, perform under a variety of conditions, and utilize cutting-edge technology to provide our customers’ value. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs.

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

Ready to Deliver Your Last Minute Packaging & Printing Needs

The drive to be noticed has never been greater for brand owners in a retail display or point of sale environment. It’s Christmas in the retail world and everyone is concerned about their display in their retailer distribution points. How does your product stand out against the competition?

If you are hesitant with your answer then you’ve already been beaten in the printing and packaging world. We understand the need to get the message across asap so holiday shoppers will gravitate towards your product whether it’s online or on a shelf.

We’ve been printing and packaging for holiday shipping and point of sale for 23 years. We understand the urgency and need to get product fulfillment delivered. If your packaging requires special attention we have the experience and expertise to meet those needs and deliver your product on time.

Packaging for the holidays is critical and those of us in the printing and packaging industry not only understand the deadlines and urgency but the demand for quality and shelf appeal as well. Having a great product is the first step, but if it’s not accompanied by appealing packaging and printing at the point of sale it will only get lost in the competition.

Quick turnaround in the printing and packaging industry can appear to run at a sloth-like pace because there are so many steps involved before the product gets to the point of sale. We understand the “look and feel” of printing and packaging. We know that artwork and graphic design are as important as what is inside the packaging.

At Century Printing and Packaging we understand and respond to last-minute or late holiday printing and packaging needs and requests. We are poised to deliver under the most extreme deadlines and terms. Whether it’s digital printing, digital press, or flexo we have the team ready to help you get your holiday orders done in a high-quality fashion.

We are a seasoned company in producing flex film, metalized, roll stock, and sealed packaging for our clients. Even if your normal vendor is unavailable due to high demand or Covid-19 we are here to help. Give us a call and let’ discuss your artwork, and order demands today. Whether it’s CBD labels, Craft Beer Labels, flexo packaging needs, or whatever you need we are available. Contact us today.

At Century Printing & Packaging our flexible packaging printing and labels not only stand out but stand up to the environmental performance conditions required of them. Our goal is to produce high performing labels and flexible packaging that stick, attract, and perform. We are experienced in beer, craft beer, CBD, nutraceuticals, food-grade film, flexible packaging, and much more. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs.

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Environmental Commitments in Printing & Packaging

More and more brand owners are taking into consideration the environmental impact of their packaging. It’s not just the “green” thing to do so their brand plays to the market. Many have made commitments to their customers, employees, and stockholders that they will make target dates to reduce their carbon footprint. For many the changes, they need to make will require significant sacrifices in their budget, but they remain committed to practicing conservation and eco-friendly methods and operations.

Not only do supplies and materials need to be upgraded to accommodate enviro healthy packaging and printing, but you need to make sure your printing and packaging vendor can provide environmentally friendly ink coatings, and materials. Imagine buying a plant-based sandwich from a fast food restaurant only to discover they cooked it on the same grill used for beef and chicken? You wouldn’t be very happy about it after making a commitment to reduce your carbon footprint. The same is true for businesses making an effort to intentionally change to greener approaches. So it’s better than ok to ask your providers and vendors what they use in relation to your product.

Many companies are going to biodegradable packaging for certain products. Others are eliminating glass and plastic, or they are using more recyclable materials in their manufacturing process than ever before including friendly packaging labels.

Many manufacturers are using environmental assessments which include carbon footprint and waste calculators to get an idea of how they are helping or contributing to the problem. Other firms are taking a long look at their logistics in terms of delivery, or service vehicles to make sure they are making the most of their time on the road and eliminating needless trips.

Companies around the globe are making significant changes to improve their footprint and many are sharing their “secret sauce” so everyone can do their part. One example from the January PackagingStrategies.com featured a story of how Colgate is in the process of producing recyclable toothpaste tubes and sharing the technology with their competitors in hopes of a concerted effort to save on waste. Previously toothpaste tubes could not be recycled.

Manufacturers are also exploring rigid packaging solutions in their effort to reduce plastic waste and increase sustainability. Rigid plastic packaging has an 18% rate for recycling compared to 13% for flexible plastic according to the EPA. However, many products simply can’t employ rigid packaging because of the nature of the product. Those companies are still exploring ways to increase sustainability and minimize environmental damage such as biodegradable packaging.

At Century Printing & Packaging we have been printing and packaging sustainable and recyclable products in increasing measure. We continue to seek ways within our industry and company to increase sustainability, conserve and treat the environment with respect. We are continually exploring opportunities to help our customers reduce their footprint. We don’t do “one size fits all” printing and packaging. Every customer is treated personally and our work is customized for their desired outcomes. Contact us if you want a partner in your effort to yes, go green!

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Coronavirus & Printing Labels

Our smartphones, tablets, TV’s, social media and the Internet are rolling out more stories and rumors about the coronavirus than we can absorb. At the epicenter in China, the virus has had a big impact on the label printing industry. Writing for LabelsandLabeling.com Yolanda Wang notes:

The outbreak of coronavirus pneumonia has hit China hard and is now spreading around the world. What are the implications for China’s label printing industry?

Firstly, before any company can resume work they have to demonstrate they have made preparations to prevent the spread of the epidemic. This includes providing face masks, disinfectant, sanitizer, and thermo-detectors. A serious shortage of face masks has led the price to triple in just a few weeks. All this adds to label converters’ production costs.

The second issue concerns employees. Most workers do not live locally and are heavily affected by restrictions on public transport. One label converter, Dongguan Sunway, has dispatched company buses to pick up employees directly from their homes. Even if staff do get to work, they may then face a 14-day quarantine period.

Xinxiang Honglian Printing, located in Henan province, resumed work on February 10. ‘Today, only employees with a normal body temperature, living in a place without a virus outbreak, and without travel history and contact with Hubei people, are allowed to enter our workshop,’ says Huang Changjun, general manager of Honglian. ‘This means our current production is only half what it was before the virus outbreak.’

We live in a global economy and China supplies millions of diverse goods, services, and products that were previously supplied in the States by American companies. Among them, labels and packaging. It’s understandable when you are running thousands of labels and packaging that you might seek price as the deciding factor. However, when a global pandemic disrupts supply chains, shipping, and production, companies need to make decisions that protect their bottom line and produce results on time.

American label printing and packaging companies are largely local and family-owned. They contribute to the local community’s tax base through employment and the manufacturer and sales of goods. They offer competitive pricing and produce high-performing, quality work. And they have a quick turnaround time on production and shipping in the U.S. In-country supply chain management and impeccable quality is what you will get when you use a U.S. printing and packaging company.

Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipe producers could be in a bind as the virus continues to spread globally and in the U.S. Clear labels on products containing alcohol and other natural disinfectants need to withstand repeated usage without running, staining, or peeling. American label printing and packaging companies know how to get this done fast, within budget and with on-time shipping to the point of sale, or the distribution center.

At Century Printing and Packaging we recently had an “emergency order” for these products and were able to move fast and fulfill the order with one-day shipping. We specialize in label printing with the highest quality and standards. It’s why so many of our clients are return customers. We work with our customers seeking solutions that stick! Contact us today to ensure your product labels are done right and shipped on time!

Ben Waldrop, President
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651
800.344.7509

Images: KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS Anna Earl on Unsplash