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

Community Investment: Worth Every Penny

You can do business with companies all around the world, but if you ignore your home base you risk alienating key constituencies. Investing in the local community is not only wise but needful in these days of global technology. If a local company is unwilling to address the needs and concerns of the local economy they may want to reconsider doing business in the area.

Let’s face it, many of our customers are outside of our community or our state. However, we take great pride in our community and state as a production resource providing tangible results and value for various clients located within the Palmetto State. Our goal is customer satisfaction and adding value to their product portfolio. But our second goal is to add respect, knowledge of, and appreciation for our state and region in regards to the products we and other local companies produce for clients. South Carolinians take tremendous pride in their production efforts both within and outside the state borders.

Our company invests and serves our local community and state with great respect and regard. Being involved in the community is a natural byproduct of being locally owned. Decisions affecting our team and business are made here instead of a glass conference room in a private equity firm in Ohio, Texas, or Colorado. We choose the local organizations and causes we support as a company as well as national efforts.

One example of a statewide effort that was part of a national campaign among craft brewers was our donation through materials and production time to the “Black is Beautiful” labels for Freehouse Brewery in Charleston, SC. 100% of the proceeds from the national beer sales went to local organizations promoting racial justice and equality for people of color.

At the beginning of the Covid19 run on antiseptics, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer we filled emergency orders for labels on similar products while enacting strict protocols to protect our team and community at large from the spread of Covid19.

We serve local boards and agencies as volunteers, board, and committee members. One of those is the steering committee of the Greater Upstate Manufacturing Sector Partnership. This locally-based manufacturing partnership seeks to help each other grow while serving the greater community as a whole through a variety of initiatives and opportunities. Private-public sectors are a powerful force in finding solutions for community problems and needs.

In 2019 Century Printing and Packaging was named small business of the year by the Greer Chamber of Commerce. It was a monumental success by two brothers who began their business in a refurbished industrial bathroom. Ben and Neil Waldrop continue to seek ways to grow their business and give back to the community along the way. In 2021, Ben will serve as the Chair of the Greer Chamber of Commerce affirming Century’s commitment to its home town, partners, and neighbors. Neil has served as the President of the Greer Cultural Arts Center.

“Giving back and helping others is the heart of a locally owned business.”

This is why we participate and partner with various community agencies within our community to ensure a strong local economy and area investment. At Century Printing and Packaging we are committed to discovering new ways of supporting our community through our printing and packaging expertise. We don’t need to list all of our community involvement, instead, we would like that work and product to speak for itself. Our goal is not to pat ourselves on the back, but instead to help our community thrive in its greatest areas of need. We are proud to partner with various community organizations in an effort to improve the quality of life and standard of living in our community and challenge fellow business owners to do the same. Most importantly, we are grateful to a committed team who help support these causes and efforts.

Ben Waldrop
Century Printing & Packaging
Greer, SC 29651

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

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