Mike Martin has been the V.P of Sales at Century Printing and Packaging for five years. He has spent the bulk of his career working in packaging sales, including custom-printed film. He joined the Century team to help expand the film presence.
Mike, tell us about your background?
I’m a Greenville native and graduate of J.L. Mann High School. I completed my undergraduate degree in accounting and finance at the University of South Carolina. I have a wife and one son, who’s 15, and a large extended family.
How did you end up at Century Printing and Packaging?
Years ago I started in the industry with a great company that was a broad line packaging distributor. At that time I had a relationship with Century Printing, with them serving as a vendor in their start-up years. I moved on to work for a film printing company based in Mexico, and there gained some depth in the rollstock film market. Later, we moved to France for a few years with my wife’s work and when I returned, my plan was to scale back up with the Mexican plant. At that time I had the good fortune to run into Don Waldrop of Century Printing and Packaging, we had had a great relationship. I learned CPP had grown up to have four presses (now five) and was interested in expanding its presence in the film market. Things fell into place from there!
What do you do at Century?
I focus on sales, marketing, and customer relations. I target prospects that would be a good fit for our capabilities, manage the process of bringing on new items we print, then manage the ongoing customer relationships. I’ve built a nice base of customers, some of whom were very small accounts when they started. As these customers have grown we’ve been fortunate to do more business with them, and it’s fairly common for our customers to refer us to companies they do business with.
How is the work?
It’s a relationship business. We make a product that’s needed and provide guidance on materials that are appropriate, but in the end, people at other businesses build confidence in the team at CPP. They rely on us as a small, but critical piece of their supply chain. Our markets are diversified, ranging from food, beverage, chemical, healthcare, newspaper, etc. In the end, our customers rely on us for something to complete their products so that they can ship to their customers. It’s a trust we take seriously!
What is involved in your role?
There is a lot of travel with trade shows, visiting prospects, customers, and vendors. When it’s time to onboard a new customer, I bring in graphics, materials, and scheduling staff to make things happen. We have a robust system with checks and balances to ensure that what is supposed to happen, does happen, in the time expected.
The process goes amazingly smooth and quick. We typically offer pricing within 24 hours once we nail down all the variables needed to define the application. We issue art proofs within 24 hours of receiving art files. That’s a quick turnaround in the industry, it’s a competitive advantage, and it’s due to proprietary IT and process flow systems we’ve developed over the years, and equally to our team of dedicated staff.
Mike, what do you enjoy about working at Century Printing and Packaging?
I love the attitude that our customers, no matter their size, are basically people who depend on us so that they can sell and deliver their products. Even our smallest of customers are treated with the respect that they cannot ship their products until the label is right and in their hands. I also enjoy the diversity of industries we serve, and when we are helping a start-up company as they address all sorts of issues faced with new and growing businesses.
Over time the business relationships become more rewarding on a personal level. The motivation becomes less that we need to sell our product and service, and more that we need to help our customers complete their supply chain.
Tell us about yourself and what you do when you are off the clock
I’m married and have one son. We have a cabin at a nearby mountain lake and we love spending time there. We enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, and a little pickleball. Spending time with our family and friends, finding day-trip adventures, meeting new people, and providing service to others…that sums it up!
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.