I am originally from Illinois and moved to Indiana, but have lived in the Upstate for 30 years. Before coming on board with Century Printing and Packaging I worked for a distribution company for 22 years, but they phased out their operations in South Carolina and that’s when I ended up here.
Tell us about yourself
I am single and my father recently passed away, but my mother still lives close by. Dad had cancer and they gave him six months to live and he lived another six years. I have two brothers and one sister, one brother and my sister live close by. I like to run and I’m into mountain biking. I play a lot of basketball and they call me “old man”. I like camping and anything outdoors. I used to like trail running but those days are gone (laughter).
How long have you been at Century and describe your role?
I’ve been here eight years and I started out as a delivery guy. Then they moved me into the press room and now I’m up front in the office. I order all the materials like papers, laminates, substrates, boxes and much more to keep the warehouse going. I am part of the ISO team and perform the audits and corrective actions. I like doing the ISO certification and duties.
What’s the ISO certification process like from your perspective?
They can be pretty strict and I have a limited role in it. However, I get to learn what everyone here does when I do an inside audit. You learn their process and what they do so it makes you appreciate the entire operation. You get to see the big picture of our company and it opens your eyes. It’s just not that simple. When I was hired I didn’t know anything about printing and packaging. I was a warehouse supervisor for 22 years so I had no experience. I’ve learned a good bit through the years and feel like I have a good handle and understanding of what we do.
What do you think are the strengths of Century Printing and Packaging?
I would say teamwork. Ben and Neil will do anything and they won’t ask you to do anything they aren’t willing to do themselves. It makes you feel better because in some companies the owners don’t get their hands dirty and spend more time telling people what to do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Ben Waldrop take the trash out and simple acts like that just make you want to work harder. Both Ben and Neil reward hard work and I’ve been in companies where they don’t do that. It’s refreshing to see how they acknowledge the hard work I try to put into everything I do and others on the team.
How are the relationships with vendors in ordering materials?
They are pretty good, most of them are very honest with you and we’ve had problems with dates due to Covid and the supply/demand logistic issues. It’s not going to let up. We are still having to make a lot of changes to meet customer demands and expectations, but so far we have been able to do that without huge disruptions. So I work closely with production in terms of materials and the finishing department in terms of what we want to get out on a particular day.
You’ve been described as the “WD-40” guy at Century, so you are all over the place on any given day right?
I average about 16,000 steps per day between production, finishing, pre-production and the front office.
How do you think the company is viewed by vendors and customers?
Our vendors are very respective of what we do and circumstances even in times of material/shipping shortages or delays and Covid. Most of our vendors help us find alternative solutions to materials despite the global shortages. I’ve been over-ordering to compensate for the shortages and to get ahead of them for our customers. I’ve had to order for one of our customers and the materials are two weeks behind which puts production 6-8 weeks out. We’ve had several ship materials that are close to what they normally would get and we have to make sure those materials will work and we contact every customer to make sure they are okay with a substitution material that requires their approval before we go to production.
Given the extreme shortages and delays in manufacturing this year how have you dealt with suppliers and customers?
I got to Ben and Neil and we try to find an alternative supplier and material. If we can’t get what they want under normal conditions we tell them up front and we are honest about delays in material, or shipping. However, I have to say we’ve been really fortunate to find alternatives for our customers that work on the finished product. We’ve made the majority of our deadlines despite the global delays in product, shipping and logistic delays.
How do you deal with these challenges?
We had one customer where we couldn’t get their specific printed surface/material. The label wouldn’t stick to the box and we made it good with them. I was able to order a different material that sticks like glue and it’s working. We go out of our way to make it good for our customers.
Tim, describe the culture and dynamics of Century Printing and Packaging
When I first started the turnover was higher and we have made so many strides. They have invested in racks, shelving and turnover is no longer an issue. We have a team in place that is experienced and morale is good. We have a strong team in place. These guys reward hard work and they take notice of it compared to a lot of small companies that don’t reward or acknowledge extra effort. And with me personally, they have done that! I’ve had three major jobs in my whole life and these guys get it and take care of me and the rest of the team.
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.
Century Printing and Packaging, Inc.
Greer, SC 29651