- October 30, 2009, By Claudia Hine, Managing Editor
The Tag & Label Mfrs. Inst., Gloucester, MA, held its 2009 Annual Meeting October 18–21 at the Westin Kierland Resort (www.kierlandresort.com) in Scottsdale, AZ. More than 350 attendees were attracted to the conference theme, “From Crisis to Confidence: Capturing Opportunities Out of Volatility.” According to meeting chair John Wurzburger, VP/GM of Avery Dennison, Fasson Roll North America (www.averydennison.com), “For many of us, the past year has been a challenging one; however, history has repeatedly shown us that in the throes of economic chaos, those companies that persevere often emerge as stronger, smarter, and more effective organizations.
Kicking off the presentations was Dr. Barry Asmus (www.barryasums.com), senior economist for the National Center for Policy Analysis (www.ncpa.org). It’s not surprising that he impressed many in the audience; he was named by USA Today (www.usatoday.com) as one of the five most requested speakers in the US. Attendees found his remarks on economic policy to be direct, engaging, and humorous. He does not see sustainability as a lasting trend, so he recommends businesses become involved in sustainability efforts only if it’s a good business decision for their companies. That advice did not sit well with many TLMI members who see sustainability efforts as important to the well-being of our planet.
Keynote speaker Tim Sanders (www.timsanders.com), past chief solutions officer at Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), is the author of Saving the World at Work: What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference (www.savingtheworld.net). Sanders recommends that businesses be generous with their employees, suppliers, and communities. This can be accomplished by such things as sending employees to wellness training, networking to introduce people to each other, and creating a community of goodwill without expecting anything. He says businesses should be aggressive in marketing because it costs less in down times. Don’t be outspent by competitors. Finally he suggested harnessing a futuristic trend; the one he advises is sustainability. “Your clients want to go green,” he says. “Make waste a moral issue.”
Cheryl Caudill, Multi-Color Corp. (www.multicolorcorp.com), moderated a panel that tackled industry trends. In a nod to hockey great Wayne Gretzky (www.gretzky.com), this session was entitled “Go Where the Puck Is: Are You in Control of Your Destiny?”
Robert Crooker Jr., senior VP and head of product strategy for Heidelberger (www.heidelberg.com) in Germany, said that although print is not growing at the same rate as GDP, web-to-print applications will improve productivity. It’s important to have the people, processes, and technology in place for this trend. This means attracting, developing, and retaining the right employees and having compatible equipment.
Joe Morgan, president and CEO of Standard Register (www.standardregister.com), explained the five points of change that were used to reinvent his company. They include organizational transformation, go-to-market transformation, relentless pursuit of cost reduction, intense governance for ROI, and measurement of progress and success. He recommends aligning with innovative partners to meet customers’ future needs and to protect eroding margins. Use of supply chain partners is an alternative to a “make only” approach.
Kevin Lanigan, VP of sales and marketing for Phototype (www.phototype.com), discussed how his company, which used to make engraved plates for halftones, is now a package design firm for brand owners. Private labels are outpacing branded products, he says, and by 2020, a huge segment of our population will be financially challenged. Now the big brands are trying to come up with value-branded products and looking for ways to drive costs out of their businesses. In an all-digital, on-demand world, the designer will be the first and last step before printing. Consider “Rules-Based Packaging,” in which designs have templated areas so brand owners can make changes that automatically flow into artwork.
The final presentation, “The Art of Leadership,” was made by artist/consultant Eric Wahl, The Wahl Group (www.theartofvision.com). Wahl’s message was all about harnessing natural creativity and innovation. He suggests using this period of economic softness to go on the offensive to gain market share while competitors are on the defensive. On a stage set with canvases on three easels, he created portraits of Bruce Springsteen (www.brucespringsteen.net), Tiger Woods (www.tigerwoods.com), and Abraham Lincoln (www.alplm.org) in the time it took to play three songs/videos. Being creative, he says, is a learned, practical, disciplined skill. Learn to see obstacles in a different way. Try becoming an apprentice at the feet of your children.
TLMI reports its sustainability program, Label Initiative for the Environment (L.I.F.E.), has certified the following companies:
Grand Rapid Label Co. (www.grlabel.com)
ID Images LLC (www.idimages.com)
Mitsubishi Polyester Film Inc. (www.m-petfilm.com)
Multi-Color Corp. (www.multicolorcorp.com)
Smyth Companies (www.smythco.com)
The Channeled Resources Group (www.channeledresources.com)
UPM Raflatac (www.upmraflatac.com)
This annual meeting was not all about work. TLMI members has ample opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Arizona weather with a golf tournament, hummer tour, tennis tournament, sports clay shooting, and an awards banquet.
In the association’s annual competition, 32 companies were honored with 56 awards, including first and second places and Best of Show. Logmatix (www.logmatix.com), Marietta, GA, earned the distinction of being Best of Show with its Red Rain energy drinks decal for use inside drink cooler doors. Phil Angevine, Logmatix president, says, “We are very proud of these awards. We share the credit for the awards and the high quality of our products with our clients, who make each job we undertake a truly interactive, collaborative process.”
For more information on the winning entries, see PFFC’s November issue.
Dave McDowell, chairman of McDowell Label and Screen (www.mcdowelllabel.com), was honored as Converter of the Year for his extensive contribution to the North American narrow web marketplace and his unwavering commitment to TLMI. McDowell founded his company in 1981 after spending a decade learning the industry working for Avery Label (www.avery.com).
Gary Smith, RotoMetrics (www.rotometrics.com), is named Supplier of the Year, honoring his ongoing volunteer service and dedication to TLMI and to the industry as a whole by helping to promote and foster its growth. Smith also began his career at Avery Label. He joined RotoMetrics as national sales manager in 1990 and later was promoted to VP of sales, directing sales and marketing efforts domestically and in key international markets.
Environmental Leadership Awards were presented to Spear Systems (www.spearsystems.com) and 3M (www.3m.com). These awards recognize companies that have consistently demonstrated a commitment to progressive environmental practices across a range of areas including solid waste reduction, recycling, waste or energy recovery, the implementation of new ‘clean’ technology and/or processes, and the implementation of an education program. 3M was recognized for Technical Innovation and Spear won the award for Best Practices in Environmental Leadership.
Calvin Frost, CEO of Channeled Resources Group (www.channeledresources.com), chairs the TLMI Environmental Committee. He says, “This is our seventh year in presenting these awards and recognizing leaders of environmental awareness in our industry. Without a doubt, this activity supports the TLMI’s position on sustainability. We have begun and will continue to change the culture of our industry, and this year’s winners should be proud. Fifteen companies submitted entries and from this group of prestigious suppliers, two were chosen.”
Of course, it’s never really a party until the tequila starts to flow, and in recognition of Karen “K2” Plantz, who is retiring from TLMI, attendees had an opportunity to toast her years of service with tequila shots. TLMI presented K2 with a set of custom golf clubs to send her off in style.
Future Meetings on Tap
Upcoming TLMI events include the 2010 Converter Meeting, March 7–10, at the Hyatt Grand Champions, Indian Wells, CA, and the 2010 Annual Meeting, October 17–20, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida.