The rapid evolution of printing technology exerts enormous pressure on printers and converters to remain up-to-date on changes in supplies, materials and more. Because this timely knowledge is business-critical, Anderson & Vreeland focuses on providing advisory and consultative services for the wide range of flexographic consumables and accessory equipment it distributes.

“Our manufacturers are constantly introducing new products, so we ensure that people know about the products and understand the value they deliver,” explains Eastern Regional Sales Manager Peter Spain. “Our clients need to focus on running their businesses productively. Based on our knowledge of each client’s needs, we do the research to know what products are available and which will add value for our clients’ businesses. Then, when a client buys a product, we employ our own resources or those of the manufacturers to help them use it as effectively as possible.”

Ranked among the top-10 independent forms manufacturers in the United States in sales volume, Wise Business Forms manufactures traditional forms and digital print-related products and services for resale only. The company’s core business is mainly geared toward building relationships with independent business forms distributors, and it tailors its offerings to meet their unique needs.

Founded in 1969, Wise has regional production facilities located in Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. This footprint allows the company to serve the eastern half of the country. The company is among the leaders in short- to medium-run custom forms, and its breadth and depth of solutions within that market niche help the company personalize the customer experience so it can meet and exceed customer requirements.

When brands like Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s or Unilever need a reliable source of packaging, they turn to MeadWestvaco (MWV) Corp. “We serve directly some of the largest brand owners in the world,” Executive Vice President of Global Operations Robert Feeser says. 

Based in Richmond, Va., MWV is a packaging firm that serves the food, beverage, tobacco, beauty and personal care, healthcare, and home and garden markets. Along with brands, “In some cases, we are also selling to converting partners who produce and sell finished packaging to those consumer packaged goods [CPGs] companies,” Feeser says.

MWV was formed in 2002 from the merger of The Mead Corp. and Westvaco. Today, “We’re either No. 1 or No. 2 in terms of overall position in the segments we participate in around packaging,” he says.

Lofton Label Inc. provides high-end, customized printing of pressure-sensitive product labels, insert booklets, dry-release coupons and films to a wide variety of companies and market segments. An ISO 2008-compliant company, Lofton Label supplies full digital and flexographic printing technology that meets industry standards for eco-friendly printing. Founded in 1981, the company operates state-of-the-art digital and flexographic presses from its 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.

The company “grew with its customer base, as a lot of converters did in the 1980s,” CEO Mike Lane says. But although the company had grown, it was increasingly challenged by a competitive industry and had reached a standstill by 2010. That is when Lane joined the team.

Lane worked 27 years for agricultural giant Cargill. “I came from the commodity business; I wasn’t a label guy,” Lane states. “Cargill is one of the largest private companies in the world, a far cry from Lofton’s business model.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, Graphic Packaging International is a global producer of paperboard and packaging solutions. The company’s 2014 sales were $4.2 billion, and it has approximately 12,500 employees worldwide with operations in 15 countries.  

“We have a long and proud history, with various mergers and acquisitions resulting in our current structure,” says Mike Farrell, vice president of the recycled mill division at Graphic Packaging International. 

In this era of personal electronics, all that flash mobs require for an invitation to appear in public is a tweet. But getting people to commit to attending a special occasion such as a wedding, bar mitzvah, charity ball or corporate event requires more creativity, which Checkerboard Ltd. has been providing since 1989.

“Over the years, invitations and announcements have been our specialty, and if a company is having a big event that is important that they want to get people to, they use us,” Checkerboard Ltd. President Micah Chase says. “If you want to make a hell of an impression and get people to an event, we offer hundreds of clever and compelling options for getting their attention. Our job is really inviting people with ‘oomph’ and making an impression on them.

Cenveo’s ability to provide a wide range of packaging and printing capabilities makes it a go-to partner for companies in a variety of industries. 

“We have a robust platform of capabilities that allow us to be a pioneering print packaging provider to our customers,” says Emily Allen, director of marketing and sales for the Stamford, Conn.-based company’s packaging division. “Several of our customers used to contract with multiple manufacturing partners to do what we can consolidate and handle in a turnkey fashion.” To support this model, Cenveo recently invested in CRM tools which allow it to take a systematic approach to proven sales growth best practices, as well as enterprise software that streamlines and creates standard business processes such as pre-press, inventory, invoicing, pricing and other critical communication and reporting functions.

Every business has its busy season. For Gil Studios Inc., that time rolls around every two to four  years. But regardless of which candidates win their elections, Gill Studios Inc. can look forward to a landslide.

“Our biggest rush isn’t around Christmas – it’s really around the political elections, the primaries and then the general elections,” Director of Marketing Carl Gerlach reveals. “In a political year – which would be an even-numbered year – the two or three months prior to the November general election are busy for us. Then the primary season – primaries vary across the country, but a lot of them are in April. So the month or two prior to that April may be our busiest.”

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