Welcoming Inland Neenah
July 28, 2016
Back in April Inland had the pleasure of acquiring our newest facility now located in Neenah, Wisconsin. For those of you counting, that’s two acquisitions in just seven months. Needless to say, we’ve been busy around here! Now that the dust has settled a bit, we thought we would catch up with Jeff Smith, Plant Manager at the Inland Neenah facility, to share more about their history and the latest addition to the Inland family.
Tell me a little bit about how this facility got started.
Lori and I were working for a company that was a traditional offset printer. At the time we had helped them add flexographic printing into their fold through the purchase of a Mark Andy press running primarily pressure sensitive labels. We started seeing a lot of the business leaving to go to roll-fed film labels – something the company was not interested in pursuing at that time. Through some research of the future flexographic market, we saw huge potential in film and flexible packaging. We decided to leave the company and on May 1, 2000 formed what was Valley Label Co. We started with no customers. We only had a plan for printing and a burning desire to build a business centered on quality and service. We purchased one of the first Mark Andy combination film presses and began pursuing business to grow from there.
What is your main product focus?
With our primary focus printing on film substrates, flexible packaging and shrink labels became natural extensions to our roll-fed film offerings. We also worked with Avery in developing their original flexible packaging webs starting in 2001. The main products at Inland Neenah are now flexible packaging, shrink sleeves, roll-fed shrink labels and roll-fed film labels.
How does your capabilities, and the Inland Neenah facility, stand out in the marketplace?
I believe our facility stands out because of our service. We have been told a number of times from customers all across the U.S. what a pleasure it is to work with us. They mention our work ethic and Midwestern values, which is an element that was a perfect match with Inland’s culture. Presses can often be similar from printer to printer, but we excel at being a supplier who cares about the quality of our customers’ products and the service we provide to them.
Tell me a little bit about the people who work here.
We currently have 35 employees, but are growing rapidly since the acquisition with Inland. Historically we’ve run on the lean side, with a staff who will do whatever it takes to meet customer expectations. We truly believe our people are what makes us who we are. They are dedicated, hard-working people – a number of which who have been with us for 10 years and a few for 15 years plus.
What do you, and what do you think your employees, like about working here?
The two main things would be our flexibility in working with our employees and the fact that they know we care about them as individuals. We value family and try to work with each employee when situations occur. Because our team is so well respected, I think it reflects in the quality of work they provide to our customers.
Now that you’ve integrated with Inland, what are you most looking forward to?
We’re looking forward to continued growth and the opportunities that it will create for our current and future employees. We’re confident that Inland will be able to generate the growth much faster than we would have been able to do before. In fact, we’re already seeing some of the potential our facility has and it’s very exciting for everyone.
Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your time and insight. We look forward to continued success at the Inland Neenah facility! For more information on our Neenah acquisition, see the press release.