Welcoming Inland Pennsylvania
October 27, 2015
As you’ve probably heard by now, Inland has recently expanded their footprint into the East Coast with an acquisition in Pennsylvania. To welcome our newest team members (Inland Pennsylvania) we thought we’d sit down with their General Manager, Steve Dudley, and get a taste of what they’re all about.
Inland: Tell me a little bit about how this facility got started.
Steve: We got our start back in 1996 with one press – a FA 2400 Nilpeter. We were without a single customer or dollar in sales. We basically started up with a gut feeling and stood behind the idea of “if you build it, they will come.” After a couple of months we had our first order – some direct mail piggyback labels. After a year we had made enough to install a 2nd press and introduced our own art and prepress department. Soon enough we were moving out of our 4,800 square foot building into a 36,000 square foot facility and adding two more presses. The rest was history.
Inland: What is your main product focus?
Steve: As I mentioned earlier we first got our start in direct mail and coupon-like labels. To be completely honest, it was more of what was in demand at the moment versus what we wanted to sell. Once we got our feet wet and started figuring out what fit our processes best, we began shifting from paper labels to film labels. From there we found ourselves growing in the segments we still play a part in today – including food, beverage and consumer products. After we found our niche in these market we were able to invest in new equipment and technologies like UV flexo and rotary screens, which in turn led us down the road to more specialty label work.
Inland: How does your capabilities, and facility as a whole, stand out in the marketplace?
Steve: For the longest time our industry was all about competing in price, quality and service. While I still believe that is true, finding these in a provider is not as rare as it used to be. I think what makes us so unique is the ability to consistently provide these core values above and beyond. Our customers tell us that it is honestly hard for them to leave us, because of the value we provide to them when it is needed most. Whether that’s hitting quality standards, creating an environment of trust and reliability or looking at ways to help take cost out of the overall equation – they know that if it’s a good fit for us, we’ll find a way to make it happen.
Inland: Tell me a little bit about the people who work here.
Steve: This is going to date me a bit, but I’ve been working with about 70% of the people at our PA facility since the early 80s. To say we understand each other is an understatement. We’re practically family. Even those who are newer to joining us have found their way into the mix by learning from those who have upwards of 40 years of experience in the printing industry, while bringing their own set of sharp skills to the table. As a team we’ve seen our fair share of change within the industry and even within our own facility. Now that we’ve been acquired by Inland I have no doubt that this group of people will continue to amaze the company with their ability to adapt and thrive as a team.
Inland: What do you, and what do you think your employees, like about working here?
Steve: What I like most is the challenge. Since the day I started this business I was all about pushing our equipment to the limits. Not in terms of physical capability, although we’ve had that too. More so surrounding ourselves with complex work and breaking down the barriers to label solutions. I would say it is something that has penetrated the facility as a whole. Our team understands the importance of label engineering and finding the right solution for our customers. As a team we welcome feedback on the labels we create and I think everyone appreciates the ability to be more creatively involved in the process than I think other label providers can attest to. While we’ve historically been a small shop in a big pond, we’ve pushed each other to be more educated and more efficient than just the typical “small guy”.
Inland: Now that you have joined Inland, what are you most looking forward to?
Steve: I think we’re all looking forward to what is capable of being done within our walls. We certainly have the experience and knowledge at our facility needed to create impressive label printing, but have long been constrained. Now that we’ve joined Inland, we’re able to combine our assets with more investment and business-acumen to create something even better. It’s an exciting time, to say the least.
Thanks, Steve, for sharing your time and insight. We look forward to our bright future together at Inland!
For more on Inland’s acquisition, see our media release.