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FLEXO Magazine : September 2009
28 FLEXO SEPTEMBER 2009 www.flexography.org PLANTS & PROCESSES LABELS Global Perspective YORK Label Crosses Borders to Serve its Customers By Christian R. Bonawandt The world is shrinking. There's no doubt about it. And as it does, the concept of "local" is expanding to encom- pass a greater area for many printers/converters than it once did 10 and 20 years ago. For some label shops, success hinges on understanding multiple regional markets. They need a global label perspective. YORK Label, headquartered in Omaha, NE, is one such company, with locations throughout the U.S., Canada and in South America. Brian Uhlin, the firms' marketing director, has 15 years of experience in the printing/converting industry and has his own global perspective, having done business all over the world. YORK 's roots go back more than 60 years. It started as a small pressure-sensitive printing/converting operation in York, PA. In 2006, the firm merged with Industrial Label Corp., based in Nebraska, and later that year, acquired LSK Label Co. of El Dorado Hills, CA, and the Asheville, NC production facility of Quality Assured Label. More recently, the firm purchased Montreal, Quebec based Cameo Crafts Ltd. along with a joint venture position in Cameo Marinetti in Santiago, Chile. Today, there are 12 printing plants operating under the name YORK Label, according to Uhlin. Seven operate within the U.S. YORK employs more than 1,000 people within two business units. "We have the Wine and Spirits Division, which is led by Mitch Kendall; and the Consumer Products, Food and Phar- maceutical Division, headed by Dave Klotter," said Uhlin. "We have more than 70 presses. The vast majority are flexo." Its flexographic printing is well established among its peers. YORK is a frequent entrant in FTA's Excellence in Flexography Awards competition. The company boasts six awards in the past three years alone. AROUND THE WORLD Uhlin indicated that, despite the diversity of the regions the company serves, the market demands do not vary greatly. "We've done a really good job of refocusing and refining all our operations into some core markets. But, of course, there is a common expectation among customers. This is price, qual- ity and delivery, in that order," he said. Within specific markets, there are unique priorities. "Design and decoration capabilities are the primary concern in the Wine and Spirits market. Those customers understand the value that a company like ours brings. In this market, experi- ence and capabilities have equal footing to price." Expectations for service are also fairly universal, Uhlin claimed. "They also want a certain amount of logistics help, in YORK Label At-A-Glance... • 1,000+ Associates throughout America • 2 Business Units—Wine & Spirits, Consumer Products • 12 Plants on 2 Continents—7 in U.S. 5 Offshore • 2 Graphics Hubs—1 East Coast / 1 West Coast • 70 Presses • Role: Total Solutions Provider (Packaging Engineer- ing & Project Management, Logistics Support) • Mission: Empower Brands Serviced, Enhance Sales to End-Users • Philosophy: Utilize Experience, Capabilities, and Technology to provide best value Starting as a single facility in York, PA (pictured), YORK Label is now an international leader in narrow web printing.