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FLEXO Magazine : August 2010
Posner: We run up to eight colors on our presses. Our ca- pabilities range from standard printing jobs to process print. We can run up to 60in. web widths. We are capable of printing film for converting as well as roll stock. There are so many challenges To operaTing a manufacTuring company in The new york/new Jersey area—cosT of labor, cosT of living, Taxes, real esTaTe, eTc. whaT do you consider The greaTesT challenge you face Today as iT perTains To operaTing in This region? Posner: The greatest challenge is staying focused on your customer’s needs and meeting those to the best of your abili- ties, along with staying on quality and cost. But we have a great location and favorable facilities at a reasonable cost. We serve many local markets. Kaufman: To keep on top of technology and maximize your efficiencies. If you minimize your waste, you maximize your profits. You have to have good procedures in place, and we do. As long as you manufacture you’re going to have human error, but as along as you catch it before it’s too far down- stream, you can minimize losses and learn from it. Mandel: The biggest challenge really is that there are quite a few companies concentrated in this area and a lot of them are doing the same thing—good quality and quick turn- around. So how do you separate yourself from the pack? Streicher: Probably the biggest chunk is taxes, fees and the like. The area doesn’t realize that you need business to support the people. The government tends to look at busi- nesses for ways to get dollars out of you. This is why so many companies head south. whaT has been The key To overcoming These challenges? Streicher: The Lockport IDA Park has been very coopera- tive in getting us tax breaks and other incentives. And there’s also a good labor pool. Kaufman: Location! I’m right off the I-80 and I-95. I ’m eight minutes from the new Yankee Stadium and 20 minutes from the major airports. It’s a great location! It is more expensive to run in the northeast, but we have a great labor pool to draw from and can use that to enhance our business. The key is to have a great staff, all working toward a common goal. Mandel: You have to out-hustle the competition by giving superior quality and the best service you can. Just do your best and hope for a little luck. Posner: We have a family type relationship with our custom- ers. We have a good labor pool and we maximize our space to get use of every square foot. you have a very close relaTionship wiTh many of your compeTiTors in The ny/nJ area. why is ThaT? Posner: Why not? The idea is that we help each other with new ideas and types of equipment. We have more to gain by sharing with our competitors than by not. Streicher: A lot of it is just the makeup of the people in the area. Buffalo has always been known for the friendliness and good neighbor attitude. There’s also the sense that we are all in this together. Kaufman: It’s a professional respect. People will mirror your actions. If you conduct yourself like an honest business man, then you build a lot of trust, and can draw down on that when you need help—a machine goes down or you run low on raw material. If you go around burning bridges, and don’t help others, and no one is going to want to help you. Mandel: There is no other place that you can find a group of competitors who are this friendly with one another. The reason is we are all good people who are just trying to do the best they can. People tend to help each other, and in return, you don’t try to hurt your friend. in whaT ways has This posiTively affecTed your business? Kaufman: People have a lot of the same problems. So if you pool your resources, you can share your knowledge. We have a lot of friends in the northeast. When we started build- ing this facility, we had friends come in and give an honest assessment as to how to lay it out and get the best possible workflow. There are a lot of good, knowledgeable people in the northeast who are willing to help you succeed. Posner: We assess equipment needs with our competitors thus enabling us to purchase the right equipment the first time around. We are able to help each other in difficult situations. When an attachment is down and you need to run a job quickly, we can always get one from our competitors and vice versa. Mandel: You can’t do everything on your own. There will be times when you need a hand or an idea. If your competitor is willing to help or lend a hand, that’s a big deal. Streicher: Everybody ’s really doing something different. If there’s something that they don’t want to do that we can do, we help them out and vice versa. It’s a great way to service your customer too, if you can pool your resources and give them more. If you can keep your customers happy, they will be loyal—that’s half the battle. is There anyThing you would noT share wiTh your compeTiTion? if so, whaT would ThaT be and why? Mandel: Critical things like your customer base, etc. But otherwise, there are very little real secrets in the business. There are companies of different sizes in the industry and they are all doing OK. plants & processes inserT ad 56 flexo august 2010 www.flexography.org August2010_mech.indd 56 8/13/10 7:46 AM
Sustainable Summer 2010