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Jay Dollries of Innovative Labeling Solutions on how digital is changing the labels and packaging industries

Published on August 31, 2012

Jay Dollries, President of Innovative Labeling Solutions talks to Cary Sherburne about their business and how digital technology is changing the labels and packaging industry.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I'm, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and it’s my pleasure to be here with Jay Dollries, who is President of Innovative Labeling Solutions. Welcome.

Jay Dollries: Thank you.

Cary Sherburne: So you guys have ventured into the world of digital with labels and packaging. Maybe you could tell us first a little about your company and then talk about how digital printing technology is changing the labels and packaging industry.

Jay Dollries: Well the company began in 1996. I was founder of the company and we started with conventional Flexo [ph] printing. 2005 we really started our digital journey and really did some research, found that the Indigo presses were going to be the best for what we were doing and then jumped into it and really changed the position of our business. We felt like with Flexo that there is really not a lot of differentiation as far as what we could offer to the market.

Cary Sherburne: Versus your competition.

Jay Dollries: Versus the competition and with the digital it got us into new marketplaces that we had defined and really it was a couple of years after that in 2007 that we started really marketing more specifically to that marketplace and it really changed the dynamics of our business and really the focus of where we are and really allowed us to establish ourselves as a market leader within digital printing.

Cary Sherburne: So what was the different kind of conversation that you would have with the brand owner then?

Jay Dollries: So our conversations used to really focus around price before we got into the digital and now it’s about what can we bring to the brand, how can we do things differently than they’ve been doing in the past to really help them grow their brand and really help them establish their brand in the marketplace and differentiate themselves on the shelf.

Cary Sherburne: So I don’t really get to talk to a lot of brand owners and I wish I did because it’s fascinating but I'm wondering. I hear that they’re looking at more SKUs, more often revisions, different you know private labeling and those kind of, so that is bringing run lengths down and-

Jay Dollries: It brings run lengths down and it—so the SKU proliferation has been going on for a number of years. It’s accelerating. There is a lot more mass customization where people are you know. You see where people want to be able to order things with their kid’s pictures on it, their names on it, all those types of things. The marketplace is demanding changes in the way that packages are delivered to the market. How that transpires over the next few years I don’t know, but certainly SKU proliferation has been a huge dynamic in the market for a number of years now.

Cary Sherburne: And then—and so that—so digital helps because obviously you have different run lengths for those kinds of things, but what about time to market for the brand owner?

Jay Dollries: Yeah, we have you know. Of course we’re in not only the label business. We do flexible packaging, folding cartons, shrink sleeves, so it really allows us to help brands get their product to market faster. Speed to market is becoming more and more important that they can differentiate themselves, bring new product to market, determine whether those products can be successful and then make determinations of how they’re going to establish their brand further.

Cary Sherburne: And then so how much of the digital label printing would you classify as test marketing versus actual this is the product, we’re running with it?

Jay Dollries: A small percentage of what we do are what I would call test marketing or initial brand release. A lot of it is really about the actual production runs and the new technology that HP let out a couple years back in 2009 with the 6000, the Series Three platform really allowed us to go into full production runs on a much larger variety of products and it has really allowed us to establish where companies can do things regionally, proliferate their SKUs, really address more specifically in different regions what that marketplace is looking for.

Cary Sherburne: And was that because of speed, quality, width of the medium?

Jay Dollries: All of the above, all of the above.

Cary Sherburne: And that has the one shot technology.

Jay Dollries: It’s the one shot technology, which gives perfect registration and the variety of substrates that we can print on is so far we really haven’t found anything that we can’t, so it’s a very versatile machine, which really helped us get into the other marketplaces that I told you about.

Cary Sherburne: And then of course the other aspect is finishing.

Jay Dollries: Yes and we have analog finishing that goes along with the Indigo process where we can do silkscreen, embossing, hot stamping, all the same embellishments that companies are used to being able to use. We’re able to use those things as well.

Cary Sherburne: That’s great, terrific. Thank you.

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