Our main focus is serving our customers by being label experts. Competitive price is critical and fast deliveries are a basic expectation we have to meet on a daily basis. More than being the fastest or the cheapest, we are the smartest label experts in the business. With deep experience and knowledge, we can offer the right solution the first time. Sometimes, that means we don’t tell people what they want to hear – everyone wants a cheaper, faster solution – but we tell them the truth and we stand behind our work.
We Have the Experience
With two employees over 30 years at Rose City Label and many others with more than 20 years in the business, we really do have the most experienced crew in the business. We are proud of the company culture we have built that encourages people to stay with us for their entire career. Retired team members stay in touch and often come to our Christmas party to stay connected with the RCL family. This deep experience is priceless and it is part of our success.
Over the years, we have developed systems and processes that work. We stick to these because they have proven successful with over 3,000 print orders every year. These are proven methods and techniques – like not ordering tooling until proofs are signed, or not entering orders without artwork and quantities – that allow us to serve the most customers successfully. We aren’t opposed to learning and changing, but we are also comfortable telling the truth even if it is unpopular. The people that are the most successful trust us and partner with us to make their job successful.
Not Everyone is a Fit
Because we have these established norms – because we are label experts – this can be difficult for some people. Nobody is asked to follow blindly or give up any level of control in their project, but we work best with customers that treat us as a valued, trusted partner rather than just a vendor to bid on a job. When people have detailed specifications and they go out for 3 bids, we certainly win our share of those bids, but those customers aren’t getting the best we have to offer. The people who come to us with a problem that needs solving – these are the people that give us the raving reviews. They are getting the best we have to offer. Unfortunately, however, not everyone is a fit. We have a process and a target client and not everyone fits that profile.
Willing to Learn (and Change)
All this expertise doesn’t prevent us from learning and growing as an organization. Digital printing is almost 50% of our business today and it didn’t even exist 4 years ago. We have had a massive learning curve as we have adapted with new technology, materials, and customer demands. We have also changed the way we use technology to stay connect with our customers – we are always learning, growing, and adapting to stay competitive. Don’t be afraid to ask us for something new or different – most of our best ideas come from our customers.
Thank You – You Made Us Label Experts
Thank you to the customers that trust us each day. We wouldn’t have a thriving business or be able to develop very skilled people without the trust of our customers. THANK YOU – we appreciate every order we get and we value all our customers – large and small, new and old. Call us today to see if we can help you with your next label project.
Rose City Label again attended the PIA/SGIA Continuous Improvement conference. This is the very best place to benchmark with other printers that are practicing Lean Manufacturing. Seeing other printers, large and small, share their success and lessons learned is motivational for us. We learned new skills and recommitted to working on the business – we have to constantly drive out waste and provide more value for customers. Every single day.
Continuous Improvement in all areas
The 2018 CI Conference reinforced all the areas of our business that we work on daily. There is no finish line on the road to printing excellence. We have to be vigilant and recognize that there are always better ways to do things. Even after a record year – the best year in 90 years – we still have improvements to make in the office, production, shipping and prepress. There is always more work to do.
Culture and Techniques
One of the excellent presenters compared the lean CULTURE and lean TECHNIQUES to ‘peanut butter and jelly’. The two things are fundamentally different, but they are both required for optimal results. Often, companies (including us) focus on the techniques and tactics in the press room, rather than the people. One big takeaway from this conference was that our job – as a company – is to develop problem solving, innovative, curious people. The people will deliver value for the customer, and the customer will make our business successful financially.
Learning to See
One of the initial things we (and all CI companies) need to do is learn to see opportunities. One of the speakers said, You have to SEE it and then you have to SEIZE it. You can’t seize (fix) it until you first SEE the problem, issue, waste, gap. Learning to SEE is the first step to improvement. In Lean language, there are 8 deadly wastes in every company. We need to see these first. Besides that, the concept of ‘Fix what bugs you’ is a great way to find problems to attack. In every business, there are ways to get better every day.
Make it World Class
Barely adequate workplace is not what we are going for. We want our business, our facility, and our people to be the best they can be. Only then will we add the most value for our customers. Clean, bright, well organized work areas inspire people to do their best and we strive to provide that. “Look good, feel good, play good!” This was the mantra of one of the speakers at the conference.
Pay it Forward
Another common aspect of lean companies is the desire to share what they have learned. Because nobody survives on the lean journey alone, everybody realizes they had help along the way. Because others helped them, most lean companies want to help others. We are no different. Please contact us directly if you are a manufacturer trying to implement lean. We don’t have all the answers, but we are happy to try to help.
Many have helped us get to this point, and we know many others will help in the future. Ultimately, we exist to add value for our customers and we thank you very much for trusting us. Your support allows us to learn and grow as we move forward. Please contact us today if we can help your business.
Always Do Your Best for Customers
Serving customers is a privilege that must be earned daily. This privilege is granted on the condition that you, the service provider, will always do your best. Always. In most cases, there are no guarantees or long term commitments in business – you have to earn your business every day by doing your best.
Take Adversity With Grace – See the Silver Lining
We recently had a very significant customer come to us looking for massive cost reductions. The organization we serve is part of a larger national company and there was huge pressure from above to cut costs. The entire organization put all their label and packaging business out to open bid – everything was on the line. Relationships, service, history, special arrangements – none of this had a cell in the spreadsheet. It is all about the bottom line dollar. We were initially concerned and even a bit offended, but as we went through the process, we realized that we had to play ball or be left behind. Digging in our heels and relying on charisma wasn’t going to retain this business. We had to do our best for the customer – again.
Rise to the Occasion
After some hand wringing, we realized that this is an opportunity to become a better, more competitive supplier – for this customer and for all our customers. The work we do and the efficiency we realize by this exercise will benefit all of our current and future customers. We will force ourselves to get better – fast! A small crisis motivates people.
Spread the Work
We will run the press faster, with less waste, and fewer errors. We will hold each other accountable to be on our ‘A’ game every time we print for this customer. But we also pushed some of the pain down to our suppliers – they have to help us find these cost savings. Guess what – they have risen to the occasion too. With creative problem solving, more aggressive price, and reviewing options we hadn’t considered before, our suppliers provided most of the savings we were looking for. Together, we worked hard to always do our best for the customer.
Always Move Forward
The final bid award isn’t out yet. We don’t actually know if our bids will allow us to retain the business, but we do know that our business will survive and thrive regardless of the outcome. Each day we work hard to serve the customer. We always want to win, but sometimes you learn and grow the most from the ones you don’t win. Time will tell – we will be ready and we will move forward.
We are very fortunate here at Rose City Label that our business seems to be back on track. We still have challenges, as we always will, but if our business could continue to prosper like it has the past 24 months, we would be very happy.
This improved business climate caused me to reflect and remember when, not too long ago, things weren’t very good.
Like many businesses, ours was caught flat footed when the bottom fell out in 2008. We were not prepared for the dramatic slowdown, and we had to take some serious measures to correct things quickly. We said goodbye to an employee that wasn’t performing, and we cut back hours in our production facility. These were difficult, nerve racking times for all of us. One of the things I remember most is that I never appreciated when things were good! I just assumed things would always be good. Now I know this isn’t always the case.
So, with these past 4 years behind us, what have we learned:
- 1. Celebrate Success! We aren’t setting records or hitting a home run on every single order, but we have much to be thankful for. I am trying to remind all the people in our company, and trying to remind myself, that things are good. We all need to take time to recognize this and give ourselves a small pat on the back for hanging in there.
- 2. Don’t Take the Future for Granted. Now I know that things can turn sour – in a hurry. I know that we can’t afford to get lazy, complacent, or arrogant. We always need to push forward and keep getting better every day. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Continuous improvement and staying hungry are the only things that will help us stay strong.
- 3. Protect the Downside. If, God forbid, we do have another major dip in the economy or world events, or if we have a serious problem in our own company, we need to protect the downside. As a leader I waited too long to make the hard decisions last time. I assumed all would be good – I didn’t know how long the downturn would last, or how deep it would be. Thankfully, we are a conservative, financially secure company, so we could withstand the storm, but I don’t want to get that close to the edge again. More proactive management would have helped ease the pain, and I am going to keep that in mind for the future.
Hopefully these three ideas can help our customers as we move forward. They are all important, but especially now, I am focusing on #1 – Celebrate Success!
Thanks to all of you for being a part of that success for Rose City Label.
We Support Women Business Owners!
Women Business Owners are very important at Rose City Label. It’s hard to believe that just a generation ago, the opportunity to grow a successful business wasn’t really available to women. Today it is and they are taking the business world by storm!
According to a recent post on the Constant Contact blog, there are over 11 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., and that business count is growing at 5x the national average. In fact, the number of women owned businesses has doubled since 2007. Read the full post by Miranda Paquet by clicking here. Learn more about Miranda by clicking here.
We find many of these dynamic women business owners are more courageous and committed than their male counterparts. Maybe they recognize the opportunity more clearly, maybe they are born tenacious, or maybe they want it more? Regardless, they work hard and they succeed.
Here are 5 great tips from successful women business owners:
1. “Know your market. If you don’t know where your market is and what they want, you have no chance.” — Barbara Felix, owner of Felix the Cook
When Barbara started her custom-made sugar cookies business, she got the word out by donating her cookies to large charity events. Barbara knew her target audience and where to reach them. Focusing on a specific market and delivering them an exceptional product and experience helped her grow an impressive client list, which includes Google Ventures, UPS, and The Four Seasons.
Like many small business owners, Kellee left the corporate world to feel a greater sense of freedom, flexibility, and fulfillment. But throughout her years as an owner, there have been plenty of unexpected obstacles.
Kellee keeps her business going by taking small actions, including partnering with local businesses, sending her customers monthly marketing emails, and running timely events. If you hit a rough patch at your business, don’t stress over your shifting five-year plan. Start every day by thinking about what small impactful action you can take to get things back on track.
3. “You’ve got to follow your gut. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? You’re going to make a mistake?” — Dawn Noble, owner of La Provence
Once a loyal customer of French goods store, La Provence, Dawn bought the business over a decade ago. Starting without any business management experience, Dawn believes in the power of learning as you go.
Looking back, she knows she’s made some missteps along the way, but Dawn doesn’t let these mistakes slow her down.
When you find yourself second-guessing your decisions, ability, or strength, remember that doing something is almost always better than doing nothing. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid of a little trial and error.
4. “Make a commitment to education, to learning as much as you can, an ongoing education.” — Marie Mouradian, owner of Window Designs Etc.
With over 35 years of as a business owner, Marie knows the secret to success is to never get too comfortable.
Change is part of almost every industry — even window design treatments. Marie prides herself in embracing new trends and refusing to be intimidated by market shifts. Marie gets involved by sitting on the board of her local Chamber of Commerce and always trying out new ways to get her business noticed in her community and online.
As an athlete turned business owner, Traci knows you’re not going to win every day. Sometimes you give it all you’ve got and still come up short.
But Traci’s refusal to give up has served her well. She’s landed a product deal with Shark Tank’s Kevin Harrington, appeared on major television networks, and spoken on keynote stages. As an owner, remember that success might not look like you originally imagined. But if you don’t take a risk and go for it, you’ll never really know what you’re capable of.
How Can You Apply These in Your Business?
We constantly share tips and success stories to inform and inspire. We know that our success is directly tied to yours. Is there something else we can do for you? Call us today! We are constantly looking for new ways to help our customers succeed.
Thanks for trusting us with your business – we appreciate it very much.
Rose City Label is proud to support Family Business education. As we mentioned in this post, we recently presented to the senior class at the OSU Family Business education program. We are proud to be a family business – there are many good reasons for this, as outlined here in this post.
As a result of this presentation, we were contacted by a student in the Family Business education program. He asked about pricing for labels for his startup Kombucha business.
Because of the students’ drive and dedication, we were happy to offer this first run of labels for free! We believe in supporting family business education.
We believe in growing the next generation of business leaders.
We Support Family Business Education
The story of INTEA is quite fascinating, as noted here below:
INTEA Kombucha is a Corvallis based company dedicated to the production of high quality, artistically crafted fermented kombucha tea. INTEA was born out of a shared passion for the art of fermentation by four friends from opposite sides of the equator. Despite our busy lives as graduate students and brewing professionals, we make time for what we are truly passionate about, and that is Kombucha. As the saying goes in Chile, we are crazy as goats! Along with a shared passion for fermentation science, the founders believe in embracing life with a sense of playfulness, curious engagement, and joy. The name INTEA came to fruition on the shores of a Cascade mountain lake; a play on the words “Inti” for the Incan sun god and “tea”, for the nutrient medium necessary for kombucha fermentation. The sun featured in our logo represents the light, brightness, and positivity that illuminates our everyday endeavors.
These young entrepreneurs are SERIOUS about making a good product.
At INTEA, we specialize in the production of small batch, artisanal fermented Kombucha. Our proprietary fermentation process begins with a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria and a blend of green and black teas. We create intense flavors by using only 100% real fruits, herbs, and spices grown under the sun, and capture natural effervescence from the fermentation process.
This process ultimately achieves a low or no alcohol, low calorie, gluten free beverage with a mouthwatering tart, pleasantly fruity, carbonated taste making it an excellent alternative to beer, cider, or wine. You can find INTEA Kombucha at the Corvallis Farmer’s Market, delivered right to your front door in Corvallis, and at select locations in the local Corvallis area.
Thank you, team INTEA for helping us have hope for the future. This is why we support Family Business Education – people like you that are carrying the ball forward into the future.