We recently attended the TLMI Technical Conference in Chicago to network with leaders in our industry. This year it was rebranded as ‘PrintTHINK’ and it was packed full of good content. We have always been big fans of TLMI – click here to learn more – as it represents the very best label printers and suppliers in America. According to one survey, the 150 label printer members of TLMI (including Rose City Label) account for 59% of the $7 BILLION dollars worth of label printing in North America. The Supplier members that sell us ink, paper, and equipment probably account for an even higher percentage of the total in their fields.
As a past Chairman of TLMI, I was asked to speak at the conference two years ago about building an outstanding company culture. Check out the highlights of that presentation by clicking here. After the conference I followed up with a more detailed review – see those lessons by clicking here.
As with past conferences, there was tons of great value presented in the lectures and panel discussions. The vendors were very generous with their time and information. It was wonderful to get a quick snapshot of the industry now, and the direction for the future. BUT, without a doubt, the greatest value in the conference is having the opportunity to Network with Leaders. Comparing stories with other people running successful companies across the country is always the best part. People share freely and help each other to learn and grow. Many have invited us in for a tour of their shop. This is the what it means to network with leaders – sharing your stories and helping all companies get to a higher, better, more profitable state. We helped others and other certainly helped us. We will be back in 2019 for sure.
The agenda was jam packed and the evenings were full of dinners and time at the bar. These are a few of the main highlights:
Vendors are Out with New Technology
The pace of change has never been faster, but the cooperation has never been greater. In one panel, press manufacturers collaborated to share all the new features of automation, quick changeover, and precise print control. Along with automated presses, people talked about shop management software, printing inks, and specialty coatings.
Digital Press Options Abound
The HP Indigo digital press in our shop remains the Gold Standard for the type of high quality wine, beer, and spirits labels we focus on. It has more installations world wide than any other press in this class. BUT, new UV Inkjet machines are finally getting to a mature state. These presses have a different color profile and print on different label materials, but they print very FAST. As we continue to grow our digital business, we will keep our eye on these options.
The PEOPLE Make the Difference
More than anything, it is the personal, honest conversations with our friends that make the trip worthwhile. We learned the REAL story about their new equipment so we could progress without making the same mistakes. We learned about the REAL cost of accessories for one new press from a friend in San Diego, we got good ideas about revising our accounting from a friend in Vermont, and we were inspired by the dedication of another in Pittsburg. Real, honest sharing and best practices. This is the value of networking with leaders – and the value of all conferences.
Call us Today!
If you want to partner with a company that likes to network with leaders, call us today. We stay on the cutting edge of equipment, techniques, and systems so we can always provide you with the highest quality labels. Our business is booming but we would love to hear from you. Please call us today.