The label converting business is a tough, competitive industry. There are a number of good manufacturers out there. And, fortunately for all us in the industry, we are in a good spot because we provide labeling for packaging which still has years of growth ahead. (And, it’s good to be in a niche of course!)
Yet, we all (the industry in general) still suffer from the “why we’re great” syndrome. We spend too much time talking about what we can do rather than being proactive and finding ways to solve problems for our customers that they may not realize that they are facing. I think the prevailing opinion is that if we somehow show all our capabilities..show how nice and likable that we are… that somehow we’ll get our fair share of business. Certainly, some of that works. But, the future value as a potential supplier lies in the ability to solve problems that customers don’t know that they have. This means spending time researching the business and then presenting ideas that may not be good news. Who likes to know about potential threats that aren’t on the radar screen yet? Ouch! We all know how that feels, but that is business 3.0 now.
We’re spending more time at JH Bertrand doing this with good results. It’s not easy, but we feel like we are a more valuable supplier. It feels really good when you come up with something that makes a big difference to a customer. Jeff Bertrand