Printing Ink Partners Offers Today’s Technology, Yesterday’s Service
By David Savastano
Young companies starting up in challenging times such as these face many daunting problems. Still, if a new company can survive and even thrive in this economy, it must be doing something right.
Printing Ink Partners, Middletown, OH, opened its doors in 2005 with an eye toward the water-based ink market. In its four years of existence, the company has maintained growth even through this recession.
“We wanted to be a customer-focused ink company,” said Brian Hinderer, a co-founder and president of Printing Ink Partners. “We saw a need for an ink company that could customize inks. We have found plenty of customers that agree with this philosophy, and there are plenty more out there.”
Both Mr. Hinderer and co-founder Roger Jones, who serves as vice president, are longtime ink industry veterans. They decided that the opportunity was there for a company specializing in customizing aqueous inks and coatings, with emphasis on quality and service.
“Advances in technology allow us to do more and more with water-based inks than you could do in the past,” Mr. Hinderer said. “As a new company, we don’t have legacy products that we force on customers. We develop products specific to the needs of each customer. It is great that the opportunity was there for us to fill this need. We were ink suppliers. Now we partner with our customers to make their products better.
“We have more than 50 years of experience in R&D, product development and technical service,” Mr. Hinderer added. “We can tailor our inks in many ways, such as printing at faster speeds and on different films. Our customers are happy because we are helping them meet their customers’ needs.”
Mr. Hinderer noted that Printing Ink Partners will continue to concentrate on the water-based market. “We’re good at it,” he said. “We have a lot of experience with solvent and UV, but the water-based market keeps growing, so we haven’t had the need to invest in other markets yet.”
Printing Ink Partners’ slogan is “Today’s Technology, Yesterday’s Service.” Mr. Hinderer said that service is becoming more of a differentiator, as larger ink companies seem to be cutting back on their service. Customers comment that Printing Ink Partners is easy to work with, because the customer is the focus of all they do.
“We’re receiving a lot more phone calls that are asking about our orientation to service,” Mr. Hinderer said. “We’re adding service at a time when our competitors seem to be going the other way.”
One key for the company’s growth is that they practice what they preach regarding service and quality, as they want the same from their suppliers.
“We are working closely with our suppliers, as we need to get product quickly and need quality products,” said Mr. Hinderer.“On-time is critical – when we say on-time, we mean that we need it right now. The same is true for our customers. There are plenty of low cost, low service providers we won’t work with. You can’t sell service when you’re not buying it yourself.”
Still, service can only take a company so far. Quality products are critical to Printing Ink Partners’ success, and the company does rigorous testing, including using statistical process controls and quantitative color measurements. “Anybody can say they have good service, but you have to have the right products as well,” said Mr. Hinderer.
Even now, the company is enjoying strong growth, as larger customers take notice of their service and quality.
“We have been growing steadily since 2005,” Mr. Hinderer noted. “Even now we are taking on some larger customers. They seem to be hesitant to go with a young company, but our name is getting out there. Our customers see the big picture, which includes service and a product that works very well and is priced for the market.”