Sometimes, bottom-line decisions by a major corporation can open a door for an entrepreneur to step through and build his or her own success story.
For David Callif, president and owner of BCM Inks USA Inc., that opportunity came in 1988, when BCM Inks, an ink company with promising new technologies but very few U.S. customers, didn’t meet the projections of its parent company, Alubec Industries.
A laminate foil manufacturer for the cosmetics, alcohol and cigarette industries, Alubec had acquired BCM Inks, then a Canadian ink and varnish manufacturer, to supply products for its laminate division. As executive vice president of Alubec’s U.S. operations, Mr. Callif was given the task of setting up a new operation in Cincinnati, OH. He liked what he saw.
“I did research into BCM’s new technology for high-intensity water flexo inks for corrugated,” Mr. Callif said. “They just weren’t marketing these new technologies.”
Prior to joining Alubec, Mr. Callif was in sales and marketing with Procter & Gamble, and he knew an opportunity when he saw it. That opportunity came soon enough.
“Alubec’s board of directors projected that we would make a certain amount of money per share,” Mr. Callif said. “It was new technology, and we did not hit our numbers. The board did not want to hear that, so they offered the company to be purchased. I saw the potential here and in Europe. I bought it in 1988, and the following year, the business took off. It’s grown ever since.”
Having a new product that has great potential makes for a good start. However, if a company does not improve upon its new technology, it will likely fail over time. That is why Mr. Callif puts such a strong emphasis on R&D and service, and the company has successfully earned ISO 9002 registration.
“We invest heavily in R&D,” Mr. Callif said. “Product innovation is an emphasis in our company. We believe we have to help our customers sell more products, and to do that, we have to offer innovative products. We provide exceptional service – 24-hour turnaround, help designing products and technical expertise. We try to be the best and the most innovative at what we do.”
In the past few years, BCM Inks has developed an outstanding range of new products for the corrugated industry, ranging from scented inks to a new line of GCMI inks.
“Our patented Scent-a-Flex is a water-based flexo line of scented inks that can be printed directly on corrugated,” Mr. Callif said. “In the last year, we’ve introduced our Xtra GCMI inks, which take kraft inks into new levels with extra intensity and gloss designed for fine line anilox rolls. We also have developed Hexachromic inks for six-color corrugated presses. These products allow our customers to offer their customers something better.”
As digital printing advances, Mr. Callif has positioned BCM Inks to take advantage of those opportunities.
“We see that wide format digital printing is going to become an important segment in corrugated, and two years ago, we started discussions with Belcom and Aprion, two digital press manufacturers,” Mr. Callif said. “We have a distribution agreement for digital inks for the Bel 2000.”
It is likely that the Callif family will continue to make a name for itself in the ink industry; Mr. Callif’s son, Rob, is the start of the Callif family’s second-generation in the business.
Mr. Callif said that the opportunity to develop BCM Inks has been well worth it.
“I love it – it’s been great to me,” Mr. Callif said. “It’s a challenge every single day. We enjoy our relationships with our customers and the people in our industry.”
With its emphasis on innovative new products and exceptional service, BCM Inks continues to develop new opportunities for its customers.