Many years ago, small family-owned ink manufacturers flourished, relying on quality and service to survive. Times have changed, though, and many of these companies have been acquired or gone out of business.
Now, there are only a handful of these small ink companies left.For example, in the New England area, only Three Dimensional Chemical remains from the era of small family-owned companies. Because Three Dimensional Chemical emphasizes the dedication to service and quality that were the hallmarks of the small companies, it continues to thrive.
Three Dimensional Chemical was founded in 1977 by Bill and Christopher Dawe. The two brothers came from Rexart, and decided it was time to form their own company, devoted to meeting the needs of heatset and sheetfed printers. Today, the company manufactures penetration web, heatset and sheetfed inks, and is now making a big push into the news ink market.
“We’ve made our name as a niche company,” said Bob Arzilli, vice president of Three Dimensional Chemical. “We’re a lot closer to our customers. Because of our experience in R&D, we can customize any formulation to meet any customer’s needs, and we haven’t grown so much that we can’t respond. As a result, we have a lot of loyal customers.”
Service is absolutely essential to medium- and small-sized offset printers, and that is where Three Dimensional Chemical excels.
“A medium-sized printer needs technical backup, and unless these companies are big enough to have an in-plant, they just aren’t going to get good service from the big companies,” Mr. Arzilli said. “Some companies are so big that it takes them three or four days to respond. When a printer has 80,000 sheets to run and needs some assistance, he isn’t going to want to wait.
“We have the best quality ink and best service around,” Mr. Arzilli said. “We have the ability to respond quickly, and we run lean and mean. We are service-oriented, and we have three or four trucks out on the road all day long. I have been on press to diagnose what’s needed, call it in to our technical department to formulate what we need, and have it driven out while I’ll stay to make sure it works.”
Today, Three Dimensional Chemical very much remains a family business. The two Dawe brothers remain active within the company, while Bill Dawe’s son Christopher is president.
“Our founders are still with us,” said Mr. Arzilli, who himself has been with Three Dimensional Chemical since 1986. “Bill is our treasurer, and he’s been in the ink industry since 1951. Christopher, our CEO, has been in the industry since 1971, and was also a printer. Bill’s son, Chris, is our president, and has been with us since 1988. He grew up in the ink industry his whole life, working during the summers while he was in high school. He knows the industry well.”
For the traditional family-owned small ink manufacturer, the ability to bring together quality and service, and make the customer feel special is the essence of their business. For Three Dimensional Chemical, that is what has made the company successful, and what will be the company’s calling card for many years to come.