On the surface, it would seem that there could be little doubt that this is a tough time for entrepreneurs to start up ink companies. However, the reality is that there are opportunities for people who know what customers are hungry for – namely excellent products and services.
At a time when consolidations are picking up and raw materials costs are dramatically increasing, there are still plenty of new possibilities emerging for well-run companies to thrive.
Even so, to see a small company come into existence less than a year and a half ago, and already outgrow its present location, is most impressive. Yet for Advantage Inks & Coatings, a Chino, CA based packaging ink specialist that opened its doors in June 2004, its success story is just starting, and its potential is still unlimited.
Experience is the key to Advantage Inks & Coatings. Its co-founder and president is Roy Flint, a 32-year ink industry veteran who was the longtime technical director for A.J. Daw Printing Ink.
“This was an opportunity for us,” said Mr. Flint.
The new company’s core business is packaging, particularly flexible packaging. Mr. Flint and Martin Ceballos, himself a 10-year ink industry veteran and former lab manager at A.J. Daw, lead a strong R&D team that has developed state-of-the-art solvent- and water-based flexo and gravure inks and aqueous coatings. Customizing inks and coatings for their customers has quickly become a specialty.
“Making custom ink to meet our customers’ requirements is setting us apart from our competitors,” Mr. Flint said.
Response from customers has been nearly immediate for the new company. “The reception has been very good,” Mr. Flint said. “We’ve been operating 16 months, and we had already outgrown our old facility, and we have already purchased a new, larger facility.”
For a start-up company, Advantage Inks & Coatings has quickly become a national supplier. Mr. Flint said that outside of its west coast roots, the company has already developed significant sales on the east coast, the south and midwest and even in Mexico. “Our business is advancing very rapidly,” he said.
To service their customers, Advantage Inks & Coatings has created a national sales and service force in the field that exemplifies the company’s commitment to excellent service.
“We are going to succeed based on our quality and our ability to provide excellent service, and we have a great group of people,” Mr. Flint said.
There is very likely to be further growth in the coming years as Advantage Inks & Coatings continues to grow. The new building will be up and running by the end of the year, as will the company’s web site. On the R&D front, the company is now working on UV inks, and considering its experience in the lab, coming up with state-of-the-art inks is only a matter of time.
Mr. Flint is enjoying the experience of running Advantage Inks & Coatings.
“It’s hectic, but I enjoy it,” he said. “There is no one leaning over our shoulders. We can take our company in any direction we want.”
Considering how far Advantage Inks & Coatings has come already, it is most likely that the direction the company is heading is one of much greater growth in the coming years.