In any industry, small regional companies rely on their ability to best serve their customers in order to make a good living. The ink industry is no different in this regard; a company has to work closely with its customers in order to be successful.
For Rainbow Inks, an offset and flexo ink specialist, doing all it can for their area printers has been the key to the company’s success. Most of the company’s business is in northwestern Ohio, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Toledo, and the northern Ohio region has been struggling economically. A number of printers have closed their doors, and for ink manufacturers, only those that provide top quality and service will be able to survive.
Fortunately for Rainbow Inks,quality and service are its strengths, and led by founder and president Bob Grimm and the team he has assembled, the company has been able to thrive.
“Bob came out of Sinclair & Valentine’s technical side, and after FlintInk acquired S&V, he decided to go into business for himself,” said Bernie Van Camp, Rainbow Inks’ sales manager. “It’s worked out pretty well for him.”
Larger companies tout the experience they can offer customers as a key advantage, but Rainbow Inks has a surprising range of expertise.
“We all came from a different part of the printing industry,” said Mr. Van Camp.“Bob helps us out in the lab, and pretty much everybody does what they need to do. Brian Moore, our lab technician, was a pressman for 10 years. I sold printing rollers. Marty Scott was also a pressman, sold pressroom supplies and printing. Larry Jaquet came out of the flexo side of printing, and he has put together some really good ideas for automation for us; Jeremy Grimm, our ink technician, grew up in the industry; and Pat Brescilli handles all the office duties, including order entry and bookkeeping.”
Service is key, and Rainbow Inks makes sure that the company is always there for its customers, whether it is providing free color standards or ensuring that an emergency shipment arrives in time.
“Just the other day, a customer called us at 3 p.m.,” Mr. Van Camp said. “He had run out of an ink, and he needed it by 8 a.m. for a job he was planning, so I delivered it.”
Having experience is one thing, but also having the willingness to share it with potential customers is relatively unique. “We show our prospects what they should and shouldn’t be doing, and it pays off in the long run,” Mr. Van Camp said.
Rainbow Inks also keeps up to date with its customers’ newest requirements, and can quickly develop the right ink for new applications.
“We see a lot of people printing on non-porous substrates, so we created our Offset Poly Fade Resistant Inks, which we feel is better than anything out there,” Mr. Van Camp said. “It adheres better than any products in the market, and it’s really helping us.”
With competition being as fierce as it is, ink companies are trying to find ways to keep their costs down. Mr. Van Camp has seen some ink manufacturers cutting the strength of the inks, but that is not an acceptable practice at Rainbow Inks.
“Stronger inks give the printer better mileage,” Mr. Van Camp said. “We’re not going to compromise on any of our products.”
Providing their customers with uncompromising quality and service has helped Rainbow Inks to continue to make its mark in the highly competitive ink marketplace.
Service, Quality are Essential for Rainbow Inks
By David Savastano, Ink World Editor
Published December 2, 2009