Often times, it seems that quality and service become casualties when economic downturns lead to cost reductions. For American Inks & Technology, Portage, MI, a five-year-old water-based flexo ink specialist, quality and service are the driving forces of their business.
American Inks & Technology is a family-owned business established in 2005. Customers are supported by 75 years of experience, specific to the ink industry which includes the combined talents in sales, ink technologies, science and manufacturing.
Paul Forster, general manager of American Inks & Technology, said that the company was founded by three ink industry veterans who had seen service and quality declining, and decided to create a company that focused its attention on the customer.
“We saw how the industry was changing, and we decided to enter the market with a different business philosophy,” said Mr. Forster. “The backbone of American Inks & Technology is quality and service. Recently, quality and service have seemed to become a niche, and customers want excellent quality and service.
“It’s just small things, like just being able to get an actual person on the phone, that are appreciated, or getting answers to questions quickly or getting lab testing done in a timely manner,” Mr. Forster added. “Everyone in our plant is focused on our customers.”
American Inks & Technology focuses on the water-based flexo ink business. Its key markets are narrow web tag and label, food wraps, folding carton and corrugated, film inks, coatings and envelopes, as well as specialty products. In line with its emphasis on service, the company does not believe in a one-ink-fits-all mentality.
“We are not an off-the-shelf company, telling customers they have to choose our basic product, take it or leave it,” Mr. Forster said. “ Narrow web is not a tanker-truck business. We tweak our products to fit the needs of our customers, and we’re available 24 hours a day. We won’t turn down any projects, and we will find a way to fix any issue.”
All in all, the extra effort in delivering exceptional quality and service is paying off for American Inks & technology.
“I think we have grown intelligently. Our business has been growing, gaining more than 35 percent over the past two years and 20 percent this year, which in this economy is pretty good,” Mr. Forster said. “We had absolutely outgrown our previous facilities, and just opened our new building.This now gives us the ability to produce more ink and handle more raw materials.
“We just wanted to go back to customer focus,” Mr. Forster concluded. “That’s how it was when I came into the business. We have a very good rapport with our customers. If they need an answer, we will get it to them, and in this economy, customers are looking for your help, whether it’s cost savings or helping them get new business. We try to be proactive rather than be firefighters.”