TLMI Spring Summit Recap: State of the Industry

S-One Labels and Packaging recently attended its first Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI) meeting after joining the North American trade association for the label and packaging industry in April. TLMI’s Spring Summit was held virtually and featured networking with leading label and packaging business executives, 1:1 “speed dating”, and educational sessions on a range of topics, including an economic update, converter panel, sustainability discussion, and dialogs on technology, workforce development, and cyber security. “Events like this are crucial to S-OneLP,” said Tom Hauenstein, global VP of sales. “Not only was it a great way to meet new industry contacts, but the caliber of speakers and educational content was top notch. We left feeling energized at the level of knowledge sharing and networking going on with this tight-knit group. We’re thrilled to be a part of this organization and look forward to getting more involved with TLMI.” It appears that for many TLMI label and packaging converters, 2020 was equal parts volatile and profitable. For some, the growth was the highest on record, but at the same time, business was incredibly unpredictable. “What I find most interesting about the global pandemic is that the markets you thought might have increased, didn’t, and the markets you thought would be depressed in 2020, had some increase,” said Michelle Zeller, the President and CFO of Minnesota-based AWT Labels & Packaging. “Overall demand increased. If you were in markets like the beverage market, you probably saw an increase. But I didn’t anticipate a decrease for medical device labels when all those elective surgeries got put on hold. If you asked me in March of 2020 when I was projecting out for the year, that was not something I anticipated. We saw an uptick in markets that I didn’t expect, based on consumer demand, and a downtick in those that I didn’t necessarily anticipate.” Zeller was not alone in those comments, and other leaders said during a converter panel session that any decreases were offset by huge spikes in other segments, which ultimately lead to growth overall. Brian Gale, CEO of Ohio-based I.D. Images said, “We saw markets up significantly, while others were down significantly. If I fell asleep on March 15 and woke up on December 31, I’d say it was a pretty good year.” To Mark Pollard, CEO of Brook & Whittle, 2020 was a year that showed the label and packaging industry’s mettle. “Isn’t it fantastic for our industry that once again we’ve been resilient. We’ve seen that in recessions, and now we’ve seen that in a global pandemic. We’re lucky to be in an industry that can be this resilient.” Photo Caption: Label and packaging converters who participated in the TLMI Spring Summit virtual panel. Clockwise from top left: Mark Pollard, CEO, Brook & Whittle; Linnea Keen, President, TLMI; Brian Gale, CEO, I.D. Images; Thomas Barrett, President, MacArthur Corporation; John Fischer, Owner and Founder, StickerGiant; and Michelle Zeller, President and CFO, AWT Labels & Packaging.
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