Labeling business serves customers, protects workers

Innovative Labeling Solutions took its duty as an essential business seriously.

Source: UC News

The Fairfield Township-based company provides digitally-printed labels, shrink sleeves and flexible packaging for consumer-packaged goods such as hand sanitizer, cleaning products, nutritional supplements, food and beverage products and medical supplies.

In early February as the pandemic started garnering attention in the United States, the company realized that it would be a critical part of the supply chain to provide essential products and services.

“We understood that we had a special responsibility on two fronts — to make sure we could protect the health and safety of our employees, while continuing to produce products that would support the essential needs of our country’s people,” said Jay Dollries, Innovative Labeling Solutions’ president and CEO. “We also knew that we would need to forecast changes in market demand for certain products as we realized there could be erratic fluctuations from our normal trends.”

For example, Innovative Labeling Solutions predicted exponential growth in cleaning products, temperature strips, nutritional supplements and hand sanitizer. Since March 1, the company has made more than 18 million sanitizer labels. In 2019, it made just 260,000 labels. Also, since March 1, it has produced more than 75 million forehead thermometers.

The hard work paid off. The company achieved record-breaking sales in March and April. May sales increased 30 percent year over year. But critical products were not the company’s only focus.

“As much as we are committed to serving our clients’ needs, we are even more devoted to the health and well-being of our employees and the safety of our workplace,” Dollries said.

To help protect its workforce, Innovative Labeling Solutions created a COVID-19 taskforce and implemented several measures.

The company was able to transition 75 percent of its front office staff to a full-time remote work environment. It provided masks to every employee, instituted temperature checks and a symptom-screening questionnaire upon entry for all employees as well. All workers were encouraged to stay home if they felt ill and it closed its facility to all visitors except for essential vendors, who were accompanied by an Innovative Labeling Solutions employee at all times.

The company also installed multiple air purifiers and hands-free, foot-operated door pulls throughout its facility. It implemented rigorous cleaning procedures for workstations and shared spaces. It provided hand sanitizer bottles at individual workstations and added hand sanitizer dispensers in high-traffic areas. It closed common areas and limited access to high-touch surfaces, including vending machines.

The company also reached out to the community. It participated in roundtables, sharing best practices. It gave custom printed labels about social distancing to its clients and other businesses in their firms’ brand colors. It donated labels to distilleries who made hand sanitizer.

Dollries credited his company’s success to preparation and taking a team approach.

“We are constantly changing, always improving and have successfully navigated these unchartered times while remaining resilient and growing,” he said.

ILS CEO and President, Jay Dollries