Novel technology and a knack for listening is keeping labeling leader ID Technology on the top of their customers’ go-to lists.
When it comes to meeting the package identification challenges of today’s manufacturing industry, ID Technology sticks the landing every time. A division of ProMach, a world leader in packaging and labeling solutions, the ID Technology brand is known for innovations in pressure-sensitive labeling equipment.
From its humble beginnings in 1993, ID Technology has risen to primacy in the North American labeling and coding market thanks to a blend of game-changing equipment and strong leadership.
Group President Alan Shipman has been there nearly every step of the way. He joined the company in the mid-’90s as a Regional Manager. At the time, revenues were $1.8 million. Today, ID Technology reports revenues of $160 million.
We asked Shipman what drew him out of the consulting business (with Accenture) to the packaging world.
“I was drawn to the balanced revenue model with hardware, software, parts, service, and consumables which provides the ability to stay in touch with customers,” he replied. “It’s a good business model and something that’s nice is to be able to develop deeper relationships with customers as well.”
That focus on relationship development served him very well in the field, and has powered the group to impressive revenue growth during his tenure.
Change: The Name of the Labeling Game
In his 22-year tenure, Shipman has witnessed a revolution in labeling technology and in the demands of a customer base that insists on high levels of speed and customization.
“We have a really broad array of technologies that we offer, so no one size fits all,” he said. “We’re constantly looking at our portfolio, and also looking at ways we can make our systems better.”
Shipman credits his driven, highly productive field sales and service teams for keeping close tabs on customer needs and trends.
“We’re always taking input from service and the sales guys out in the field, and what they’re saying out there.”
ID Technology’s quarterly sales council brings together the top sales pros for their perspectives on what’s happening on the ground.
“We get input as far as what they see and what they feel is needed to strengthen our product lineup. A lot of our orders are custom ones, so we’ll build something we’ve never built before, and a lot of times we will then build that into existing products.”
The company’s balanced revenue model blends the advantages of having a strong salesforce and a robust aftermarket service, parts, and consumable business. When capital equipment sales flag, as they are prone to do with the cyclical nature of capital equipment sales, the aftermarket business provides a steady revenue stream enabling continued investment in research and development of new products.
The No Adjustment Bureau
From a product design standpoint, ID Technology takes a proactive approach to invention. Take, for instance, ID Technology’s approach to adjustments, the bane of many materials handling floor managers.
Labeling adjustments cause headaches all around, as one of the most challenging parts of any customer’s workflow, interrupting a labeling process to realign equipment and stock can register anywhere on the negative disruption scale from a minor setback to significant downtime.
“Looking at our service reports, many times when we’d go out on site it wasn’t because something was broken, but it was because something was out of adjustment. If we can design something with no adjustments it means better uptime for the customer and less service cost,” he said.
“We found that if you provide ways to adjust equipment, it will be adjusted […] someone may perceive that the equipment runs better in a certain manner, and perhaps the third shift doesn’t necessarily agree with the first shift about what that adjustment may be,” he continued.
“If we could find a middle ground, that centerline, that’s what we’re doing on that particular piece of equipment. There’s no need to adjust, less training is necessary and there are fewer headaches due to adjustments.” That search for middle ground resulted in the development of their Centerline-Modularity™ technology.
Genesis, another very successful new product, is a high-speed inline digital inkjet printer capable of printing on packaging substrates including paper, Tyvek®, and flexible films. Genesis prints in high definition UV color and is particularly popular in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
The Next Generation
When asked about the difficulty that some manufacturers are experiencing on the hiring front, Shipman’s take on the situation was decidedly upbeat.
“It was much more difficult to recruit in the early days because people weren’t aware of us. As we’ve had some success it’s made recruiting easier, the brand is much stronger,” he noted.
“ID Technology is a great place to work, develop, and learn. We put people first and hire the best, most determined people who will do everything possible to delight customers.”
ID Technology, a division of Pro Mach, is a fast growing national manufacturer and integrator of labeling, coding and marking equipment, peripherals, supplies, and service. With a wide range of products and services coupled with experienced and knowledgeable product specialists, ID Technology can satisfy all your product identification requirements. ID Technology's nationwide sales and service facilities provide responsive ongoing service tailored to our customers’ individual needs.