New Jersey Label in South Hackensack, a sister company of the New York Label & Box Works in Islandia, N.Y., is not just another “Jersey location.”
“Our companies have the same philosophies, systems, culture and focus — so in a way, we're essentially one company with two names,” President Steven Haedrich said.
“But we serve different clients.”
While the 135-year old New York Label & Box Works was acquired by the Haedrich family in 1930, New Jersey Label was only established in 1993 to meet the needs of a growing industry.
“Our niche is our ability to be a single-source vendor, whether it's a lot of different kinds of labels, constructions or the label-carton combination,” Haedrich said. “We handle all the complexity and do it with quality.”
New Jersey Label focuses entirely on printing labels, whereas the New York Label & Box Works dedicates 10 percent of its current production to making folding paperboard containers.
Between the two companies, the food, cosmetics and vitamin industries account for 80 percent of business, with 80 percent of sales taking place in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
With clients such as L'Oreal, Fairway and Natural Organics, the companies have been able to grow 10 percent a year for the last five years.
New Jersey Label alone raked in $4 million in revenue with only 12 employees.
Originally located in Englewood, New Jersey Label moved to its current South Hackensack facility in 2007 to help some of those employees.
“The move was to get a little further west,” Haedrich said. “Englewood was so close to the city that it was troublesome for the workers with traffic.”
It brings up a good point: most businesses completely relocate from New York when moving to New Jersey — why hasn't the New York Label & Box Works?
“We've toyed with the idea,” Haedrich said, “But we felt it was best for us to stay in Long Island, too, because of our great customers here.”
On the flip side, Haedrich said there are several clients in New Jersey that don't ever want to travel to Long Island.
“I had a client once tell me he'd rather fly to North Carolina for a press proof than drive across two bridges to get to Long Island.”
Good thing New Jersey Label just invested in new technology, then. Its 10-color, 13-inch “flexographic” press will now allow for specialized configurations and longer print runs while lowering costs and increasing speed.
Because if you think labels are simple to manufacture, think again — there are labels meant to withstand cold temperatures, labels for squeezable tubes, multipage booklet labels, labels meant to be peeled off produce and much more.
“Not only are we looking right now at opening a separate folding carton division, we're also looking into a Florida division to manufacture labels specifically for the cosmetic industry,” Haedrich said.
But while complexity has increased over the past five years, so has client demand for lower prices.
“There's way too much drive in this country to lower costs when lower costs may cause safety and quality problems,” Haedrich said.
“It's okay if I lose money in my prep department as long as that savings is translated into better efficiency.”
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THE BIZ IN BRIEF
Company: New Jersey Label
Location: South Hackensack
President: Steven Haedrich
One more thing: New Jersey Label’s business model is built entirely around the “Deming philosophy,” championed by statistician and consultant W. Edwards Deming: When you improve quality, waste decreases, productivity improves, costs are lowered, savings are passed onto customers, the market is captured and you stay in business and provide jobs.