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Great place to work 2018

January 2020

Citation Parent Company AWT Labels & Packaging Profiled as a “Fast Track” Firm Among PI 400 List

From Printing Impressions Magazine

Investment, Initiative, and a Sales Growth Program Set AWT Labels & Packaging on Path to Growth

By Patrick Henry

Topping the annual honor roll of the Printing Impressions 400 are its “Fast Track” companies: those with significantly higher rates of year-over-year revenue growth than the majority of other listees. One of the six exceptional strivers are profiled here.

Their stories reaffirm that whatever else may be said about the state of the printing industry, its enterprising business-people still know how to make money in ways that revenue leaders in any other industry would be the first to recognize and endorse.

Although it always seems a bit facile to search for “common denominators” in distinctive stories like these, our “Fast-Track Firms” do exhibit some shared traits of excellence.

One of them, surely, is staying locked onto customer satisfaction as the ultimate objective of everything that happens in the planning and the execution of a job.

Another is scrupulously measuring all steps of execution to make sure that the objective is being upheld.

Not as tangible, but no less crucial, is leadership: engendering the kind of pervasive enthusiasm that inspires pride of accomplishment as it spurs everyone in the organization to make the next job even better than the one that preceded it.

These are best practices that all printing businesses can emulate, and by publishing these exemplary vignettes, that is exactly what we are encouraging all of our readers to do. We salute the Fast-Track companies and to all of the other enterprises joining them on the 2019 Printing Impressions 400 list.

AWT LABELS & PACKAGING, MINNEAPOLIS
Most Recent Fiscal Year Sales: $70.2 Million
Previous Fiscal Year Sales: $52 Million
Percentage Growth: 35%

Jim Lundquist, CEO, AWT Labels & Packaging.

Jim Lundquist, CEO of AWT Labels & Packaging, says his company’s recipe for success is “a kind of a combo platter” in which the key ingredients are judicious acquisition, methodical capital investment, closely measured customer service, and an exceptional commitment to professional education and training.

All are integral to the continuing growth of the 43-year-old business, which has been under private-equity ownership since 2004. With the acquisition of Citation Healthcare Labels in Hauppauge, N.Y., in 2018, AWT became a three-plant operation, employing more than 300 people in the production of custom labels, flexible packaging, shrink sleeves, and other items for verticals that include medical and pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and consumer products.

Lundquist stresses how closely AWT’s progress is tied to that of the “exceptional, growing brands” it serves.

“As they grow, we grow,” he says, noting that the essence of AWT’s strategy is to equip and staff in step with the needs of its clientele. “If you are growing along with your customers,” he observes, “you’re doing something right.”

This is what drives AWT’s policy of investing 5% of annual revenue in capital equipment, which funded the purchase of an HP Indigo 6900 label and packaging digital press in 2019. In recent years, the investment program also has led to the installations of two Mark Andy P5 flexo presses and a 52˝ central-impression Miraflex flexo press from Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H).

In Lundquist’s view, the point of acquiring production capability like this is all about what it can do to make a printer more responsive to the needs of its customers. “We don’t say no to unique printing or converting situations,” he says. In and of itself, owning a press doesn’t assure growth, “but it does have you servicing your customers with high-quality printed product;” and that is where the growth comes from on the provider side.

AWT pays the same kind of scrupulous attention to the quality of its customer service. “Having a culture that embraces client requirements is extraordinarily important,” Lundquist says, noting that the right way to nurture such a culture is to measure the elements of its performance.

This means monitoring things like the frequency of deliveries by customer-requested dates; numbers of corrective actions taken; and instances where corrective action was needed but not applied. Follow-up along these lines is what produces “world-class” customer service, according to Lundquist, who encourages the embrace of the culture among AWT employees with incentive programs for virtually everyone in the organization. Then, he says, “your customers don’t leave you.”

Understanding that nothing is possible without filling the right staff positions with the right people, AWT has taken an unusual step toward developing the talent it depends — not just on its own behalf, but also for the benefit of other printing businesses with similar personnel needs. This is the creation of a 501(c)(3) entity called Flexographic Tech, a training program AWT co-founded with Computype, a barcode solutions supplier based in St. Paul, Minn.

Given that it’s become “extraordinarily rare” to find qualified flexo press operators, says Lundquist, Flexographic Tech incubates its own with a variety of hands-on courses led by flexo training expert Shawn Oetjen. Fifteen of the program’s 58 graduates work for AWT; the rest, according to Lundquist, are employed by other flexo plants, including some AWT competitors.

Investment, initiative, and a sales growth program that uses the resources of salesforce.com will keep AWT on its upward trajectory, Lundquist believes. “We will just sell, sell, sell, and focus on everything that fits us.”

August 2019

Citation Healthcare Labels Sponsors Pizza Lunch at Sunrise Day Camp – Long Island

Wheatley Heights, NY – August 2nd, 2019 – Citation Healthcare Labels, LLC, a subsidiary of AWT Labels & Packaging sponsored a pizza lunch at Sunrise Day Camp – Long Island. The camp offers a free of charge full-summer day camp for children with cancer as well as their siblings.

Sunrise Day CampThe Citation Crusaders collectively raised $2,560 through internal events such as pasta day, pizza day, taco Tuesday and empanada Friday, as well as a Crowdrise campaign! For pizza day, Michael Anthony’s Pizzeria & Restaurant donated 25 pizza pies to CHL, which raised $374.

On Friday, August 2nd, Richard Bolnick, President of Citation Healthcare Labels and 20 of our Citation Crusaders were honored to serve pizza to the campers.

“Working with Citation has been an absolute pleasure. Their dedication, thoughtfulness and responsiveness throughout the process made it seamless to work alongside them. Their genuine passion for our cause was evident in everything they did from raising the funds to cover the cost of pizza, to serving it up with smiles, and beyond. We look forward to working with Citation through the next couple of months, as they continue to host a School Supply Drive at their office for our Long Island campers. We are thrilled to continue to grow this new partnership with Citation!” – Emily Tedesco, SunriseWALKS Campaign Manager.

Since their inception in 2016, the Citation Crusaders have raised over $40,000 for various local organizations. As philanthropists, we are committed to doing our part in our community.

May 2019

Citation Hires Director of Finance & Accounting

Hauppauge, NY – May 12th, 2019 – Citation welcomes Lori Massucci as Director of Finance and Accounting to Citation Healthcare Labels.  Lori will be responsible for Citation’s financial reporting and analysis.  Lori is a results driven finance professional with diverse industry experience and a strong analytical background.  She has a passion for learning and is a strong believer in continuous growth.

Lori Massucci, Director of Finance and Accounting

Lori is a graduate of St. John’s University with a BS in Accounting.  She has over 20 years of experience in the Accounting & Finance field, 18 years in management, 16 years in HR, and 13 years in manufacturing.   In previous positions Lori has implemented many systems and procedures to streamline processes which have reduced costs and increased workflow efficiencies.  She has handled the financial and management reporting, corporate accounting and internal controls, as well as support of the corporate financial planning and analysis functions for multiple businesses ranging in size from $11MM to $330MM in annual revenue.

I am excited to join the Citation Healthcare Labels’ family, a leader in the clinical pharmaceutical and custom labels & packaging industry.  I believe that Citation is very well-positioned and has tremendous growth potential.  I am looking forward to working with the team to continue that growth.  A quote from Walt Disney says it all “Do something so well that they want to come back & bring their friends” …and that is what Citation does and I am so glad to be a part of that. – Lori Massucci, Director of Finance and Accounting.

Lori thrives in a team atmosphere with an open forum encouraging continuous education and knowledge sharing all around.

March 2019

Citation Healthcare Labels, LLC Launches Kaizen Campaign

Hauppauge, NY – March 5th, 2019 – Citation has embraced Kaizen techniques to improve many facets of the business process and there has already been evidence of positive change.  The charter event was focused on key process steps in the closing stage of each production job. The team for this initial event was comprised of Quality Assurance, Operations, Production and IT team members.

“We were able to make our processes easier without sacrificing quality or compliance and simplify forms without losing data., By decreasing the amount of paperwork to be filled out before a job is printed and making forms more user-friendly, significant time savings were achieved.” – David Molé, Manager of Label Control

The team uncovered that the Quality Assurance department was tasked with performing key processes that could ultimately be performed by team members closer to the process, providing a faster response time. This allowed the number of qualified employees to increase from 8 to 17 – making for a quicker approval time.  The Citation team was energized by uncovering this zero-cost improvement to our process.  The group looks forward to the next planned kaizen event.

“I have been in this field for many years and was never exposed to Kaizen until now.  I found it extremely interesting and it opened my eyes to simple changes that can make a huge difference and impact for the better.” – Ann Sisalli, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance

The team did an excellent job in identifying collectively over an hour of time savings that could be realized from the existing 3-hour process.

Identify. Train. Implement.

January 2019

Citation Healthcare Labels Receives Two Philanthropic Awards

Hauppauge, NY – January 31, 2019 – Citation Healthcare Labels, LLC, a subsidiary of AWT Labels & Packaging, was honored to receive two awards at the prestigious 2018 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Light The Night Awards, held in Bethpage, NY.

Richard Bolnick, Citation Healthcare Labels, LLC’s President, stands with other Executive Challenge Award winners at the prestigious 2018 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Light The Night Awards, held in Bethpage, NY.

“Philanthropy is one of the most important things that we do, and it is a big part of our culture,” said Citation Healthcare Labels President, Rich Bolnick, the first award honors their corporate team; The Citation Crusaders, for placing seventh out of 80 competing corporate teams, led by Team Captain, Cristina Gulotta, Marketing Manager. Citation’s combined philanthropic efforts raised almost $15,000 in 2018 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Citation’s second award honored Mr. Bolnick for meeting his personal fundraising goal of $5,000; as part of the elite group of Long Island Executives nominated to participate in the 2018 Executive Challenge.

“At LLS, our goal is to create a world without blood cancers and the way we can continue to make progress towards that goal is due to authentic partnerships like that which we’ve built with Citation Healthcare Labels. 2018 was their first year participating in our Light The Night Walk and they made their presence known with their passion and determination, landing them as our current #7 Corporate Team, out of more than 80! It has been a true pleasure getting to work with them and seeing firsthand the impact a genuine philanthropic culture can have on employees and company,” said Jaclyn Gilbride, Senior Director, Light The Night.

Since their inception in 2016, the Citation Crusaders have raised over $30,000 for various local organizations.

November 2017

Citation Clinical Labeling Systems was awarded Great Place to Work

Hauppauge, NY – Every Citation employee was given the opportunity to rate their workplace based on different categories. Below are our scores!

Great Place to Work said “We applaud Citation Clinical Labeling Systems for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Executive Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Certification Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Citation Clinical Labeling Systems should take into account as an indicator of high performance.”

Read our results

January 2015

Citation Clinical Labeling Systems Automates for Perfection

Hauppauge, NY – “Our industry has zero-tolerance for errors which makes it imperative for us to be accurate each and every time”, says President Richard Bolnick, adding “We needed to find a system that we felt would support the level of veracity and quality required not only by us but also just as importantly by our customers.”

Read the full article here

July 2010

Volkswagen Motorsports – Second Half of the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Underway

Alton, VA – JOLIET, Ill., July 31 – Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup rookie, Kevin Gleason, earned his first career pole this afternoon after leading the field with a lap of 2:46.455 (75.696 mph) making him the fifth different polesitter in the first six races of the 2010 season.

“This morning we had some rain, so I made sure to take it easy during the first practice session,” said Gleason after qualifying.  “The track conditions weren’t ideal, so I just stayed patient and focused on learning the course.  After practice, I took the extra time to really study the circuit and meet with the driving instructors.  During qualifying this afternoon, I could tell my strategy really paid off.  I kept getting quicker and quicker and then at the end, I was able to lay down a really solid lap.  I’m really excited to have earned my first Series pole.  One of my sponsors, Citation Clinical Labeling Systems, is having an employee event here at Autobahn this weekend and to be able to win the pole in front of all of them makes this even more special.”

JD Mobley turned the second-fastest lap of the day with a time of 2:46.786 and rookie Wyatt Gooden recorded the third quickest lap (2:46.792) of the day.  Chris Wehrheim and AJ Nealey round out the top-five for tomorrow’s race.

Read the full article here

March 1981

An efficient labeling system speeds drugs to the clinic

Farmingdale, NY – Many forms companies were solicited to bid on the development of our planned label. Most felt that the cost of developing such a multi-part label would either be prohibitive or just did not have the necessary equipment required to produce a label of this type. The only vendor who agreed to develop even a proof for this label was Citation Business Forms of Farmingdale, New York.

Read the full article here