Being a supplier to the pharmaceutical industry is not for the faint of heart. It's a high-stakes, highly regulated industry that requires the utmost in manufacturing discipline and control.
But, as the saying goes, "No pain, no gain." Although the pharmaceutical industry has its unique demands, it's a market that can provide healthy rewards to those suppliers that can meet its high levels of required proficiency.
One company that has been successful as a pharmaceutical label supplier is Norwood, N.J.-based Control Group (www.controlgroupusa.com). This company cut its teeth in pharmaceuticals in 1971 as Control Pharmaceutical Label. Back then, it provided offset-printed inserts and labels to both commercial and pharmaceutical customers.
According to Jim Imburgia, director of operations, Control Group was formed specifically as a pharmaceutical label printer in 1987. "We dealt with all major pharma companies delivering both cut labels and inserts," he recalls. "After a while, our customers started switching to roll labels. At the time this was something that we were not able to do, so instead of losing our customers we decided to invest and educate ourselves to be able to satisfy our customers' needs."
Imburgia says the company's response to these challenges formed the essence of its corporate culture. "This ability to adapt has been our philosophy ever since. It has become our signature, and we have been able to use it to grow our business and differentiate ourselves from other converters. It enabled us to meet our customers' requirements as they started to venture into the health and beauty packaging segments, along with other segments of the marketplace," he notes.
One outgrowth of Control Group's early evolution was investing in flexographic printing capabilities to support its customers' desires for roll labels. Its early focus was on labels using paper stocks, but in 2000, it added the ability to run flexible packaging materials. According to Imburgia, this not only helped the company increase its pharmaceutical business, but also opened up other opportunities, especially in cosmetics.