2021 Top Suppliers: Here's How Discount Labels is Investing in the Future
As part of Print+Promo Marketing's 2021 Top Suppliers list, we asked some of the top-ranked suppliers about how they fared during the first year of the pandemic, their thoughts on the industry, their future plans and more.
Check out our conversation with Craig Harrison of Discount Labels, the No. 12 company on our 2021 Top Suppliers list, below. Or, download the full 2021 Top Suppliers resource for the complete interviews, detailed stats and analysis for the Top 65, and results for our 2021 Supplier Excellence Awards.
Discount Labels – No. 12
2020 sales: $82 million
New Albany, Indiana
550 employees, 4 locations
Established in 1965
“Pivot” is a part of corporate-speak that will forever be linked to the pandemic. It’s a safe bet that even the most enthusiastic members of the C-suite would rather forget the word, but the reality is, pivoting was a lifeline for many printers in 2020, including Discount Labels.
“[COVID] forced the industry to have alternatives and be more flexible with the needs of the marketplace,” acknowledged Craig Harrison, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Discount Labels. “We stayed focused on our core client base and found ways to make them successful — new products, ideas and a dependable supply chain in a very tight market.”
Restaurants, one of the pandemic’s most visibly impacted markets, comprise part of Discount Labels’ client base. So, when eateries changed course by offering to-go drinks and food, Discount Labels adapted with them. In fact, branded labels for carryout items drove a lot of the supplier’s label orders last year. Discount Labels offered other pandemic-inspired products, as well, like COVID-19 vaccination sticker order forms, Face Mask Required signage, #StoptheSpread table tents, Reopen America labels, #StoptheSpread floor graphics, stock healthy hygiene labels and more.
By pivoting, Discount Labels grew its sales by 1.23% to $82 million. Achieving financial gains during a global economic downturn is an impressive feat, but, for Harrison, being a reliable resource for clients matters most.
“We are there for [our distributor partners] and we got through an unprecedented time with them,” he said. “We will continue to be a partner for the long haul, and we are managing the challenges in the marketplace to make them successful. ... We appreciate the distributors that trust us with their business.”
Outlook: As Discount Labels continues to work through the inventory and logistics challenges facing the industry, it will invest in its people, equipment and product lines. Harrison believes doing so will let the company take the lead in the ongoing race for speed, where clients need orders fulfilled yesterday. By his logic, if Discount Labels can be faster and better at supplying its products and solutions, all parties benefit.
“Our team has been very proactive, and we continue to deliver consistent high-quality solutions to our clients,” Harrison concluded.