LabelPrint OÜ, who recently expanded their surface area to 5000 square metres, is one of the largest label printing companies in Estonia. The company just celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, has undertaken several steps in order to be more environmentally conscious and is investing in new products in a sustainable manner. The corona crisis is not affecting the company’s spirits because last year was the print shop’s best year of all time.

Manager of LabelPrint OÜ Sten Sarap stated that the objective of the company has always been to offer innovative products and high product quality and be a trustworthy and flexible partner. “We have invested many resources into innovation and effectiveness, beginning with a new production facility and digital technology as well as training new personnel,” says Sarap. “In short, our efforts have been worthwhile because the global pandemic has not yet interfered with our activities, quite the opposite really, as we closed 2020 with excellent results.”

LabelPrint was born from an idea to create a company that would produce labels with the best technical means available. The early stages of the new enterprise went by quickly and many risky ventures were boldly taken. And so after three years of being in business, LabelPrint bought out its greatest competitor Paraprint AS, at which time the buying company had nine employees and the selling company had 36. As a result, the largest label manufacturer in Estonia was created.

We learned from the 2008-2009 crisis that we cannot stand idly by during upturns and we must have the same efficiency during tough times. “Our turnover has increased by more than 10% each year, but this type of growth is not recognised in the income statement because we have actively worked on expanding production as well as modernising it,” explains Sarap. “We were not complacent last year either, in fact, we invested more than a million euros. In this regard, the incorporation of several machines happened during the first wave of the coronavirus, which means that they had to assemble and configure them by themselves – the electrician at the production facility and the mechanic’s guidelines over a video call were the only help.” But they managed to complete everything and did so faster than usual.

Broadly speaking, Sarap can state that last year and this year are times when the company is able to harvest results because last year, for example, turnover rose to slightly more than 11 million euros. The positives are that the employees rarely got sick because the facility essentially closed; no strangers were allowed in and every precaution was taken in order to protect everyone’s health.

In addition, export numbers have also grown, which today account for more than half of total turnover. The company’s main export markets are Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark because transit time from Estonia to other European countries is rather long and competition is high. “The current tricky situation has slowed down export quite exponentially, but we are able to handle suppliers and clients via conference calls over the Internet, so life does not just stop,” says Sarap. “In addition, our regular clients have a comfortable way to order via our website. It is rather likely that this type of digital communication is going to become the norm while dealing with everyday business matters, but in the beginning we should still find various ways to meet new export clients. We have delayed the launch of our new products because of that same reason, since clients want to see those products with their own eyes and touch them with their own hands.”

Protecting the environment is increasingly more relevant

The strengths of LabelPrint include their versatility and their wide range of services, where the client is able to receive the complete package. The company’s objective is to be the first company to develop new things: they created duolabels, i.e. labels with multiple layers, booklet labels which are more widely known from books and the combination of silk and foil on various product labels.

Similarly, a lot of emphasis is placed on being environmentally conscious because this has been at the forefront of our clients’ attention for the past six or seven years. “For starters, we think about our production environmentally, for example, the roof of our production plant has a bunch of solar panels with a capacity of nearly 350 kilowatts,” comments Sarap. “This provides nearly 70% of our required energy in good weather. We use a great deal of environmentally conscious materials and we also recycle – the shredded material that comes from our machines goes to a specific container that holds four times more waste and therefore substantially reduces our need for multiple waste shipments. In turn, this signifies less transportation costs. Our clients place great value on our international ISO 9001 certification and our ISO 14 001 environmental resource management certification.”

LabelPrint are eager to collaborate with clients, design companies and designers in order to develop new products. The company’s clients include the food and cosmetic industry as well as the alcohol industry and the chemical industry.

A label printing shop that has a tennis and badminton court

There are currently around 70 employees working at the company and Sarap states that they are always prepared to hire new specialists in their respective fields. “However, in our field we have a problem with our labour force and we usually have to train all employees ourselves because there are no individuals with specific professional experience who are readily available,” he explains. “In addition, we rely on temporary workers, for example, workers from Ukraine, but sadly they are unable to procure a work visa for an extended period of time. Despite this, our employee turnover rate is not that high and because of the rise in efficiency, we are able to manage with a smaller number of individuals.”

LabelPrint takes care of its employees – are you aware of any printing shops that offer a full tennis and badminton court to its employees? In reality, the space used is the company’s future production or storage space, currently in use to benefit the hobbies of their employees. Sarap says that basketball can also be played there and that this is only a plus for the company because they offer such special activities. All the more so since the gyms were closed because of the coronavirus.

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Original article was published by Äripäev.

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