‘THE name change to Sullwald Printing Solutions perfectly reflects how the company has grown and that relationships and printing solutions are at the core of the business,’ explains CEO Marius Sullwald. ‘The Coastal Labels name was no longer fitting for the company as coastal is specific to a certain region and labels a particular service. Our capability has grown beyond self-adhesive label printing and serving the coastal regions.’
Marius points out that the Sullwald in the name focuses on ethical values and the fact that it’s a family-owned and -oriented company, printing denotes the diverse services, and solutions emphasises that the team offers more than just products.
The company’s printing solutions for the commercial (FMCG), wine, beer and premium spirit industries include flexographically and digitally printed self-adhesive, desensitised, peel and reveal labels; flexible packaging and marketing materials such as header cards, small boxes, tags, cardboard sleeves, printed tissue and wax paper. Its range of value-adding finishing effects include embossing, debossing, numerical numbering, cold and hot stamp foiling, high-build and screen printing.
Assisting with the name change campaign was former employee Warren Wilsnach from branding agency Made by Simplifi. ‘It was special that we could use a former graphic designer, who knows the company and its employees well. Warren went above and beyond to ensure the rebranding campaign was successful,’ Marius enthuses.
The big leap
Marius acquired the company in June 2000, after recognising its potential to keep him stimulated and from having to perform repetitive work. He also wanted to spend more time with his family as his son, Heinrich, was just two.
The Sullwald family relocated from Phalaborwa in Limpopo to Cape Town and his wife, Salome, joined and headed up the finance department. ‘When I think about where we started, I can’t believe where we are at now. I’m so proud of what Marius has achieved over the years and how we’ve all helped to make Sullwald Printing Solutions a success,’ she comments.
According to Marius, although he was previously in the construction industry, the printing industry fits his personality perfectly and he’s never looked back.
The company’s original premises were located in Parow and after much consideration changed to Brackenfell in 2004 to enable growth opportunities and to accommodate an increase in staff headcount from 17 to 58. ‘My background in construction made the building process easier and ensured that the facility was tailor-made for our needs,’ he explains.
Teamwork is key
In 2018, Andrew Mantell joined the team as technical manager with 25 years’ industry experience to assist with new projects and any problems in the factory.
Marius describes Andrew as an integral part of the team. ‘It’s important to have hands-on employees who ensure that certain aspects of the company are well-looked after and provide the owners with that peace of mind.’
Andrew agrees that the standout feature at Sullwald Printing Solutions is the important role everybody plays in the company to ensure everything runs smoothly and at a high-standard.
The production team is, for instance, backed up by a strong sales team, all of whom share Marius’ passion for the industry. ‘For some companies, the sales team might not seem as important, but we’ve noticed having a big sales team benefits the business. Our customers are of paramount importance, and we give them the best possible service and quality so that their products stand out on-shelf.’
In 2020, Heinrich Sullwald finished his studies and joined the company as systems’ administrator. ‘Heinrich joined at a tough time as the pandemic changed the industry within a few months, but he has learned a lot under Andrew’s guidance,’ states Marius.
Heinrich adds that he is enjoying the learning curve. ‘For me, it’s important to never stagnate, and this industry comes with exciting new challenges and innovations,’ he remarks.
‘During the 21st-anniversary celebrations, we had suppliers (Avery Dennison, Acme Graphics, ColorGen, Rotocon and Morgancoat) sponsoring Sullwald Printing Solutions team shirts and goodie bags for attendees. We’re grateful for our suppliers’ support throughout the years and for helping us to remain competitive in the market,’ explains Marius.
According to Marius, ColorGen’s inks have ensured that the company still made a profit during the pandemic, although the turnover was less than in previous years. ‘Thanks to the quality consistency and reusability of ColorGen inks, we’re able to reduce material waste and throw away less ink.’
Sullwald Printing Solutions’ latest technology investment is a second Rotocon Ecoline RDF 330 digital finishing press. ‘Two years after investing in a Screen Truepress L350UV+ digital press and Ecoline RDF 330 (both supplied by Rotocon), we knew that it was the right time to invest in another finishing press to ensure we keep up with the demand created by diverse market opportunities,’ he states.
To read more about the business relationship between Sullwald Printing Solutions and Rotocon, click here.
Building a future-proof company
Heinrich’s appointment is an example of Sullwald’s vision statement of contributing to the future of the next generation by creating long-lasting job opportunities, while supplying customers with the best printing solutions to fulfil their needs.
Andrew adds that strategic planning is also central in creating a sustainable business. The job management system designed by Marius ensures that all relevant parties are updated immediately on a job’s progress. ‘The system automatically sends out reports, which helps organise the workflow. These reports also detail the amount of material used (in metres) and the time taken to finish the job, which helps to reduce the amount of time spent on admin, planning and organising,’ Andrew remarks.
When discussing future endeavours, Marius points out that broadening the product and services portfolio and investing in another building fits into the company’s growth strategy. ‘I’ve always run the company conservatively because it’s more important to keep the doors open and think about the whole team rather than making more profit,’ he concludes.
Ed’s note: Sullwald Printing Solutions is ISO 9000:2015 accredited, FSC Chain of Custody certified and Level 2 B-BBEE rated.