Interview with Deb Warner at Graphic Label Solutions

Q: Deb, Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally and professionally.

I have 30 years experience in the pressure sensitive label industry, working primarily within the OEM industry.  I really enjoy helping customers solve pain points, presenting cost down opportunities and providing world class service.  Our Mission Statement begins with “To Be a Trusted Advisor….”.  Our customers come first and as such, we are 24/7 service with a Manager on Duty every evening and on weekends.  I enjoy playing golf and breeding Warmblood Horses for Dressage, Hunter/Jumper and 3 day Eventing.  I have one son who is currently pursuing duo degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Physics.

Q: Imagine that you met someone in an elevator and was asked to explain Graphic Label Solutions in 30 seconds or less… Can you give us a 2 sentence ‘elevator pitch’ about your business and what you do?

GLS is a certified WBENC (woman owned) company who manufactures labels, decals, overlays and membrane switches.  GLS was formed in 2002 by Deb Warner to develop a provider of the highest technology and customer centered focus, with accomplishments such as being named by the SBA as the 2013 HubZone company of the year, for the State of Tennessee, picked from 560 other contending companies, purchasing the first LED Digital press in the world, allowing us to meet many of our Sustainability goals.

Q: How did you get started in this business?

Prior to GLS, I worked 15 years in New York as Director of Sales and Marketing for one of the Top 100 Screen Printers in the U.S. as awarded by the Screen Print Association (SGIA).  Family illness required me to return to home state of Tennessee.  After much consideration, I decided to start my own company with the commitment to provide the highest technological advances to customers and world class service.

Q: Can you describe your customers?

OEM, Food and Beverage, Pharma

Q: What are some of your “keys to success” in building your customer base?

Six Sigma based, with a “bottom up” philosophy, allowing our employees and customers to be heard and implement their ideas.  We have done many Kaizen events internally and externally, with metrics in place to measure our successes.  As an example, our on-time delivery is currently 99.6{bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007}.  This past weekend, our Manager On Duty (MOD), received a customer call on Saturday desperately needing labels or they would shut a line down at a major Automotive Company.  Our MOD went to the plant, pulled stock, packaged and shipped for next day delivery.  The customer received their labels Sunday morning, averting a line down.  That is “customer focus”.

Q: Is there anything about your business that you feel makes it special?

1)  Our employees
2) Our advanced technologies
3)  Our advanced software system which we custom built based on what our customers wanted in order to make their jobs easier.

Q: What kind of technology advances do you see that will likely affect this sector over the coming few years?

Definitely LED.  LED leaves no carbon footprint, uses half the electricity of traditional equipment (UV), with UV bulbs for curing are generally replaced every month, LED is between 50 and 75 years!  With laser diecutting, we are eliminating the need for hard tools, which eventually end up in landfills.  All Screen Printing equipment is currently LED, as well.  With major corporations setting sustainability goals, we help them get there faster.  Offering new technological products such as 100{bfa08a400c7550404055ff04715e84c9172815d33c25eb3b84e230636ecdc007} Compostable labels, including  freezer, refrigerated and direct food contact, we are trying to change our customers and other printers to become more thoughtful of the Earth we all share.

Q: Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? In the next ten years?

Continuous Improvement through Lean Manufacturing.  Our manufacturing has been through Lean with a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, creating cellular manufacturing, which one example would be cutting set up times from one hour to fifteen minutes.  There are five people working in a cell and all are cross trained for each piece of equipment.  Continually upgrading technologically.  Developing new products.

Deb Warner

Deb Warner
Graphic Label Solutions
2407 Pulaski Hwy
Columbia TN, 38401
United States of America
T: +1 931-490-0019
F: +1 931-490-0024