Mission Impossible

It’s easy to say we’ll put an end to your label worries, but we think this true story about how we helped one customer avert a business nightmare pretty well sums up what Star Label is all about.


It was Friday, about 5:30pm, and everyone at Star Label Products was feeling good. All jobs scheduled to ship that day were en route to customers, by UPS, truck and courier. Employees gathered their personal belongings, preparing to go home. As they walked to their cars, they talked about their plans for the weekend – barbecues, Little League games, errands, the usual.

A few minutes later, the telephone rang. It was unusual to receive a call this late on a Friday. Shev Okumus, president of the company, reached for the phone. “I know it’s Friday afternoon and I’m not even a customer,” began the panicked food manufacturer, apologetically. “But I’m in a bind and really need your help.” “What’s the emergency?” asked Shev.

“Well, I just picked up a new account – that’s the good news,” said the food manufacturer. “The bad news is that this guy wants his product in one week. Usually I give my regular label supplier 3-4 weeks. But when I sent them the film, hoping they would rush this job, they said no. I just got the film back and don’t know what to do. I don’t want to lose this account!” “You won’t have to,” assured Shev. “Unless the material your job needs is difficult to get, we can meet your deadline. In fact, 90% of our customers receive product within 3-10 business days. Tell me about the project.” The food manufacturer gave Shev the specifications for the job and promised to send the film next-day delivery. “And the disk,” added Shev, “just in case we have a problem.”

As Shev hung up the phone, Don Okumus, company founder and vice president, walked into his office. “I overheard your conversation. I’ll meet you here tomorrow morning and we’ll look at the job together,” said Don. Saturday morning Shev and Don met at the plant to wait for the package. When it arrived, they examined the color proof and the film negatives. “Good thing you asked for the disk,” said Don, “because we need to make new film. This set is right reading emulsion down, not up.” To make matters worse, when they sat down at the computer and looked at the electronic file, they saw that the traps were too thin. Shev called the food manufacturer at home to let him know. “We need to correct the electronic file and generate new film because it wasn’t properly prepared,” explained Shev. “But we’ll take care of it on Monday, when we order the die and the material. Don’t worry.” The food manufacturer did worry, though. All weekend. Maybe I should have let the new account go, he thought. Or tried to convince him that one week wasn’t a reasonable deadline. I don’t know anything about this company!

First thing Monday morning, Shev turned over the disk to Star’s art director to correct. He notified the purchasing agent to order the die. Usually it took a week to come in, but in an emergency they could call in a favor. He told his stockroom coordinator to pull material from inventory and his production manager to work the run into Thursday’s schedule. Then he called the food manufacturer, to let him know his worries were almost over.

At 11:30am on Friday, Star’s truck pulled away from the loading dock. Inside were 18 boxes of the food manufacturer’s labels, identified by part numbers and packed with special shipping materials – just as the customer ordered.

Mission accomplished!

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