Packaged for Growth

Packaged for Growth


It was in the cost-cutting environment of an early start-up that Mark Sheriff and Barry Skjoldhammer learnt a lesson that would inform the future capital investment of their business for years to come. “A previous business that we owned was damaged by a bad investment decision where we purchased a less well-known brand of printer because it was cheaper, and then realised it couldn’t deliver what we needed. We’ve never made that mistake again,” says Sheriff, co-founder of labelling and packaging solutions company, Labelpak.

In an industry where equipment costs millions and often needs to be imported, it’s tempting to go with a cheaper option. But Sheriff and Skjoldhammer are adamant that their decision to only invest in the best and latest printing technology has not only saved them money but helped position their business as a leader in its segment.

Investing Wisely

The company invested in flexographic printers when they first made their appearance on the market, recognising the new technology’s ability to improve the quality of printed labels. It was the first company in South Africa to buy waterless offset printers, putting it head and shoulders above its competitors.

“It increased our participation in the food, beverage and cosmetics market, and opened the door to new customers who previously couldn’t afford the high cost of entry in label printing,” says Sheriff. In 2006 the company invested in its first digital printer, becoming one of only five in the country to have done so.

In an industry where technology develops quickly, making smart investment decisions like these has enabled Labelpak to offer its customers the latest and best. If you’re looking for a differentiator, that’s it.

Vital Stats
Company: Labelpak
Players: Mark Sheriff and Barry Skjoldhammer
Started in: 1991
Contact: +27 (0)11 792 4799

Juliet Pitman
Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.