Flexo Wash Celebrates 15th Anniversary
by Greg Kishbaugh of Flexo Market News
Vol. 19, No. 23 Nov. 13, 2017
Milestones are important. They are a means to reflect upon what’s come before, a time to measure one’s success and to reevaluate goals. This year, Flexo Wash LLC, Louisville, Kentucky, reaches an important milestone, celebrating fifteen years serving the flexo industry.
Every company wants to connect with customers on a deep, personal level, but for Mike Potter, CEO of Flexo Wash, that commitment was built into the company’s DNA. “We offered a full, money-back guarantee right out of the gate,” he said. “I wanted every single customer to know I was a man of my word.” Potter’s son Patrick, who is now the company’s President, summarized it as such, “My father set out, quite simply, to be someone who followed through, to be someone who did what he said.” In August, 2002, Potter purchased the exclusive North American distribution rights from Flexo Wash in Denmark, which just last year celebrated its 25th year in business.
The Flexo Wash portfolio includes anilox cleaning, plate and plate sleeve washing, rotary screen cleaning technology, as well as the original parts washing machines. It has more than 4,000 machines in everyday commercial use worldwide. Prior to funding Flexo Wash LLC, Potter had a background in cleaning, albeit in a different industry. But he clearly saw the need for the technology in the printing industry. “If the anilox roll is the heart of the flexo printing process and critical to maintaining a well-run operation, proper cleaning, care, and maintenance of anilox inventory is essential to your survival,” Potter said. “The absence of good cleaning practices will lead to increased downtime and inconsistent print results.”
Potter was first attracted to the business when he realized Flexo Wash could fill a niche that others at the time were not addressing. “Line screens were getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “And I knew the Flexo Wash systems could work well no matter how small the line screens became.”
Fixing Customer Problems
From the beginning Potter fought hard for his customers, committing himself and his company to fixing whatever problems a customer might face. It may sound cliché for a company to espouse a philosophy that the customer is always right, but it’s a belief system
that has helped propel Potter and Flexo Wash forward from day one. “If a customer has a problem, I want to fix it,” said Potter. “Simple as that. I want customers to say they get a better response from Flexo Wash than any other vendor.”
From humble beginnings (Potter had a machine in a trailer he would drive from various printers to do demos), the company has experienced growth every year of its existence, 15 straight years. As such the success has necessitated a move to newer, expanded
headquarters, which will add 12,000 square feet to the company’s space, including a new demo center.
The company also has its products in demo centers in schools such as Fox Valley Technical College and California State University Fullerton, as well as a number of OEM facilities including Mark Andy, Nilpeter, Uteco, Siegwerk, Omet, and MPS. While Potter never planned for Flexo Wash to become a family business, he said nothing makes him prouder than the fact that his two sons have joined the company to help lead it into the future. Patrick, with a background in the financial industry, joined the company as President. Ryan, originally on the service side of the business, moved into his current role as Vice President, Sales.
The Potters know that with continued success and growth, there comes greater responsibility to the increased number of customers dependent on the company. “The more you sell,” said Patrick, “The higher level of service you need to maintain.” With that in mind, the company has aggressively expanded its sales and service team across the United States and with agents in Canada and Mexico.
It also continues to introduce new technology because every new advance in the converting industry solves one problem while sometimes simultaneously introducing new challenges. “The increased speed of today’s presses can be an amazing asset and allow greater productivity, but the presses are now so fast that a lot of printers cannot keep up with cleaning
the anilox rolls,” said Potter. “This is something we continue to address, most recently with the new Flexo Wash FW 992XL Anilox Sleeve Cleaner, which will clean two wide web anilox sleeves at the same time in about 15 minutes.”
Going forward, Flexo Wash plans to adhere closely to its original mission statement of addressing the needs of its customers and meeting them in as efficient a manner as possible.
“[My father] knew that if you combined great service with the Flexo Wash technology we could help improve printing processes for the label and package printing industry in North America,” explained Patrick. “He was right.”
See the original full article in the flipbook format on the 15th Anniversary of Flexo Wash US, as published on Nov. 13, 2107 in the magazine here at Flexo Market News!