In Benton Harbor, thelamco, inc., is more than just another Southwest Michigan business. They continuously try out new innovative ideas to bring down customers' costs and that innovation has given them a competitive advantage over other businesses that offer similar products. "In a nutshell, we are an industrial, custom coater or laminator," says Roxanne Behrman, sales and marketing manager. "We convert products for packaging, pressure sensitive label, and paper industries. Our product development and innovation efforts have allowed us to be nimble and try a variety of materials that our competitors shy away from."

Because at thelamco, inc. they embrace their creative juices, they can actually process materials that their competition cannot and they do it with 20 employees. Recent growth, however, has created an opportunity for the business to add another sales staffer. "Our focus is on the behind the scenes products," adds Behrman. "You've seen our sales tag labels on shelf edges in area stores, and you may have eaten a microwave dinner that has been laminated with our machines."

In addition to its innovation, thelamco, inc. recently achieved national and world wide recognition for its commitment to sustainability. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program allows corporations the opportunity to track their carbon footprints in terms of their packaging products. That alone could result in a 10 percent sales growth for the company according to conservative estimates by thelamco. "Many of our competitors do not have this certification and that gives us a competitive edge," says Behrman. "Ultimately, we can help our packagers develop a more sustainable product, while ensuring the material comes from well managed forests. The growth potential is very real. In fact, we secured a customer as a result of this certification."

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