Solutions in Cable Labeling at Dasco
Dasco Label was founded in 1954 by Donovan A. Schultz, and was known as the D.A Schultz Company. Don was an electrical engineer who previously worked at 3M and wanted to start his own distribution business. In the beginning, the company handled a wide variety of electrical supply products including silicone adhesives, tubing, sleeving, tapes, varnishes, and insulation materials as they supplied the manufacturing industry. Don had started other companies and included his family in his entrepreneurial pursuits. When he passed away in 1978, his wife Dorothy took over the business adding on new product lines, including W.H. Brady. That move brought them into the identification and labeling industry.
The company progressed to the second generation of ownership when Don’s oldest son Ken and his wife Holly purchased the company in 1987. Ken had worked in the company as a kid, maintaining the yard, cleaning the facility, etc. He systematically held positions in the warehouse, customer service, sales and eventually, management.
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family really had its ups and downs for Ken and his family. “There were both good and bad times, and I remember seeing my parents go through some tough times. Still, it didn’t stop my desire to get involved in the business,” he noted.
During his early years with the company, Ken’s parents taught him the importance of providing high-end service to their customers; and he appreciates the lessons. “There are plenty of options for the customers to choose from and I learned that in order to really make a difference, you have to bring unparalleled service and support to the customer. My parents taught me that you need to bring solutions that are going to make a difference in the customers’ businesses,” he explained.
Ken’s goal is to help customers meet their goals and objectives, improve their processes and impact their bottom line. “I have brought this notion forward throughout the years. When making suggestions to customers, we suggest the products and configurations we would choose if it were our business.”
Dasco’s business is in the wire harness, control panel and circuit board manufacturing industries. That market has grown for them over the years. “We continue to focus on bringing new solutions and technology to automate processes.”
Wire identification is one area where we have brought options to customers that have increased their flexibility and significantly reduced their costs,” Ken proclaimed. Their continuous shrink sleeve printing solution is something he is most proud of. “It allows you to print on continuous heat shrink material on one or both sides, then cut or perforate them to the proper length and batch them as required.”
Dasco’s unique solution has saved customers 70-80% as they move away from the traditional ladder style sleeves. The system also allows the flexibility to print a wide variety of labels for wire identification, rating plates, raised panel labeling and more. “The majority of manufacturing expense is labor,” Ken contended, “and Dasco focuses on bringing automation to the production floor with the objective of reducing labor costs.” It’s a creative method the company has devised to help customers become more competitive through material cost savings and labor reduction.
Dasco partners with companies like Brady to bring these quality solutions to meet customer needs, but they take the use of these products to the next level. “We are not tied to representing just one manufacturer, so we take products from several manufacturers and bring them together to provide one complete suite of solutions,” Ken revealed. “Dealing with manufacturers directly limits you to purchasing only their products, while missing other options that may perform better.” The ‘secret sauce’ at Dasco is that they know the identification market. They’ve put in the years researching products and have become quite adept at bringing customers the product mix that will best suit their needs.
“One of the big frustrations I see in the market now,” Ken lamented, “is when our customers get locked into using one vendor who has been called out on a specification. They have no flexibility to select another source if their current source is not meeting their needs.” Under Kens management, Dasco is currently working on bringing flexibility to these customers to give them control. “We have become a UL/CSA repackager, which allows us to carry the material manufacturers certification and bring it forward to sell to our customers. That way if we do not perform, the customer can bring this to any other repackager and bring them in as a supplier.” This has increased Dasco business significantly in the manufacturing sector.
While most businesses are trying to lock customers into proprietary products, Dasco is trying to move the control back to the end user. “If we do our job then you will want to stay with us,” Ken affirmed, “and if not, you can easily move to another supplier that will better meet your needs.” But that just doesn’t happen at Dasco. They stay on top of their game, and Ken and his team are constantly looking for new solutions that provide value while reducing customer’s costs.
Ken detailed his history with the company in his own words:
I left college in 1982 to join the business full time, and was immediately drawn to the labeling and identification portion of the business. Working with customers to solve their issues and automate their processes provided great satisfaction. The mid 80’s and early 90’s is when computerization was being introduced to label printing, allowing users on-demand printing with desktop solutions, thermal printing, etc. You could really make an impact on the manufacturing floor by providing solutions that would make an immediate impact. During this time, our customers also began asking about bar coding, and it didn’t take long for us to get into the barcode printing and data collection business. This brought our customers new technologies that would totally change their businesses.
I began to enjoy educating them on barcodes and how they could track their processes, and implement scanning to improve productivity. Barcodes became widely accepted and the advent of new technology like 2D barcodes and RFID technology brought new opportunities.
In the mid 90’s we started a label converting business that expanded our market to include prime labeling. This allowed us to develop new production techniques and bring unique products to market.
Around that time, a customer approached us with an unusual opportunity. They had a company supplying them with promotional magnets who went out of business. We analyzed the business opportunity and within 60 days, we were up and running with in the promotional magnet business. This business expanded as we began to provide major league sports teams with calendar magnets.
After running this business unit for about 10 years, I realized that we had lost focus on our core business of bringing labeling solutions to our customers in the manufacturing arena. We sold the promotional magnet businesses and brought the focus back to Dasco’s traditional goals of developing solutions and providing industrial labels.
Most recently we have added color printing solutions that allow customers to bring full color printing options to the shop floor. With the capability to design and print full-color labels, we are bringing new printing opportunities and possibilities to our customers. We will continue to seek cutting-edge technologies to better serve our customers.
Learn more about Dasco by visiting www.dasco.com.