TLP Employee Receives Global Recognition for Label Academy Achivement

TLP Label Application Engineer Recognized by Labels & Labeling Magazine for “Leading the Label Academy”

TLP-Label-Academy-ArticleMonday, May 2th, 2016 – Menomonee Falls, Wis. – Tailored Label Products, Inc. (TLP) Regional Application Engineer Lindsey Muchka was highlighted in a feature article by Labels & Labeling magazine for having”taken – and passed – more Label Academy exams than anyone globally.

“Continuing education and technical competency are core elements of TLP culture, so we are very proud to have our team members recognized by our industry for this kind of achievement, not only at a national level, but globally.” said Tracy Tenpenny, V.P. of Sales and Marketing at Tailored Label Products.

This article in Labels & Labeling can be found online in its entirety on page 80 of the Labels and Labeling | Volume 38 | Issue #2 | April 2016 – May 2016.

About Label Academy

Label Academy is a global training and certification program for the label and package printing industry. It consists of a series of self-study modules, and once a student has completed a module, they take a timed,  50-question online test. Those who pass earn a Label Academy certificate. It is expected that a Label Academy qualification will become a standard in the industry, and has been supported by label associations including TLMI, Finat and LMAI. For more information on Label Academy, visit

About Tailored Label Products, Inc.

Tailored Label Products, Inc. (TLP) is a custom manufacturer of high-performance labels, tags, and die-cut adhesives. TLP provides custom engineered adhesive and label solutions for the electronics, automotive, aerospace, industrial, biomedical, medical equipment, hydraulic fluid and power industries. For more information, contact TLP at 800.727.1344 or visit

Media Contact:  Larry Harvey  |  (262) 345-6404  |

Manufacturing Matters Conference - Tailored Label Products (TLP)

TLP at 2016 Manufacturing Matters!

Join TLP at Manufacturing Matters 2016.  Our experienced staff will be on hand to answer your technical questions on how labels and die-cut adhesives can improve your company’s branding, industry compliance, manufacturing processes, and more.

Mike Erwin - TLP Partner & Director

Mike Erwin

Also, meet TLP’s former CEO and corporate culture architect Mike Erwin. Mike will be speaking in the WORKFORCE & CULTURE TRACK on the topic of “Establishing a Culture of Engagement”. This track will discuss building a workforce culture that strives for continuous improvement by continuously drawing upon the talents of your workers, creating an engaged workforce that understands their contributions to the success of the organization follows.

When:  February 25th, 2016
Where: Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, 333 West Kilbourn Ave.,  Milwaukee

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), the conference focuses on delivering unmatched opportunities for learning, networking, and collaboration. For 18 years the conference has focused attention on innovative practices that place Wisconsin Manufacturers among the very best in the nation.

Spirit of Americans with Disabilities Act - Spirit of ADA Award - Tailored Label Products (TLP)

Disability Rights Wisconsin Recognizes Tailored Label Products at “Spirit of ADA Awards”

Spirit of Americans with Disabilities Act - Spirit of ADA Award - Tailored Label Products (TLP)

Patrick Young (left) and Mike Erwin (right)

MENOMONEE FALLS, WI (October 5, 2016) – Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) has recognized the winners of its “Spirit of ADA Awards” in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The awards recognize Wisconsin companies, organizations or individuals along with Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner who are positively changing and improving the lives of people with disabilities in Wisconsin.

“Since the passage of the ADA 25 years ago, people with disabilities have enjoyed increased access to employment, education, recreation, and government services, which contributes to better communities for all,” said Daniel Idzikowski, Executive Director of Disability Rights Wisconsin. “At DRW we advocate every day so that all people with disabilities can exercise the full extent of their rights and pursue the greatest possible quality of life,” he noted.

Tailored label was presented with the “Spirit of ADA Awards” Gold Award for its ongoing efforts to promote workplace opportunities for workers with disabilities.
TLP CEO Mike Erwin commented, “TLP understands that it is first and foremost, a company of people. That’s why we are so closely connected and committed to our employees and the communities in which we do business. From a wide variety of community involvement and charitable initiatives to a strong focus on employee development, we’re determined to keep positively touching the lives of people in every way possible. As an integral part of these initiatives, Tailored Label Products supports employing people with disabilities as an important component of our diverse workforce.  Our company, employees and community all benefit from the highly productive and gainful employment of people with disabilities. The TLP team gains additional benefit and inspiration from the opportunity to provide training and mentoring for fellow employees as they overcome workplace challenges. It is a great honor to receive this award as it is for a cause that is very near to our hearts.”
In 2014, Tailored Label Products was honored with the prestigious National APSE Employer Award in the medium-size company category.  The APSE (Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst) recognizes model companies for employment of individuals with disabilities, affording them the same wages and benefits as other employees, supporting the concept of integrated employment in its purest form. Additionally, Tailored Label Products and employee Patrick Young were recognized by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, as helping to inspire a new initiative Walker unveiled in his 2014 State of the State speech. The effort, called “A Better Bottom Line,” is aimed at getting more Wisconsin companies to hire people with disabilities including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and mental illness.

An awards luncheon was held on Monday, October 5, at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee to honoring the Gold, Silver and Bronze award recipients and special honoree, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner.

Gold Winners

Aurora Health Care was selected from businesses, firms or places open to the public based on its outstanding example of accessibility and accommodation through the elimination of physical, social, policy and attitudinal barriers.

Fishing Has No Boundaries was selected from sports, arts or recreation organizations or venue nominees based on its outstanding commitment to full inclusion of people with disabilities, the elimination of barriers to participation, and the development of new opportunities for cultural expression.

Tailored Label Products was selected from employer or employee support organizations based on its outstanding commitment to the elimination of discrimination against people with disabilities in hiring and employment practices, supporting and accommodating workers and providing competitive integrated work opportunities.

Robert “Bob” Jauch was selected in the government or legislator arena based on his outstanding commitment to all people’s right to fully participate in all aspects of society through the enforcement of the standards established in the ADA, and ensuring access to voting and the provision of public services.

Diana Sullivan was selected as an individual champion based on her outstanding commitment to the Spirit of the ADA through advocacy, opportunity and example.

Silver Winners

Individual Champions

  • Ben Barrett
  • Cindy Bentley
  • Monica Lopez
  • Lyn Malofsky
  • Howard Mandeville
  • Audrey Nelson

Government or Legislator

  • Milwaukee Election Commission
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Geri Lyday
  • Helene Nelson
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Open the Outdoors

Employer or Employee Support Organization

  • AgrAbility
  • Anthem
  • Easter Seals Wisconsin FARM Program
  • Neosho Trompler
  • New Horizon’s North
  • Walgreen’s Distribution  Center

Access & Accommodations

  • Bridgeway Independent Living Design (BILD)
  • Metcalfe’s Market
  • Movin’ Out
  • Transit Express
  • Eppstein Uhen Architects

Arts, Sport & Recreation

  • Milwaukee Community Sailing Center
  • Overture Center for the Arts
  • Possibility Playground
  • Summerfest/Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.
  • Waukesha Civic Theater

Bronze Winners

  • ABLE
  • Accessibility Plus
  • Al & AL’s Steinhaus Coffee
  • Damian Buchman – The Ability Center
  • Hector Colon
  • John Donnelly
  • Ashley’s Furniture
  • Karen Avery
  • Colectivo Coffee Roasters and Café
  • Deaf Unity
  • Sandy Engel
  • EVP Coffee
  • Froedert Hospital
  • Amber Lee Gilberg
  • Government Accountability Board
  • Ed Griffiths
  • Thomas Hlavacek
  • Henderson Excavating Landscaping and Supply
  • Independence First
  • Jill’s My Style Salon
  • John Hawk’s Pub
  • Johnson Controls
  • JW Winko
  • James & Jill Kocian
  • Stephanie Mauck
  • Michelle Martini
  • Main Street Menomonie
  • Milwaukee County Transit
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theater
  • Mother Nature’s Diaper Service, Inc.
  • Mary Neubauer
  • Penzeys Spices
  • Pro Healthcare- Waukesha Memorial Hospital
  • RampUp MKE
  • Rebuilding Together Greater Milwaukee
  • Katherine Schneider
  • Sam Schroth
  • Christine Siniki
  • Andy Thain
  • Southeast Wisconsin Adaptive Ski Program
  • T.J. Maxx
  • University of Wisconsin – Madison, Trace Research and Development Center
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout, Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute
  • VSA Wisconsin
  • Joy Walter
  • Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service Dogs (WAGS)
  • Zachariah’s Acres

“We hope Wisconsinites will celebrate the ADA with us and support DRW’s efforts in helping people with disabilities fully participate in all aspects of society by attending the Spirit of the ADA awards luncheon or sponsoring the event,” added Idzikowski.

About Tailored Label Products, Inc.

Tailored Label Products, Inc. (TLP) is a custom manufacturer of high-performance labels, tags, and die-cut adhesives. TLP provides custom engineered adhesive and label solutions for the electronics, automotive, aerospace, industrial, biomedical, medical equipment, hydraulic fluid and power industries. For more information, contact TLP at 800.727.1344 or visit

Media Contact:  Larry Harvey  |  (262) 345-6404  |

TLP 3x3 Cross Training Employee Development Program

BizTimes Article – Tailored Label boosts productivity through unique cross-training program

By Hilary Dickinson

Click here to view original article at

Tailored Label Products Inc. has developed its own method for strengthening employees’ skillsets, improving workplace efficiency and fostering teamwork.

Called the 3×3 cross-training program, it is a system in which employees are trained to become proficient in at least three different positions, and each job can be performed by at least three employees.

Such tasks include running a printing press, ink mixing and color matching, laminating, or working in shipping, receiving, or in the warehouse.

TLP 3x3 Cross Training Employee Development Program

Press operator Daniel Kerlin likes the 3×3 cross-training program because it allows him to learn new positions and makes him a more valuable employee.

“What we want is for every employee to have at least three pieces of equipment or processes that they are rock stars at,” said Jeff Kerlin, president and chief operating officer of the Menomonee Falls-based label manufacturer.

The employees are rated at an A, B or C level. A means the employee is fully trained; B means the employee is trained, but not proficient in all aspects; and C means the employee is moderately trained.

The more positions in which an employee becomes proficient, the more he or she is rewarded financially.

“They’re more valuable to us, and they want to make more money,” Kerlin said. “It’s a win-win.”

The components of the 3×3 program are organized with an Excel document that lists the positions horizontally and the employees vertically.

Any position that does not have three employees who are rated an A is highlighted in red, as are any employees who have not received an A in three areas. This shows supervisors which areas need further improvement and which employees need more training.

The time it takes to achieve an A depends on the complexity of the position and the availability of training, Kerlin said. Sometimes it can take four to six months, but most employees, especially the newer hires, are typically fully trained in a year.

Besides having other employees capable of filling in for a coworker who is out sick, Kerlin said the 3×3 program has many more advantages.

One is that it allows the company to discover an employee’s strengths, and for that employee to find a more fulfilling career.

TLP 3x3 Cross Training

Press operator Mike Arrigo has earned A ratings, meaning he is fully trained, in six positions.

For instance, one employee started as a temp before becoming a permanent employee working in the plant. By cross-training her, the company learned that she excelled at computers and customer service, and she ultimately was promoted to the customer service department.

Kerlin said Tailored Label “promotes promoting from within,” and all employees take a strength finder test in order to find out where they will be most happy and successful.

Tailored Label runs three shifts a day, with the first shift fully staffed; the second shift half staffed; and the third shift one-third staffed. Since all plant employees are cross-trained, however, Tailored Label is capable of staffing any piece of equipment at any time of day should a customer have an urgent need.

Another benefit of the 3×3 program, according to Kerlin, is that it fosters teamwork.

“Instead of, ‘this is my press and this is your press,’ it’s, ‘these are all our presses, and we all do what we have to do to have our team win.’”

With the 3×3 program, employees do not know which position they will get assigned to on any given day.

“We’ve found that our high-performing, high-potential employees love the diversity and the chance to prove how great they are, and the less high achievers don’t. They are more intimidated by it and don’t embrace it,” Kerlin said.

Consequently, he finds the 3×3 program is a good vetting process in determining which temporary employees might make good permanent employees.

The cross-training, however, is an ongoing process, as Tailored Label frequently brings in new equipment.

“As quickly as possible, we route people through there,” Kerlin said. “Training is expensive, but it pays huge dividends.”

Training can be costly, not only to send employees to local technical colleges, but also from the lost production time while employees are training.

Each employee spends, on average, one month per year cross-training, which equates to 8 percent of the company’s payroll spent on training.  

In addition to local technical colleges, employees are trained on the job under the guidance of a fellow employee. They also attend webinars, lunch and learns, and classes taught by other employees.

The 3×3 program is specifically geared toward manufacturing and customer service employees. For customer service, each account has a primary customer service person and two other employees who are fully trained on it.

Out of Tailored Label’s approximately 115 employees, Kerlin said about 80 are formally involved with the program.

Kerlin said the program did initially receive some pushback when it first started about eight years ago, as employees were comfortable doing what they had been doing. It was also questioned whether or not some people who had been doing the same job for 15 years could do something different.

Now, however, Kerlin asserts the program is embraced by employees.

For instance, press operator Dave Sella said he likes that he is more valuable to the company. Sella, a 10-year employee who has seven As, said initially he had to get used to the routine of doing different things every day, but he grew to like it.

“It makes my day go faster,” he said. “I like the variety and seeing different jobs…You just don’t get bored now on the same thing.”