Having total control over every order is how this veteran paper-products supplier wrote the book on reliability.

Having total control over every order is how this veteran paper-products supplier wrote the book on reliability.

At Drum-Line (asi/50873), it isn’t only the products that tell the story of Made-in-America, it’s the entire company. Established more than 80 years ago, the company eventually passed from its original owners into the enterprising hands of Ford Hansen, grandfather of current CEO, Amberlea Barnes. Under the stewardship of its new owners, Drum-Line earned an ASI Five-Star Supplier rating and has grown to become the industry’s trusted source for the best in American-made paper products.

With a massive catalog containing nearly 500 styles of journals, notebooks, memo pads, calendars and planners – all made-to-order in their Arkansas factory – Drum-Line has got its clients well covered. “Every step of the order happens here,” says Barnes. “From order processing to artwork prep, printing, bindery and packaging.” That end-to-end turnkey operation gives Drum-Line complete control and assures that customers receive the highest quality product with minimal fuss.

Drum-Line takes pride not only in the value that its line represents, but in the ability to precisely tailor products to a customer’s needs. Consider their best-selling legal pads: if customers think they are limited to just lined paper, they are happily mistaken. “We print the paper first and then make the pad,” Barnes says, “so it can be graph paper, have a phantom imprint, a calendar, or even a custom form without any increase in cost.”

Traditional journals are always a favorite, but Drum-Line updates the style by adding some definite tech-appeal with their SmartBooks. Using digital watermark technology, a Web link is embedded into full-color artwork and then scanned by a smartphone or tablet using a free app. “The journal can be linked to a video, survey, coupons or document with information that needs to be updated often,” Barnes says. The journal is thereby turned into an interactive experience, and branders can reap the rewards of a product that expertly combines practicality, style and the excitement of technology.

Taking full advantage of the flexibility that Made-in-USA allows, Drum-Line makes a strong case for why domestic manufacturing has such appeal to customers. “Since we make the products at the time of order,” says Barnes, “inventory shortages are not a problem. We can turn orders faster, more reliably, and without the safety concerns of direct importing.” Minimum order quantities for custom products are lower than imports, as well. Plus, choosing Drum-Line means knowing that your order helps support precious American jobs.

Not surprisingly, making so many smart decisions on behalf of their customers has paid off. “2014 was a great year,” says Barnes. “We experienced double-digit growth that resulted in adding more presses and bindery equipment. This will make our overall production even more efficient.” Buyers can expect Drum-Line’s products to continue evolving, even as the supplier’s commitment to great service, quick turnaround and rigid quality control stays exactly the same. And when an order rolls out of production, customers know that Drum-Line’s knack for customization has given them a product that accurately reflects their unique brand.

Even Drum-Line’s vast catalog can’t fully represent what they can do for their customers. “If you don’t see exactly what you need, ask us,” encourages Barnes. “We make modifications and create custom items all the time. That is the benefit of USA-made.”

Case Studies

Drum-Line’s (asi/50873) interactive SmartBooks can help anyone to be a better student, so it’s no surprise that when a training company in the petroleum industry needed to educate thousands of trainees, they chose the SmartBook to help prepare their employees.

“The company trains more than 10,000 technical professionals annually,” says Drum-Line’s CEO, Amberlea Barnes, “and they reorder SmartBooks several times a year.” The SmartBook not only allows trainees to keep notes handy in the 7” x 10” journal, but a digital link embedded in the front cover gives them quick access to the training courses and calendar. All that’s required is a free app that trainees can easily download, and the link automatically directs users to the appropriate page.

In addition, each inside sheet features a company logo to reinforce the brand, and an instruction sheet that guides trainees through the entire process. Not surprisingly, the extremely practicality of the SmartBook has found great favor with this particular Drum-Line client, says Barnes. “This traditional journal with added tech-appeal has certainly been a successful promotion for them.”