"Rhode Island continues to be a challenging environment in which to operate. We are constantly faced with having to offset the state’s high energy and labor costs with improved productivity and operating efficiencies."
Dan Dwight, The Cooley Group CEO, talks to Providence Business News about his company’s recent collaboration with Hewlitt-Packard and how technology has helped shaped the business.
PBN: Can you explain a little about Cooley's recent collaboration with HP?
DWIGHT: Our collaboration with HP entails developing, manufacturing, and distributing globally our 100-percent recyclable, non-PVC banner solutions utilizing ColorPRO Technology for use with HP Latex and UV Inks. This collaboration will introduce many new products into the market. Our initial products will include an HDPE-reinforced banner and Tyvek up to 126 inches wide.
This relationship with HP provides a true benefit to the customer, to the environment, and to the industry as a whole. Our customers will have our fully recyclable product not only with a superior print performance equal to vinyl products but also with a lower environmental impact than traditional PVC materials. It is our goal to offer print solutions that keep the environment in mind without compromising performance. Cooley continues to be first-to-market with sustainable solutions in an industry that is seeking more environmentally friendly products.
PBN: What is it about your company that you think helped capture the attention of an international technology giant like HP?
DWIGHT:Cooley is developing a global reputation as a leading strategic collaboration partner. This reputation could be see on the world stage last year at the 2012 Summer Olympics where Cooley collaborated with Dow Chemical to develop and manufacture the sustainable wrap for the London Olympic Stadium. HP was driven to collaborate with Cooley because of the strength of our track record for innovation and proven performance using sustainable chemistry. All the strengths HP was seeking in a collaboration partner for developing innovative new products, they want to offer that to their global customer base.
PBN: Does Cooley Group have any other collaborations like this one in the pipeline?
DWIGHT:We have other collaboration partners that we are not at liberty to discuss publicly, as well as new collaborations that are in the works in both our Commercial Graphics and Engineered Membranes divisions. As I mentioned, sustainable chemistry is the heart and soul of Cooley – it's in our DNA – and it drives our innovative process and compels us to collaborate with some of the world's premier global companies. Along with Dow, Cooley has been collaborating with DuPont for over thirty years as we have worked together to combine their alloy technology with our proprietary chemistry to develop both geomembrane and commercial roofing product lines with proven performance for high resistance to hydrocarbons and other chemicals.
PBN: Cooley Group has quite the history, how has technology helped your company evolve in the 85 years since its inception?
DWIGHT:First of all, we are very fortunate to have – in addition to a world-class manufacturing team – an incredible research & development group that operates out of our state-of-the-art technical center in Cranston. Our company and our products have evolved over the years as a result of our customers' changing needs, and our R&D team has leveraged our technology and sustainable chemistry to continue to develop new solutions and venture into new markets.
PBN: How has the business environment in Rhode Island evolved during that time?
DWIGHT:Rhode Island continues to be a challenging environment in which to operate. We are constantly faced with having to offset the state’s high energy and labor costs with improved productivity and operating efficiencies. However, Cooley has benefitted over the years from a stable and experienced work force that we’ve been able to retain and motivate through the excitement that can be generated by a company that is constantly innovating. It can be a lot fun working for a company that obtains 40 percent of its revenue from new products – products that are sold in more than 50 countries around the world.