The Independent Carton Group (ICG), an association of 18 independently owned and operated folding carton manufacturers, is pleased to announce that Agfa Graphics is the recipient of its Supplier of the Year Award for 2013. The award was recently presented to Agfa during the ICG’s general membership meeting in Denver, Colo.

One of the many benefits of ICG membership is participation in the group purchasing program, which began in 1999. By amassing the collective buying power of its independently owned and operated member companies and negotiating vendor contracts as a group, the ICG can capture volume discounts on the raw materials, supplies and equipment its members use every day in the production of packaging solutions. The ICG currently maintains contracts with over 40 reputable suppliers of paperboard, printing plates, inks, coatings, blankets, rollers, presses and more.

Agfa Graphics has the distinction of being the ICG’s first official supplier. The partnership was spearheaded in 1999 by Andrew Willie, the ICG’s then executive director, and Bruce Wnuk, corporate account executive at Agfa. Agfa’s printing plate business has always been at the heart of the partnership, but it has grown over time to encompass a wide range of prepress, industrial inkjet, pressroom and package printing products. The expanded portfolio is largely attributed to Agfa’s 2010 acquisition of Pitman, which, coincidentally, was the second supplier to join the ICG’s purchasing program. Pitman now serves as the U.S. distribution arm of Agfa Graphics.

“Agfa brought to the table everything we needed in an inaugural supplier — quality products, great service, and a management team with the ingenuity and foresight to see our vision and take a leap of faith with us,” says Andrew Willie, executive director emeritus of the ICG. “The Agfa partnership began with just a handshake, and it was the first major milestone in the history of our purchasing program, which provides a financial benefit to our members and their customers. We are pleased to present Agfa with an award that reflects its continued commitment to the ICG.”

The Supplier of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2012 to the ICG supplier that receives the highest marks on performance evaluations completed by ICG members for the prior calendar year. Members use evaluation forms to rate suppliers on a variety of criteria, including product and service quality, delivery timeliness, invoicing accuracy, personnel expertise, and other key performance metrics. Evaluations are used both as the basis for selecting the award recipient and as a means of assessing suppliers and sharing feedback to strengthen partnerships.

“We are honored to receive this award, which represents the high accolades of ICG members as well as our team’s hard work and commitment to customer satisfaction,” says Bruce Wnuk, corporate account executive at Agfa Graphics. “Our objective is to help our customers be more profitable and grow. We appreciate our long-standing relationship with the ICG, and we look forward to our continued mutual success in the future.”