IPS Testing: Makes annual Inc. 5000 list, company growth fueled by consumer products testing

For more information, contact:
Lori Van Handel, Willems Marketing, (920) 750-5020, [email protected]

APPLETON, WI (Sept. 23, 2014) – IPS Testing, an independent testing laboratory serving multiple industries across the United States and internationally, has been named to Inc. magazine’s recently published Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America.

IPS has seen a period of unprecedented success – despite a challenging period of economic recession – recording consistent increases in annual revenue, growing its staff from 35 to nearly 70 employees and doubling in size over the last four years as an independent testing laboratory to the paper, packaging, nonwovens and consumer products industries. “Part of our success is that we have not lost focus on our key markets of paper and nonwovens,” said Chris Reitmeyer, vice president of IPS Testing. “IPS has continued to expand its services based on the unmet needs of our clients, predominantly in the consumer products and packaging markets.”

The company’s decisive efforts to grow and evolve with the times set the stage for the 2012 expansion of the IPS headquarters from 17,500 square-feet to 21,500 square-feet to allow for the addition of a state-of-the-art flushability laboratory and expanded services for the testing of consumer products.

This vision for growth has served IPS well, as the new laboratory more recently earned IPS the honor of becoming the first independent laboratory to achieve ISO 17025 Accreditation for the flushability testing services it provides to manufacturers of flushable wipes – a market that has seen rapid growth within the last decade.

IPS also continues to increase its services to the nonwovens industry, which is experiencing significant growth, like the flushable wipes market. “While nonwovens are used largely in consumer products such as wet wipes and diapers, their use has expanded greatly as nonwovens are also found in surgical gowns, filtration, automotive applications and others,” according to Bruce Shafer, IPS president.

“The consumer products market is very competitive and IPS Testing has helped improve the quality of millions of products through testing. Products that you likely use every day,” Shafer said.

Another key driver to IPS’ growth and success is the increased use of independent testing laboratories. “It used to be common for more companies to have their own labs. This has two main drawbacks: first there is tremendous cost to maintain a laboratory and secondly, internally generated data is often questioned,” Shafer said. “By using independent laboratories, the cost of testing is deferred until needed and the data generated is unbiased.”

The company just celebrated its 25th anniversary as an independent laboratory, taking time to reflect on its long history with the paper industry. “Evaluation of paper and paper-based products is our roots,” Shafer said. “Certain sectors of the paper industry such as packaging and tissue and towel are very strong. Email may have reduced the need for fine paper, but a computer won’t replace tissue and towel, which the growing population is driving the demand for.”

Additionally, sustainability initiatives and growing regulatory requirements continue to drive the need for ongoing testing of materials such as wipes and recyclable packaging. Regulation at a global level is also affecting products such as food packaging to assure that packaging is appropriate for food contact, according to Shafer.

While IPS continues to focus on the paper and nonwovens market, its client base has changed over the years. “When IPS started 25 years ago, our client base was primarily the paper mills and manufacturers. We have now expanded our client base to include everyone in the supply chain, including converters, printers and retailers. Store brands have also come a long way and now are on par with national brands. This is due in part to national brand equivalency testing, which laboratories like IPS perform,” Shafer said.

In looking to the future, the IPS leadership team will continue to keep its eye on new products and testing opportunities. “Right now, we foresee that the aging baby boomer generation coupled with an overall growth in global population will drive the need for many products in the paper and nonwovens sectors such as diapers and adult incontinence products, which will in turn likely lead to a need for more product testing. Trends like this are what will help guide the continued growth of IPS Testing through the next 25 years,” Shafer said.