14 April 2019 Business

FlyerAlarm renews ambitions for the UK

Germany's largest online print business is looking anew at the UK market, one where it lacks the penetration it believes it ought to have.

FlyerAlarm is pinning hopes for growth on the UK market, with or without Brexit.

The company is the largest German provider of online print services, covering some possible 3 million product options across 1,200 categories and stretching well beyond traditional print products, fabrics and promotional goods being the latest. This is backed by continual investment in the production platform in Germany, which stretches over several sites near Würzburg and Frankfurt.

The company has been looking for a long term successor to UK country manager Keith Hanson who stepped down for personal reasons almost two years ago. An interim appointment did not work out. Now Divyesh Chotai, director of strategic relationships, takes on additional responsibility for expanding FlyerAlarm's UK presence.

“I have been with the business for three years before this, I know the company pretty well,” he says. “I also know the UK market pretty well, so it’s nice to come back into the UK in a new role.

“We have set up a business team and customer care team, small at the moment.” The teams are based in offices near St Paul’s in central London, which also houses multilingual executives able to support customers in other countries as well as the UK.

FlyerAlarm produces almost everything it sells in its own plants, which provides control over quality and service, says Chotai. “Recently we have added a lot more textile and promotional products. We will provide a sample of these, letting people order a single unit before placing the full order.”

In the UK, the aim will be to introduce 100 new products each month, he says. “And we are working to reduce delivery times into the UK for more products. There are already more than 1,000 products that are available for next day delivery. If someone wanted 5,000 envelopes or 5,000 brochures, these can be delivered overnight if the order is placed by 10.00am.”

The expansion to cope with 27,000 jobs a day has enabled FlyerAlarm to offer three grades of paper stock with some speciality grades on top. That looks set to continue to increase.

Likewise the options on finishing are increasing as the volumes of jobs grow. It has installed a second Steinemann Dmax 106 digital varnishing and foiling machine. This is a B1 machine with a 10,000sph throughput. It joins a Dmax installed in 2014 as a result of joint development project.

By Gareth Ward

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Steinemann for Flyer Alarm

Steinemann for Flyer Alarm

Ulrich Stetter (left), general manager, and Sebastian Liebler, head of the print enhancement department and print enhancement product manager, in front of the Dmax with Dfoil at the Druckhaus Mainfranken plant of Flyer Alarm. It is the second Steinemann in the company.

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2018: FlyerAlarm lays out plans for UK