Healeys has become among the first in Europe to install the latest Ricoh Pro C presses. It has taken delivery of both a Pro C9200 and Pro C7200, the one for high volume four-colour digital printing, the other for added value print with Ricoh's fifth-colour option. They will join a Pro C9100 at the factory in Ipswich.
Earlier this year managing director Philip Dodd had been considering investment in the latest Kodak Nexpress model, the Nexfinity, but found that the Ricoh approach provided better value for the business. The company also has an Autobond laminator on order, he says.
“It’s still fairly early on with the machines,” Dodd says, “and we have experienced some teething problems which have been dealt with by Ricoh in Japan.
“Digital is growing very quickly for us and we are looking forwards to a record year.” The end of the current year is in sight at the end of this month allowing Dodd to predict sales with reach £4 million for the year, up from £3.6 million in 2017. “And there will be a near doubling of profits,” he says.
The company was kept busy in the traditionally slow summer months he says, attributing the success of the business to people working incredibly hard. “We have a very very good team of people” he says. There will be a profit share bonus to recognise their contribution, Dodd adds.
He explains that the company decided a few years ago to concentrate on profitable work and to avoid any price battles. It has concentrated on service and support and to working with a growing customer base that appreciates this approach. “One of our guys has just picked up an art gallery job and while we were the most expensive of the three quotes, the job has come to us because the client feels more at ease with us as a business,” Dodd says.
The growing importance of digital print to the business means it accounts for 35% of sales this year, while almost two-thirds remains litho printing. “That too has been really buoyant for us in the last few months. It has help us have a really, really successful year,” he adds. The Pro C9200 will add to capacity while the additional colour options on the Pro C7200 offer neons as well as white and clear toner options.
This week Dodd and the Healeys management team will go into conclave to discuss the strategy for the next three years. High on the agenda will be taking the business to sales of £5 million over that time. “And we would be a profitable business at that level,” he adds.
Philip Dodd says Healeys has enjoyed an excellent year, surviving the summer time dip in trade and cementing growth in its digital side with investment in two of the latest generation Ricoh engines to join the Pro C9100 it has previously installed.