Howard Hunt has announced the installation of a new Scheffer finishing line as the first part of a £5 million expansion plan at its Dartford factory.
The company runs three Mitsubishi and one Komori web press and has rereeled from these in order to finish offline rather than run through an inline finishing line. The latest Scheffer includes UV varnishing as well as folding, die cutting, slitting and glueing in order to produce closed end mailers, pull out products and kiss cut mailers.
This development will be followed by installation of a new reelfed long perfecting sheetfed press, up grades elsewhere in finishing and enhancements to its IT structure including MIS.
The investment programme comes just months after Danny Clarke and Lucy Edwards were named as joint managing directors for the business under CEO Luke Pigott. It has also introduced a refreshed brand identity and website to position the business as the UK’s largest specialist direct mail producer. Its offset presses are backed by two Xerox iGen4s and two Xeikon 8000 digital web presses.
Edwards steps up from deputy managing director and will oversee the manufacturing, technology, HR and finance aspects of the business. Clarke was previously sales director and retains control over sales, client services and business development.
The aim is to put in place a structure to drive the business on from sales which are currently £70 million a year to the next level. As well as print, the company has been developing its data handling skills and has developed a full range of digitally led marketing services.
Says Pigott: “Our investment in Howard Hunt's print technology and senior people will be fundamental to our future growth and success.”
The investment comes at a point where the strength of direct mail is being recognised and consequently demand for ever more innovative campaigns is increasing. It comes too as the Howard Hunt Group celebrates 25 years since its creation. Edwards adds: “This investment demonstrates a real commitment to growing the company within the Howard Hunt Group and reinforces direct mail’s role in the modern marketing mix.”