22 April 2012 Events

Knees up in Southend as Solopress adds to digital and litho

Online purchasing has been good to Solopress enabling it to grow to 100 staff, sales of £11million and to fund continuing investment

SOLOPRESS HAS INSTALLED ITS SECOND XEROX iGen4 and is awaiting delivery of its sixth SM74 as the Southend on Sea printer aims to take its turnover from £8.5 million to around £11 million this year.

The second iGen4 has arrived less than a year after the company installed its first, moving up from Xerox 700s to the flagship of the Xerox family. The first was installed in July last year, helping to ensure that the company maintains its reputation for 24 hour turnaround of premium quality print.

SOME CUSTOMERS, HOWEVER, PREFER the perceived quality of litho printing says Rick Haynes. “People want the choice and although the quality is now very similar, some in the design industry prefer litho to digital still. And we need to keep litho for the longer print runs.”

However, it has been the success the company has enjoyed with the first iGen4 that has prompted investment in the second. Both run with the Xerox Automated Colour Quality suite to manage calibration and colour quality and avoid the need for the press to stop for an operator to run calibration checks as happened with previous technology. The Matt Dry toner being used also has a much closer look and feel to offset ink. Staying with the same press for both litho and digital works helps maintain consistency and maximises the flexibility of both workflow and operators.

THE COMPANY SECURES MOST OF ITS through websites, though once orders have been placed, most place new orders says Haynes. It works on Search Engine Optimisation to achieve a high ranking in Google searches and has signed up to Trust Pilot, allowing customers to rate its services online, comments being trackable to users and to actual orders. As a consequence more reliable than forums which allow unqualified comments says Haynes.

The company is now looking to increase cutting, creasing and stitching capacity to cope with the extra volume of print that it generated. It has developed its own customer data base and workflow technology, while logistics for delivery are set to ensure minimal environmental impact. The company runs a fleet of 37 white vans delivery around the south east.

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Two iGen4s sit in the Solopress digital room

Two iGen4s sit in the Solopress digital room