Philip Foster likes to take visitors to the Saxoprint plant in Dresden. “We can show people that we do have the kit, that there is real substance to the business,” says the UK country manager. It works. The scope, the sheer organisation needed to manage 25,000 jobs in the factory at any one time, cannot fail to impress.
The invitations are extended to trade buyers and resellers able to supply a steady flow of jobs to the business, earning discounts as they do. These are the buyers that can supply a proper print ready PDF and understand the process.
“It’s much more than business cards,” he says. “It used to be that online printing was cheaper but that quality was not as good. Now some of our work is right up there and we are producing catalogues for watch companies or fashion magazines.
“Flyers are still a massive part of what we do, but not all. We have the largest range of printed products on paper of all the businesses.”
This is backed by all the certificates that a buyer could wish for, including Climate Partner endorsement for sustainable printing. The range is constantly increasing. Easy box is the latest as an attempt to sell packaging online. It is starting to gain traction and even if visitors to the site are not buying cartons today, there are plenty of other products to look at.
“We do not do direct mail, but will produce awareness raising collateral,” says Foster. Almost all is printed in the German plant with five-day turnaround.
As a company Saxoprint will receive 5,000 separate orders a day. However, the UK’s taste for fast turnaround means it has partnered with Pureprint over the last 18 months to offer a 48-hour turnaround to buyers here. “We have been testing this for 18 months,” he says.
“There is a definite requirement for faster turnaround which is growing. So far we have pitched prices to control demand, but now everything has bedded in, prices will fall. It is important for us that the whole of the UK should get the same level of service.
“The UK is about speed, which is not the case in Spain or Italy, other markets which are growing.”
Customers are also gaining confidence with online printing. An £80 order may be followed by one priced at ten times as much. They are looking for more complex and sophisticated products, sometimes asking for bespoke printing. “They come on and ask ‘Can you do this?’ asking for GF Smith papers or rounded corners.
“It shows that people have the confidence to ask for something out of the ordinary, but it has to go through the workflow.”
When something does not work, there is a properly staffed support desk, not a form to fill in on an obscure part of the website. “I have 30 years’ experience in the industry and I know things will occasionally go wrong and that if treated correctly people understand this.
“We do not want to be the cheapest, though we will be competitive. People will pay a little more for quality and service.”
Saxoprint's Dresden factory never fails to impress says UK country manager Philip Foster. At any one time 25,000 jobs can be in production, yet there is no air of panic. The volume of work allows the company to select the most economic production method, ganging jobs for maximum efficiency.