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West Midlands firm takes centre stage

It has been a difficult quarter for the mailing industry with the introduction of GDPR. But one firm in Birmingham is set for a successful year, following the investment in a brand-new premises.

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Daniel Coombes, marketing executive and Richard Morrow, sales and marketing director at CMS

The new 46,000sq ft site for Central Mailing Services (CMS) is big – almost twice the size of its previous sites that were spread across three locations. Now, everything is all in one place; two buildings have been knocked through to create a huge production room and 2000 pallet storage space.

The facility is spacious and airy with lots of natural light, helping to save on energy costs as part of the company’s green initiative, says Richard Morrow, sales and marketing director at CMS. The popularity of Blue Planet has thrown environmental issues right in the face of the public, and it is demanding a reaction from businesses. 

“The significance of Blue Planet was the reach that it had in terms of getting to domestic households, it’s important and the industry has to take notice,” he says. “We’ve always been conscious of the environmental responsibility, we have ISO 14001 certification and that’s why we’ve chosen this site. It’s an A-rated building for energy and we’ve invested heavily in LED lighting and efficient smart heating; we bale our own waste and we’ve got specialist recycling bins in all the office spaces.”

The new premises has allowed the firm to take on more contracts

Even before the Blue Planet panic, CMS had already made the decision to move to using biodegradable polythene. The product has a short shelf life so needs to be properly managed, it begins to degrade when exposed to UV light so accurately stocking it is important to avoid waste.

“It gives the client a fantastic way of communicating with the end audience to say: ‘This product will biodegrade even if it goes into landfill’. The bigger thing is that more has to be done on communicating to the public in general how to recycle polythene, because it can be 100 percent recycled but it goes in with household waste,” says Morrow. “The printing and recycling industries need to look into polythene – it’s a myth that it can’t be reused.”

The key is to diversify, to give the very, very best customer service and that means investing in a plan – investing in equipment and investing in people so that you can respond and be as reactive as possible

CMS has just signed a deal to purchase a Kern 3500 envelope inserting machine that will give the company the ability to do selective insertion and run at higher speeds, bringing the total to five envelope machines. The mailing specialist has also taken on a Buhrs 1000 poly line, a five-station machine with a shuttle feeder and four rotary feeders. New kit does not stop there though, with further camera equipment installed on all the envelope machines as well as two-way camera matching on the polythene lines.

Investing in people is just as important as investing in equipment, says Morrow. With an entirely new premises comes a brand-new staff canteen, complete with a pool table. The new site is a stone’s throw from Birmingham’s Star City, providing easier access to amenities. The workforce at CMS is now 75-strong, with ten new members of staff taken on to support the expanded operation. Overall the company has invested £500,000 into the move and CMS’ continued growth.

The direct mail experts have expanded to become a ‘one-stop-shop’ for mailing needs

Marking a new chapter with a new home calls for a new logo. The re-branding of CMS is clean, contemporary and reflects the capabilities of the facility. Morrow says: “It represents the way we are now, the way we want to be – moving into new market and having a continued focus on trying to identify challenges for an end client and creating a seamless, strategic partnership.”

With so many companies in the industry at the moment falling into administration like Callprint just around the corner, it can be discouraging for others in the industry. “The key is to diversify, to give the very, very best customer service and that means investing in a plan – investing in equipment and investing in people so that you can respond and be as reactive as possible,” says Morrow.

… with direct mail and the mailing industry as a whole you have to be able to react and adapt with it

“A lot of companies make the mistake of just focusing on one area, with direct mail and the mailing industry as a whole you have to be able to react and adapt with it, look at different types enclosing, different ways of sending out mail pieces, different types of print, and you constantly have to be looking at new initiatives and adding those strings to your bow – that’s the key difference in terms of what we do from other companies.”

He adds: “For us, we’re kind of control freaks because we like to be able to do as much of it as possible in-house, because then you learn about the offering that you’ve got, and you really learn about what it is that drives the market forward and what the clients want.”

CMS reported a £9m turnover last year and with a bigger and more efficient site, Morrow says its on track to achieve £10m next year.

If you have a view on this story email me at summer@linkpublishing.co.uk or reach out on Twitter to have your say.

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