Thursday, 22 Aug 2019 21:23 GMT

Integrity Print

Genevieve Lewis talks to Andrew Law, sales and marketing director for Integrity Print, a 102-year-old company based in Somerset that still packs a punch

With Integrity and passion

In the tranquil town of Midsomer Norton near the Mendip Hills in Somerset, there is a print company that has been in operation since 1917. Integrity Print was called The Standard Check Book Company back then, as Andrew Law, sales and marketing director for the business explains.

“Integrity Print was founded in 1917 and was originally called The Standard Check Book Company,” says Law. “Historically it became known as the printers’ printer, primarily undertaking trade work for other printers. The company evolved into a trade business forms printer with nearly 90% of its current turnover coming through a print management client base.”

There are 370 members of Staff at Integrity Print

The company calls a 17-acre site in Midsomer Norton, near Bath home, but also has a 6,000 pallet space warehouse and satellite manufacutirng sites in Cardiff and Birmingham. It also boasts sales offices in Watford, Herne Bay and Croydon. Very much a UK championing stalwart, then. However, Law is keen to point out that while Integrity may seem like a large company, it is not corporate. He says: “Our behaviour is our brand – we are a big business but not corporate, it’s a flat structure and people are accessible – customers buy into the passion, pride, accountability and focus that we all have for the business.”

Our behaviour is our brand – we are a big business but not corporate

Despite its rich history, the team at Integrity understands that it needs to change and evolve with the market and oversaw a transition that incorporated offering more services to its customers. “The company was most recently a part of Communisis plc until an MBO [management buyout] in 2008 was led by managing director Mark Cornford,” says Law, adding: “Since the MBO, the company has evolved through acquisition and investment as it has moved away from the declining business forms and developed a much broader service offering.”

On the business side of things, Integrity Print’s offerings include business forms, integrated labels, direct mail and commercial colour print. The business uses its 35 web presses, all running between five and ten colours, as well as its two Xeikon digital presses and six flexo presses. These are in a BRC High Hygiene approved facility, meaning Integrity can produce labels and packaging for food. To help out with its secure mailing services, there is a stable of eight Xerox continuous and cut sheet laser printers – though Law notes that there may be a future swap to continuous colour inkjet.

With such an arsenal of machinery and product offerings, as well as over 100 years in the industry, there must have been a number of trends experienced, right? “[The] most significant trend has been the increasing move to a ‘digital by default’ strategy by many of the key clients in utility, finance and government sectors,” says Law, before continuing: “reducing physical volumes of paper dramatically, in tandem with a move from traditional litho pre-print to white paper print and personalisation has had a massive impact on the shape of Integrity’s business. Since the MBO, these two trends have removed around £20m worth of sales from our annual turnover.”

The most significant trend has been the increasing move to a ‘digital by default’ strategy by many of the key clients in utility, finance and government sectors

Law adds: “This has been offset by diversifying and developing new services and revenue streams. Integrity is now the UK’s leading provider of despatch notes to the UK’s internet retail sector, producing over 500 million integrated labels for this fast-growing market with revenues of close to £10m per annum. Integrity acquired a labels business in 2009 and after investment in sales and production capacity have grown the business into a £7m labels division.”
This attitude towards growth has even included yet more investment this year, with Law explaining: “Further investment in 2019 includes a $650,000 spending on a second ABG line with Digicon in-line finishing as the business targets labels growth to £10m per annum.”

A final growth area that Law has highlighted is its mailing division. “The mailing division has grown to a £6m turnover from scratch, handling a wide range of time critical regulatory mailings,” he says. “The mailing division works closely with clients to develop data-driven solutions to support clients outbound communication needs, offering e-billing, document archiving and hybrid mail. This year will also see further growth with the mailing division currently reviewing the market prior to an investment in a continuous colour inkjet.

“Our traditional narrow web litho presses are increasingly moving into commercial colour work to offset the loss of business forms, with a recent major investment through Freidheim, bringing in a Hunkeler finishing line to provide greater flexibility for producing leaflets and press inserts for the doordrop market.”

Integrity recently installed a new Hunkeler finishing line via Friedheim International

To conclude, Law highlights Integrity’s growth plans going forward: “Continue the strategy, developing and growing labels, secure mailing and commercial print, work more closely with customers to provide value-add services around data and e-commerce, and continue to be a key strategic supply chain partner to major UK brands.”

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