Windles saves six-figure sum through £5m investment

By Jez Abbott, Friday 22 January 2016

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Windles Group has slashed operating costs by six figures after relocating its headquarters into one building as part of an investment worth £5m.


Windles' new building has space to grow

The printer of posters, magazine inserts, greetings cards, packaging and POS materials started the move from Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire to Thame, one-and-a-half miles away in Oxfordshire at Christmas time.

Almost all the company's staff and plant have now moved over to the purpose-built 4181sqm building. Two machines, their operators and the pre-press team are in the process of moving and once settled in, that will complete the operation.

Marketing manager Michelle Mills said the company occupied five units in its old base, with printing and pre-press separated by a car park from finishing lines.

Moving pallets out of the print room to distribution and the palaver of having to shift stock around clocked up £120,000 a year in operating costs, she said.

The 90-staff business with a turnover of around £10m now runs from one site with a footprint nearly double the size of its previous home.

The extra space could house another Bobst alongside the existing model if needed, Mills said. Windles has two UV Heidelberg Speedmaster 102s: a seven-colour perfector and a six-colour with cold foiling.

It runs a BMA sheet-fed embosser and die-cutter, two guillotines, five folders, four packing machines and insert lines. Clients include blue-chip names and greetings cards publishers.

“This has been in the planning for four or five years,” she said. “Windles is a family business and managing director Bruce Podmore has invested heavily in his livelihood.”

She added: “It's possible we might get another Bobst but there are other machines out there and we need to settle in here first. We will sweat our machines before making any investment decision.

“But we are confident we could sell the Bobst capacity. We are also reviewing gluing, but right now it's all speculative.”

Two years ago Windles won Social Stationery Printer of the Year at the PrintWeek Awards when it said “posters are coming back into fashion”. It won the same award in 2012 and 2009.

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