CMS expands paper wrapping offering

Chouhan: I think the industry is in a really good place at the moment
Chouhan: I think the industry is in a really good place at the moment

Central Mailing Services (CMS) has signed off another six-figure spend, signaling the end of a recent multi-million-pound pandemic reequip to target growth in the new business landscape.

The Birmingham-based mailing house confirmed an order last week for its third state of the art CMC One paper wrapping line, with delivery scheduled for December.

“I think this is us now for investments, for at least a year, but then I have said that before,” quipped CMS managing director Mitesh Chouhan.

The new line’s configuration will mirror that of CMS’s two other lines from the Italian manufacturer, with one notable exception; unlike its two siblings it will not have a stream feeder.

“Because the other two machines have stream feeders, I didn’t think the third one needed it. You only use them on tricky jobs that can’t run though rotary or shuttle, and I thought we’ve got enough contingency with two lines with stream feeders,” explained Chouhan.

The new line will feature four rotary feeders, a shuttle feeder, bulk uploader, glue tank, CMC Robot 2000 automated delivery system with a bypass conveyor, auto sync and full matching and selective insertion intelligence.

Like its predecessors the 20,000cph machine will also feature a Domino K600i 220mm-wide printhead array on a motorised print frame for automated self-cleaning and Phoseon LED drying lamps for full A4 coverage.

The total spend on the line was in the region of £600,000.

This latest expansion of the circa-100 staff firm's paper wrapping follows the installation in the spring of its second CMC One paper wrapping line.

Such has been the growth in demand across the business, which offers a wide range of mailing services, it is now running 24-7 across the site, whereas previously it was only running non-stop on its two paper lines.

“Right now, we’re very close to capacity on paper wrapping and in order to take on more work we need the third machine, because we hate saying no,” said Chouhan.

“And the other issue is that if you have two machines and one is down, however briefly, you’re down to one, so it will give us confidence and enable our nine strong sales team to go out and sell even more.”

Since the start of 2020 the firm has significantly expanded its mailing capacity and this summer the business rounded off a £1m digital spend to completely reequip its print offering, which included half a dozen production machines from Konica Minolta, a trio of Xeroxes and a Nipson DigiFlex.

Non kit spends have included a 450sqm mezzanine at its 4,300sqm purpose-built factory to expand handwork and an additional 700sqm storage unit, which is currently being fitted out with racking for 2,500 pallets, to free up space at its factory.

“It’s busy across the business, even poly. Envelopes are always busy and steady, print is busy, hand fulfillment is massive and paper wrapping, which is the future, is huge,” said Chouhan.

While he said some of the growth at the business, which is on target for sales of £15m this year, was down to the impact of the pandemic on some rivals who were already struggling before it hit, much of it was down to the “Covid bounce back”.

“I feel the industry is quite busy, not just us.

“I think the industry is in a really good place at the moment and it will be heavy all the way through to January, I don’t even think there will be that usual December drop off – the signs are all there.”