Efficiency and uptime boosted

FCS Laser Mail gets sorted with Vantage install

FCS' new Vantage sorter has allowed it to take on trade sorting work
FCS' new Vantage sorter has allowed it to take on trade sorting work

Print and mail firm FCS Laser Mail has installed a brand-new BlueCrest Vantage MT5 FlexLine sorter at its Birmingham factory, allowing the company to take on trade sortation work.

Commissioning the new machine in late November, FCS has already managed to win a substantial contract to sort mail for a Midlands-based financial firm that handles its own print.

Purchased direct from manufacturer BlueCrest, the Vantage has helped FCS drive efficiency within its own processes too, according to head of client and supplier relations, Jodie Smith.

The team has been thrilled with the results, she told Printweek.

“It’s been really good. We’ve seen real improvements in the efficiencies, and our uptime has increased,” Smith said.

“Overall, we’re really happy with the purchase.”

The Vantage, installed as an upgrade for a prior model – which has itself been reserved for disaster recovery – has driven processing time for mail sorting down by 20%, and has eliminated a number of costly IT pre-processes.

While FCS looked at a number of potential manufacturers, BlueCrest secured the sale on the strength of FCS’ experience with another of its machines, an Epic Plus mail inserter bought in late 2022.

“We had a bit of a shop around,” Smith said, “and looked at similar machinery in the market – but because the investment in the Epic was so successful, we had faith in BlueCrest providing a similar service this time around.”

Recent months have proved a hive of activity at the firm, which underwent an MBO in August 2023, led by managing director Steve Beeching, technical services director Lee McDonald, and production manager Daniel Williams alongside Smith.

Beeching commented: “In 2024, FCS plans to continue investing in people, hardware and software solutions, to ensure we firmly remain a client centric business. Every investment we make is strategic, well planned, and ultimately made to improve the company offering.”

He said 2022-2023 had been a record year for the firm, and trading in 2024 was “well on course to top this again”.

FCS employs around 80 staff, with a £15m turnover.

Image shows, left to right: Andy Lancaster, BlueCrest national sortation technician; Ian Foster, BlueCrest client service manager; Alan Thompson, BlueCrest strategic account manager, UK & ROI; Jodie Smith and Steve Beeching, FCS Laser Mail.