John Good enjoys fruits of HP investment

Bubb: John Good 's team was attracted to the 15k because of its recyclable parts and consumables pouches

Arts sector specialist John Good has enjoyed its best quarter in four years, as an HP Indigo 15k and Latex R2000 help it pursue opportunities in the theatre industry’s recovery from Covid.

Installed in late summer 2023, the HP 15k arrived to replace a Kodak NexPress engine which had come to the end of its life.

“We looked at alternatives, but the HP was the only one to tick all our boxes in terms of productivity and the environment, because of the recyclable elements of the machine and its consumables,” explained John Good commercial director Steve Bubb.

The new digital engine, which sits alongside two B1 Heidelberg litho presses – one ten colour perfector, and a four-colour with coating – has allowed John Good to streamline its production, taking on longer runs on digital and improving efficiency on the litho runs, while also bringing in new business on very short runs.

This is especially true for the firm’s theatre programme work: where it had previously had to impose stricter minimum order quantities, John Good can now afford to target runs in the low hundreds – and thus bring in business from a sector where programme purchases have fallen.

“It’s a two-fold motivation,” added Steve. 

“We wanted to encourage venues to – rather than not print a programme at all – print a shorter run. It means that we’re not losing any business as runs shorten, and we can offer a faster turnaround as well, so fast turnarounds or reprints are available for customers.”

Alongside the R2000, which has helped John Good bring wide-format work in-house, the new 15k has helped power the firm to its strongest Q1 (April, May, June) in years by taking inefficient work off the litho presses.

“The figures were a lot higher in turnover than we have been for four years,” explained commercial director Steve Bubb.

“We’ve been able to fill the litho presses with longer run, higher-quality products, which we have achieved by bringing new clients on board.

“The work has come from all areas. Everyone seems to be busy all at the same time, and I think it was almost a perfect storm for us: we were busy on every machine, and so the figures increased dramatically from 2023.”

Despite the bumper quarter, Bubb said the next few months will be business as usual – though a solar install waiting in the wings will help the firm secure its bottom line even further.

“We just need confirmation on the date from our landlord, but we’ve made the purchase – we’re hoping to have them up in the next two or three months.”