Bakergoodchild alters shift pattern amid business refocus

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, October 22, 2021

Bakergoodchild has changed its shift pattern to increase its flexibility and gone back to basics with a repositioned business mantra.

Bakergoodchild has repositioned the business back to its core offering
Bakergoodchild has repositioned the business back to its core offering

In the last few weeks the Birmingham-based business has moved to a split shift pattern, changing its previous single eight-hour shift to now running two shifts, from 6am to 2pm and 2pm to 10pm.

“There’s more work coming through and I think there’s more urgency to get it out bang on time every time,” Bakergoodchild owner Bruce Thomson told Printweek.

“From what we’re seeing the market has really picked up in the last six to eight weeks, people are spending a bit of money again on marketing and communications where perhaps they’d cut it back.

“So we’ve geared ourselves up for expansion from a production point of view. And we’ll add more staff as well – we’ve hired about three more people in that area in the last month.”

He added: “The split shift works so that everybody does one week of earlies and one week of lates and then it rotates so that we’ve got a constant 6am to 10pm window.

“Previously, with a lot of the hybrid stuff that we’re doing, and even some of the stuff that’s not hybrid, if it was all proofed and ready to go at 4pm it wouldn’t get started that day but at 8am the next morning. Now we can start it, fulfil it, and have it done by 10pm.”

Thomson, who founded the business, stepped in to oversee the day-to-day running of Bakergoodchild in the summer after managing director Paul Brough left the company.

“We’re doing a lot of automated work now – around a third of our jobs – where we drag the data out from an API into whatever format the client wants us to. We’re moving much more automated, which is where the [recently installed] Böwe Systec Fusion Cross inserters and Ricoh IP5000 continuous-feed presses have been really powerful for us,” Thomson said.

The company has repositioned back to its core offering in the last few weeks with the new slogan ‘Print. Mail. Post.’

“We’re basically fully focused on that and probably a little less on multichannel and digital. We repositioned ourselves a bit a couple of years ago because we just hadn’t grown for two or three years,” said Thomson.

“Everybody in the business at the time thought we needed to add more strings to our bow, so we looked at things like hybrid, transactional, document scanning and archive retrieval but the truth of it was we probably lost a little bit of our focus on what we’re really good at, which is no fuss, fast-turnaround print, mail, and post.

“So we’ve gone back to the basics of what we’re good at. Hybrid has worked out really well for us, which is one of the things that we’d wanted to add to it, but digital didn’t really get going for us and I think it maybe confused customers about what we are. We had some success with it but we lost some of what was our core strength in the first place.

“It’s really because of our confidence in the market of mail that we’ve repositioned it. We feel very confident in mail, particularly in the last few weeks, that it’s here to stay, so we’re trying to get back to being the best mailing company we can possibly be. Print is very important to us but really only if it’s part of a mailing.”

Thomson said the business has also just set up a new postage department “to make us slicker around everything to do with postage, including docketing, sortation and booking carriers etc”. It also plans to enhance its international mail services.

“It’s been a challenging time [during the pandemic] but the last couple of months have been wonderful. We’ve made a lot of investment in kit and technology over the last 12 months and it’s all working really well. Both Bakergoodchild and [2020 acquisition] Send DM have picked up quite a lot,” Thomson added.

64 staff currently work at Bakergoodchild with around 10 at Send DM. For 2021 the group’s two businesses are looking to turn over £11m while the 2022 target is £13m.

The company is also still hiring and is currently looking for account managers and account executives to go into its client services area.

In a long-planned move, meanwhile, finance director Frank Barr has taken semi-retirement as of this month, now working one day a week at the business. Finance controller Alex Clarke, who has been with the company for three years, will increase his responsibilities.

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