DecTek pivots again with new packaging offering

Jo Francis
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

DecTek is pivoting into short-run packaging production with a substantial investment in additional space and new kit, including its third Titanium cutter.

Beese with DecTek's second Titanium cutter
Beese with DecTek's second Titanium cutter

The Pontypridd-based business installed its first Titanium from International Graphic Supplies (IGS) last year when it adapted its offering to produce social distancing graphics.

Since then, managing director Mike Beese has spotted an opportunity to meet growing demand for short-run packaging from SME businesses.

“E-commerce has grown dramatically, and lots of people who’ve been stuck at home have started small businesses,” he explained.

“We can make samples and custom packaging including bespoke boxes and transit packaging, all digitally, with fast turnarounds and no tooling charges.”

At the end of last year DecTek installed a second Canon Colorado 1650 large-format printer, and a second Titanium cutter from IGS, a 2516 model with optional textile knife for producing items such as facemasks and branded floor rugs.

The firm has now ordered a Titanium 0806 model for its short-run packaging push. The device has automatic paper load/unload and a maximum sheet size of 800x600mm. It can cut materials up to 6mm in thickness, and has creasing wheel tools for corrugated board.

Beese said the business was targeting “low volume, high frequency” work, typically with run lengths below 5,000.

In addition, DecTek has acquired another unit across the road from its existing facility, which is being kitted out with mezzanine flooring, to give the business further room to expand its production and fulfilment offering. The refurbishment is expected to be complete by March.

Prior to the pandemic DecTek’s speciality was domed labels. Beese said the business was adding complementary products such as mugs, banners and signage that would appeal to both its existing client base, and new customers.

“With our print and manufacturing know-how we can hit the market at speed. We see a huge opportunity for this. I believe we’re the only UK-based business to offer trade packaging, promotional products, and fulfilment and distribution,” he added.

IGS managing director Peter Flynn commented: “We have built a fantastic relationship with the DecTek team and are very proud to be a pivotal part of their growth strategy. Both Titanium cutters are running 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Beese said the business invested around £250,000 last year with another £120,000 spend this year. He is also looking to add additional production options, such as lacquer and foiling embellishment.

“When we come out of Covid there will be great opportunities and more business, because we’ve changed our product suite, and then the old product suite will also get back on track.

“For those that have weathered the storm I think there will be great opportunities ahead.”

He said the packaging offering could potentially grow sales by around £100,000 per month.

DecTek had turnover of around £2m pre-Covid. Staff numbers have been reduced from 30 to 22 during the crisis, but Beese hopes to increase headcount again as the business grows.





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