Grafenia opens up to third-party products

Jo Francis
Thursday, July 23, 2020

Grafenia has opened up its network to third-party providers of niche products with a new ‘Works Makers’ option.

Gunning: we can say ‘yes’ to more clients, more often
Gunning: we can say ‘yes’ to more clients, more often

Peter Gunning, chief executive at the Aim-listed PLC, said the idea had come about following ideas floated by its Nettl and Printing.com partners through the networks’ online community forum.

“We discuss ideas and they ask questions on a variety of topics. Quite often, they’re looking for supplier recommendations. Our clients come from all walks of life and every day someone’s looking to source a niche product,” he said.

“Sometimes we can take that request and turn it into a product we make in-house. In fact, many of the new social-distancing products we launched during lockdown were suggested by partners. But we thought there must be a better way.”

He said Works Makers was “a natural extension” of the existing community and integrated supply chain.

“It just means we can say ‘yes’ to more clients, more often.”

The Nettl Works Makers registration page for third-party manufacturers who make niche products has just gone live. It uses Grafenia’s W3P platform.

“Over the past few weeks we’ve quietly beta launched some new products, with our first Works Makers. We’ve added things like printed socks, mugs, umbrellas and bunting,” Gunning added.

The group aims to add other products such as packaging, labels, workwear, promotional items, apparel and “fancy print”.

Gunning said he believed that, particularly at the present time, firms would be open to a potential new business channel.

“There are probably quite a few manufacturers looking for new markets. We’ve got the buyers. Now we need the sellers. To get listed, Makers need to offer our partners better pricing than they can get direct. But since we essentially cut their client acquisition cost to zero, that saving can be passed on through enhanced pricing,” he explained.

In a sideswipe at web-to-print aggregator HelloPrint, which recently had issues paying its print suppliers, Gunning said: “Payment is guaranteed by a plc. They don’t have to individually credit check loads of customers. And we pay in 30 days. Not five years.”

“We are inviting suppliers of other platforms to join. Saves putting all their eggs in one basket.”

The group already makes a variety of products via its own commercial and signage production facilities, and does not want to duplicate any of those offerings.

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