Inkland secures £2m deal with Potts

Richard Stuart-Turner
Friday, November 14, 2014

Consumables supplier Inkland has bounced back from losing a major contract following the collapse of HPM & Addo after securing a significant equipment and consumables deal with Potts Print (UK).

The County Durham-based firm’s deal with Northumberland-based Potts is worth £2m over four years. Inkland, which has 10 staff and a turnover of £3m, is Agfa’s largest independent UK distributor.

The deal includes the supply of Agfa’s Azura TU plate and two B1 Avalon N8-60-S platesetters, which were installed earlier this month, along with two Epson 9900 Spectroproofers.

It marks the third time Inkland has supplied a pair of Agfa platesetters to Potts in the past 16 years. Prior to that the firm had supplied Potts' imagesetters with consumables.

The deal follows Inkland’s recent "significant" incurred debt and loss of a major contract after HPM & Addo, which it supplied with consumables including ink and printing plates, fell into administration last month.

After the contract loss, Inkland had faced concerns that it might have to cut its workforce but managing director Steve Wilson said that this deal, and the support of customers and suppliers, has helped secure the firm’s future.

“We are delighted to remain a major partner to Potts. We've been working on this deal for a number of months and it landed at around the same time we got the news from HPM & Addo so what should have been a celebration was marred. But I'm really pleased we've got it as I don't know where we'd have been without it, said Wilson.

"I've been totally overwhelmed by the support of our customers. I was inundated with calls from our customer base offering to pay their accounts up to date or anything else that could help us get through it. Suppliers have supported us and backed us if we needed anything as well, which has been really reassuring.

The N8-60-S platesetters will feed three Manroland multi-colour B1 presses along with two B2 and two B3 Heidelberg presses. The platesetter engines are driven by the latest version of Apogee Prepress and Potts also runs Agfa’s project management system, Apogee Portal.

Potts creative and technical services director Ian White said: “We have worked closely with Inkland for over 20 years. They know what Potts needs and how demanding our pre-press department can be.”

Earlier this year Potts hired Andy Brown, Inkland’s former pre-press technical manager, as its head of technical services.

Brown said: “Replacing our existing Avalons with the latest N8-60 engines was the obvious way forward for us. Having worked on Agfa equipment and software from the other side of the fence, I had the benefit of knowing there’s nothing better out there.”

Potts, which employs 140 staff, serves blue-chip, retail and pharmaceutical companies, public sector bodies, charities and local businesses. Earlier this year the firm bought local printer Bakershaw Print in the first of several strategic acquisitions it hopes to make in the next 12 to 18 months.


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