“We’ve always had the ambition and passion to drive the business forward, and the team here has a lot of experience and capability, we’re just giving the team the tools to exploit that and take it to the next level,” said commercial director Stephen Egerton.
The 24-staff firm in Cannock signed for a DC-645i slitter-cutter-creaser with integrated folder, a DC-10/60 Pro collator tower, Renz wire-binding equipment, an Autobond laminator, an Introma stitcher, a shrinkwrapping line and a new guillotine.
The deal was officially signed off at Duplo’s London Calling event last month and even though the kit comes from a variety of manufacturers, the entire deal, which has been in the planning for six months, was orchestrated and managed by Duplo.
“Duplo have done an umbrella agreement with us, which makes the whole investment as seamless as our finishing will be after the kit is installed. This is true partnership,” said Egerton.
The deal was partially funded through the Regional Growth Fund. The first machines were installed in the past few weeks with the remaining kit expected to be up and running early in the new year.
The post-press spend, follows an upgrade of the 20-year-old family firm’s press hall, which included a five-colour Komori Lithrone S29 and two Xerox DocuColor 8080s installed in 2012.
The firm will install a Tharstern Primo MIS in early 2014 and, according to Egerton, a FKS PrintBind KB-4000 PUR binder from Duplo will follow shortly afterwards. It is also looking to replace its 110ppm black and white Xerox 4112 with a Xerox Nuvera 144 next year.
The target of the two-year investment strategy is to sustainably double sales to £3m and Egerton said that he was confident that KJB would meet the target in the 2014 financial year.
“The transformation hasn’t just been about investment though, it’s been about reorganising the structure of the business, implementing KPIs, productivity, efficiency and cost management. We’ve looked at every part of the business, effectively turning it upside down to analyse every facet and then start changing mindsets,” said Egerton.
Egerton hinted that once the new kit is bedded in, next on the agenda for KJB could be some M&A activity.
“I could see us buying another business in the next 12 months within the Staffordshire area, we’ve got a solid central capability and are keen for more growth. We would be interested in businesses with good synergies – but not just another KJB, it would have to offer something different that further boosts our capabilities.”