Prodigi supports major expansion with SwissQprint spend

Richard Stuart-Turner
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Print-on-demand specialist Prodigi Group has invested in a SwissQprint Impala 3 LED UV flatbed printer as part of a wider £1m expansion project.

The SwissQprint Impala will open doors to new markets for Prodigi
The SwissQprint Impala will open doors to new markets for Prodigi

Installed just before Christmas at the Cardiff-headquartered group’s production facility in Alton, Hampshire, the SwissQprint Impala has been taken on to help the business meet rising customer demand and open doors to new markets.

The machine was installed in a purpose-built climate-controlled room at the Alton site, which has recently been expanded by over 2,800sqm.

The business specialises in the creation and fulfilment of personalised products such as fine art prints, canvas prints, framed prints, photo gifts, phone cases, clothing and apparel, and stationery, which it sells online.

This is achieved through a combination of API software and a hybrid production model which sees a proportion of its print production completed in-house, with the remainder outsourced.

The company saw its online sales grow by 45% in 2020 due to the boom in e-commerce.

“We are in the process of creating an entirely new range of products based around the SwissQprint technology, which we will be announcing soon,” said Prodigi head of marketing Karen Ogden.

“The samples thus far have been stunning, especially those printed using SwissQprint’s Droptix 3D technology. The ability to print optical 3D effects directly onto regular plastic will certainly enable our user base to explore the creativity of their images and designs.”

Prodigi chief operating officer Steve Levin added: “While we’re already a global leader in what we do, staying ahead of the competition means continually investing in the newest print technologies.

“We want to continue to create even better products for our customers and bring new capabilities into the business. We’ll be using our Impala flatbed to expand our large-format wall art capability, develop some niche products and pursue commercial contracts as part of our strategic growth plans.”

According to Ogden, Prodigi’s print-on-demand model allows the company’s B2C seller community to advertise a ‘virtual’ inventory of products – with no minimum order – utilising either their own store, or online marketplaces such as Etsy and Wayfair.

“When the end-customer purchases a product, the order is either handled by one of our production centres directly, or by one of our print-on-demand fulfilment partners who will manage the entire supply chain from print production to drop shipping and final delivery,” she added.

“It’s an attractive proposition for many because we don’t charge for the use of our software. Therefore, the model has very low start-up costs, since you don’t need to invest any money in printing machines, product stocks, or manufacturing labour.”

Prodigi’s partners include Disney, Natural History Museum, Royal Shakespeare Company, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Red Bubble, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

In 2019 Prodigi acquired print-on-demand specialist Kite from Canon. The business recorded a turnover of £17.4m in its most recently filed accounts at Companies House, for the year ended 31 March 2020, and employed around 100 staff.

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