Propack invests and issues rallying call

Marcomms specialist Propack Direct Mail has boosted its mailing capabilities with a six-figure spend in the midst of lockdown as it invests to position itself for growth as restrictions ease, and has issued a rallying call for print businesses to highlight client successes and help restore confidence.

CAP's Covid-19 fundraising campaign was five times more effective than anticipated
CAP's Covid-19 fundraising campaign was five times more effective than anticipated

A CMC 250 high-speed envelope enclosing line, its first machine from the Italian manufacturer, was delivered to its Huddersfield factory last week and is currently being commissioned. It should be in full production at the end of the week.

Jason Clough, managing director, said: “We cannot allow the current climate to allow us to deviate from our growth plans.

“We are determined to push forwards and continue to improve and develop our service offering. We have a dedicated workforce and a clear vision of how we intend to progress.”

Configured with selective enclosing, camera matching, and both inline folding and inkjetting, the CMC was ordered late last year after assessing the machines in the market, but account director Gary Walker said that rather delay the install because of the Covid-19 pandemic the company wanted to push ahead “in anticipation of a resurgence”.

According to Walker, while the firm’s volumes had dropped and it had made use of the furlough scheme, many of the affected staff have subsequently returned. To maintain production through the lockdown, it introduced staggered break times, sanitation points, and staff temperature logs.

Two weeks ago, to increase capacity, Propack also reintroduced its nightshift.

He said that the circa 70-staff firm’s wide spread of clients and markets had offered it some shelter from the fall out of the lockdown, and while travel and hospitality work had been hit hard, financial services and charity clients had remained active. It was also involved in issuing the NHS shielding letters.

“So, the decision behind [going ahead with] the machine was ‘Sod it, we can’t afford to be frightened let’s crack on’,” he stated. 

He drew comparisons to recession caused by the 2008 financial crisis, “where those that continued to invest and crack on came out a little better on the other side.”

He said that the business was also trying to share client success stories during the crisis to help restore confidence.

He cited the firm’s experience in the charity sector, where clients were evenly split between those wanting to continue campaigns and those considering suspending activities.

“Those that have continued, their appeals have just absolutely rocketed.”

He referenced a campaign Propack carried out for Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which wanted to raise funds to support those worst affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The circa £20,000 emergency campaign at the end of April had a fundraising target of £80,000. The mailing campaign has so far raised £440,000. The case study is available on the Propack website.

“It’s just an example, people want to help, but you’ve got to give them a vehicle, so those charities that have continued with mailings are doing really well. So we’re trying to share the success stories as much as possible to try and instil confidence in others.

“B2B has dropped, because nobody knows where everybody is at the moment, but consumer activity, those that have done it... it’s working phenomenally.

“I think we’ve all got to stick together and help each other by promoting our clients' successes, because that helps everyone.”

Other case studies on its site include Covid-19 support the firm offered to Moonpig.

The firm’s new CMC is additional to the its existing Pitney Bowes and two Kalmar enclosing lines. The firm has a London sales office in addition to its main Huddersfield manufacturing site. It offers in-house studio and copywriting facilities, digital print with a brace of cut-sheet engines from Ricoh, two Riso inkjets and a recently installed Xerox Iridesse.

Clients include Auto Trader, Go Outdoors, Sky Bet, Sue Ryder and Travis Perkins.


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