Social enterprise installs new Versant

Social enterprise Commercial Foundation has invested in a Xerox Versant 180 for its We Do Print trading arm.

Installed in October, the machine joined a range of other kit in Commercial's Gloucester premises, including a Xerox C70 printer, and it is aiding with its No Limits training programme.

Newly appointed head of Commercial Foundation Mark Browne, who described the machine as a “breath of fresh air”, first spotted it at its official launch earlier this year when he was employed by Antalis, and he was impressed with the 80ppm machine’s print quality and ability to take sheets up to 660mm long.  

“We do a lot of business cards, so the ability to print up to 350gsm board was also a real plus,” said Browne.

“We had one at the Antalis’ Digital Academy so I knew that machine, it was one of many we saw after a full market review and it was one of the best in the mix.”

Suitable for a wide range of media types, including coated and uncoated papers, labels, business cards, glossy brochures and window decals, the Versant also has an inline spectrophotometer, which allows for increased colour automation. Commercial decided not to configure it with optional Xerox Performance Package. 

Browne said: “It’s an additional machine so we have a boost of capacity, so better print quality means we can attract better more clients really and the more difficult and quality-conscious work.”

Five-staff We Do Print employs disadvantaged young adults and creates £4.86 worth of social value for every £1 received - as independently verified by Social Value Business UK - with clients including Sky, Kier and Mears Group.

Its No Limits programme provides training, mentoring and support for young people while they work voluntarily in the print division.

Along with the Xerox machines, it runs an Epson small-format dye-sublimation machine, a guillotine, a Watkiss bookletmaker and a Makerbot 3D Replicator Plus, the latter two of which were installed earlier this year.

“Things are going really well,” said Browne, who took up the reins in June. 

“We’ve just had our best quarter ever, like-for-like sales are up just short of 100% and we are expecting further growth next year, so it’s all positive really. More businesses are looking actively at us to buy social.”

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