The Mailshop invests in paper wrap and appoints Maybury

Richard Stuart-Turner
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Direct mail fulfilment specialist The Mailshop (TMS) has invested £650,000 in new paper wrapping and inkjet machinery and appointed former Sunline Direct Mail chairman Nigel Maybury as its new non-executive chairman.

The Hucknall, Nottingham-based company has confirmed a £500,000 order for a new, bespoke Buhrs 3000 paper wrapping line supplied by Friedheim International.

Due to be delivered to its 2,320sqm premises in early October and in use by early November, the kit will enable the firm to insert up to 14 items of various sizes.

Boasting a shuttle feeder, camera match system, cutter, extraction, rotary feeders and a mailsort system, it will run with a 4in inkjet system for personalisation and will be able to produce up to 15,000 packs per hour.

The Buhrs 3000 will replace the company’s oldest Sitma polywrapping line, which will be placed in storage for the time being, though it will continue to operate five other polywrapping machines including three others from Sitma plus one from Buhrs and one from CMC, all of which feature inline inkjet systems.

“Over the last 24 months we’ve started to do a lot of third-party insert work and we’re under further pressure to take more,” said managing director Tom Carr Jnr.

He added the new line will increase the company’s speed for polywrapping and the other types of wrapping that “the market is changing dramatically towards” but will also enable it “to venture into the paper wrap marketplace and offer the flexibility to our customers”.

Trading since 2008, TMS turns over £9m and employs 60 full-time staff who predominantly serve mail order and catalogue clients.

“I think ours will be a slower move towards paper wrap. It’s not like subscription work, which is under a lot of pressure for paper wrap because the consumer is paying for something,” said Carr.

TMS will also take delivery of two new inkjet systems from Addressing & Mailing Solutions (AMS) over the next few weeks, representing an investment of £150,000.

A Kirk-Rudy UV-based machine will operate at speeds of up to 50,000 items per hour while an X-Jet solvent-based system will run at up to 30,000 items per hour. The company said both devices will enable it to print on virtually any surface as well as TrueType fonts.

“With plastic pressures, we’ve had a significant increase in sustainable naked production – catalogues going out to the mail without anything on them at all,” said Carr.

“We’ve got a 25% increase already in August/September on offline naked catalogue production so this is really just to bolster that side of the business.”

The company also operates three high-speed envelope enclosers, four offline inkjet systems, five high-speed mono Konica Minolta laser printers and two high-speed digital colour Xerox printers.

Maybury joined TMS in the newly created role of non-executive chairman on 1 July and, as a new addition to the company’s board, will work closely with Carr to develop innovative new ideas. He will also take his seat back on the board of the Strategic Mailing Partnership (SMP), working closely with Royal Mail.

“Nigel’s focus will be with Royal Mail because that’s where he has really excelled over a number of years, sitting on the SMP board,” said Carr.

“Royal Mail don’t necessarily see all the things that are going on in the bulk mail order world. People have been mentioning starch wrap as a good swap [for polywrap] but currently Royal Mail don’t offer any form of sustainable discounts the way they would do envelopes or paper wrap.

“So we want to be able to sit in there and – working with the right organisations such as Defra – drive to make sure that we get the right product which is environmentally friendly and recyclable to really help and maintain our industry.”

Finally, the company has also now started offering its clients a standard simple ‘Recycle Me’ logo on all of its polythene stocks that runs along the back of packs along the centre seal and on a 200mm repeat.

It said this logo, which comes at no extra cost to customers, will enable the end user to identify the plastic and its recyclability and green credentials where recycled waste is used.

“We’ve formulated a deal with our extruder to be able to print on the outside of our stock film,” said Carr.

“It’s only a very small percentage increase in cost to us which we’ve absorbed into our business because I think it’s important to be able to allow us to produce wrap that the consumer will be able to identify and recycle correctly.”

© MA Business Limited 2019. Published by MA Business Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 06779864. MA Business is part of the Mark Allen Group .