Apex Digital Graphics has moved to new premises in its hometown of Hemel Hempstead.
The business is the official UK distributor of Ryobi MHI printing equipment, Screen and Cron CTP devices, and the UK dealer for Konica Minolta digital equipment.
The company decided to relocate the business from 1,951sqm premises on Maxted Road to a recently constructed 1,394sqm site on Boundary Road, less than half a mile away, after its previous lease came to an end.
“We had the option to renew but they wanted a 10-year lease, which I didn’t want to commit to. They also wanted to put the price of the property up by £1 per square foot,” said managing director Bob Usher.
With units of the required size in short supply in Hemel Hempstead, Apex's existing agent suggested a possible move to Luton, Dunstable or Milton Keynes.
“We’ve got a fair pool of Hemel Hempstead-based staff that work here so the extra commute wouldn’t have gone down well,” said Usher.
“We found this building in the local paper in January through a new agent and have a lease on it for five years. The rent is also quite a bit lower.”
The business moved its warehouse operation to the new unit over Easter and transferred its offices across over a period of around six weeks. The move was fully completed around two weeks ago.
The new facility will provide a storage and distribution centre for supplies and spare parts, a showroom facility for litho presses, digital printing equipment and pre-press products and office and meeting room space for the company.
“The offices were too big for us at the other place. The warehouse here is about the same size so the press showroom should be very similar to what we had before,” said Usher.
“We’ll also have quite a large area for exhibitions the way we’re designing it.
“We’ve got about 40% of our warehouse designated to distribution of spares and consumables and the rest of it will be showrooms and an additional area for putting in third-party Print Efficiently partners.”
The move brings the 33-staff business close to the offices of Print Efficiently partner Intelligent Finishing Systems (IFS), which moved to the town’s Boundary Way in October last year.
It is also closer to the Buncefield oil refinery, which was the site of a huge explosion in 2005, soon after Apex had moved to its previous premises.
“Thankfully there is a lot less fuel stored at the facility now, and one would like to think that there are more stringent safety measures in place as well,” said Usher.
Usher said the total cost of the move should come to just under £110,000.
He expects the showroom facility to be completed by early August. It will be fully operational for the Print Efficiently event, which is being staged together with IFS on 6-8 and 20-22 October 2015.