Direct Solutions expands and invests

By Max Goldbart, Monday 31 October 2016

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Direct marketing printer Direct Solutions has invested £250,000 in new kit and added a new production site, after picking up a number of new contracts.

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The new premises is the same size as all five of Direct Solutions' older units combined

The Clacton-based company purchased a Ricoh C7100 digital printer, an HP Designjet 330 and various bits of finishing equipment, and spent the remainder of the investment on refurbishing its new facility, which it is renting.

The new 840sqm facility is around the same combined size as its five other units, which are also on the same street. It began production in the new unit from 4 September.

Direct Solutions has picked up around six contracts in the past four months, including a subscription mailing contract for an insurance company, which is part of the reason for the expansion.

Direct Solutions managing director Allistair Hunter said: “Everything was getting a bit disjointed in the five different units and we were growing quickly, picking up new contracts, so when the unit next door to us came free we talked the landlord into gutting and refurbishing it into the way we wanted. 

“It’s been a revelation, everything is under one roof now and it has just made things so much more efficient. There’s a lot more walking around to do but from a team-building perspective it has been really good."

The majority of the rest of the spend went on the Ricoh Pro C7100, which was installed a couple of months ago. It joins a Ricoh Pro 6100, which Hunter said had been in constant use.

“As soon as we bought the 6100, that side of the business grew so much that we had to get this one in as well. It can print spot varnish and white, which within a direct mail environment is of great benefit to us and we have reaped the benefits already.”

The Ricoh prints at speeds of up to 80ppm, taking a maximum sheet size of SRA3 at a maximum weight of 360gsm. It can print at a resolution of up to 1,200x4,800dpi.

The Designjet was bought in order to meet demand for Direct Solutions’ large-format work.

Hunter said: “We kept on getting requests for different substrates and finishes and then I came across the Designjet, which is much more efficient and user-friendly so it made sense to add that to the list of equipment."

The finishing kit spend was all for digital printing and was purchased from Morgana Systems. It includes a folder, creaser and perforator.

With the new premises, Hunter said he is considering adding to Direct Solutions’ 20 staff and will be looking at purchasing new kit towards the start of next year.

Along with the two Ricohs and the Designjet, it also runs four Konica Minolta Bizhub 1050s and two Astrojet envelope printers.

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