South London-based large-format specialist Odessa Print Group has taken on a third unit at its Biggin Hill site and invested in a Young Shin Giant 250S flatbed die-cutter to enable it to bring longer-run POS work in-house.
“We’ve already got a unit over in Penge and two units in Biggin Hill that we took around five years ago,” said Odessa Print Group managing director Bob Charles.
The latest 1,580sqm unit in Biggin Hill takes Odessa’s total space across its two sites to 5,600sqm. All of the firm’s buildings are leased.
“We’re having a bit of a change-around within the company. We have predominantly been an out-of-home supplier since 1983, supplying billboards and outdoor print,” said Charles.
“Prices were eroding over time and we needed to secure the company’s future so we decided to diversify into POS around 2012.
“We bought an Inca Onset S20 and two Kongsberg cutting tables, which have fought us through those difficult times, but we were losing out on longer-run orders because we didn’t have the finishing capabilities in-house and were sending them out and losing control of the work.
“We’ve got a lot of clients that want to deal with us but we were not competitive with the Kongsbergs so we decided we needed to invest in a die-cutting machine, which we think will also lead to natural growth with our existing customer base.”
The Young Shin machine, which the firm has bought direct from the manufacturer, will be installed at the end of this month. This device particularly appealed to Odessa because of its ability to work on a maximum sheet size of 2.5x1.7m.
Charles said the company has now invested more than £2m over the past two years. This included the purchase of an HP Scitex 17000 corrugated press with flexible loading kit, which the business signed for at Fespa last May.
“We’re trying to streamline the business. At the moment, we’ve got some litho and some digital at Penge and then fulfilment over at Biggin Hill. We’re also looking at investing in a KBA Rapida 162 at some stage this year to give us additional litho capacity and Penge will then basically all be litho with outdoors and flat-sheet poster work with collation and trimming all done on that site.
“And the Biggin Hill sites will be flatbeds, gluing, assembly, fulfilment and packing. Because we can lay it out more efficiently, it will be a much more fluid process from start to finish through the company.”
Odessa Print Group, which has 95 staff and a turnover of £13.7m, predominantly serves retailers, print management companies and end-users.