New MD at Service Graphics

By Jo Francis, Wednesday 12 December 2018

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Service Graphics has appointed a business transformation expert as the firm’s new managing director, with plans in place to “realise the full potential” of the business including investment in new equipment and premises.

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New equipment at Service Graphics in Glasgow

The large-format graphics specialist has also decided to phase out the ‘SG’ branding that was implemented by its former owner St Ives, and has reverted to the original Service Graphics name.

“We wanted to put service back at the heart of the message, and graphics is the core of what we do,” explained marketing manager John Cornfield.

New owner Landry Kouakou, who acquired the business from St Ives in March through investment vehicle SelmerBridge, has installed business transformation expert Alex Penner as managing director of the business.

He took over after previous incumbents Katy Bonnor and Martin Hutchings left the business in the intervening period after the acquisition.

Penner comes from outside the industry and has a long track record working in a variety of business leadership roles involving company turnaround and transformation scenarios.

Kouakou said Penner’s brief at Service Graphics was “to complete the turnaround – this is going to mean some internal change and leadership development for the rest of the management team.”

Penner said the business had previously suffered from a “chronic level of underinvestment”, and described the journey out of PLC ownership as “challenging”, but said that since the summer there had been a seven-figure investment in new equipment, training and development.

The new kit across the business included EFI Vutek 5r and FabriVu large-format printers, a brace of SwissQprint Nyala printers and an Esko Kongsberg C64 cutting table.

“Landry and I are clear that we have a great business with great people. The strategy and funding are now in place to help realise the full potential of Service Graphics,” Penner stated.

The firm employs around 300 staff across four sites: Chessington, Nottingham, Skelmersdale and Glasgow, and is set to relocate its Skelmersdale operation to more modern premises in Q1 2019.

It works for a host of blue-chip brands and also holds a Royal Warrant as supplier of graphics and signs to HM Queen.

SelmerBridge refocused on Service Graphics and field marketing firm Tactical Solutions after SP Group was shut down over the summer. 

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