Northwolds supports major contract renewal with press and premises revamp

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Monday 21 October 2019

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Northwolds Print Works is eyeing further growth after investing £320,000 in refreshing its litho setup and creating a new mezzanine level at its factory to support a renewed contract with its largest client.

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Singh (R) in 2014, when he acquired Northwolds Print Works

The investment, which included a secondhand B2 Komori Lithrone L529 from White Horse Machinery, comes after the Pocklington-based business secured a new two-year contract with the client – an unnamed training and learning provider which it has been working with for more than a decade.

The new mezzanine level has added an additional 200sqm of space to the existing 1,000sqm space at the firm’s factory, which will be used as a dedicated area to deliver the client’s growing print, inventory management, fulfilment and delivery requirements.

Since securing the previous iteration of the contract in 2017, Northwolds has installed a new online portal stock system which has simplified the process for the client’s customers placing orders and the client’s staff processing them.

It has also employed a dedicated team member to work exclusively on the client’s stock orders, processing them, making up packs, entering delivery details into the courier’s website, printing and applying labels to boxes, and preparing them for despatch.

Northwolds owner Gurdev Singh, who acquired the business in August 2014, told Printweek: “The mezzanine floor was completed earlier this month. Because the contract with that client has grown, and because they’ve commited to us, we decided that we needed a dedicated floorspace for them.”

The Lithrone L529, which was installed last month, has replaced the company’s previous L526 model, which was part-exchanged as part of the deal.

It has joined a B2 Komori Spica four-colour perfector, a Xerox Versant digital production press and an array of finishing kit including guillotines, folders, stitchers and collators.

Singh said the new machine is more efficient than its predecessor and has specialist coating and drying facilities, enabling quicker turnaround times and a higher quality finish.

“The new press is quicker both in terms of sheets per hour and automation. The makereadies are also a lot quicker, and the coater and the IR dryer on it really help with the uncoated stocks that we do.”

He added: “White Horse have been great to deal with, we’ve been very happy with their service. This was a personal project of our commercial director Robert Logan, who spent around a year putting it together from researching machines to installation.

“When you put a machine in it’s also about the software that goes with it, the workflow, managing the clients and using outside suppliers while the machine is down.”

Family-run Northwolds employs 18 staff and is targeting turnover of £1.8m this year, a figure that has grown from £1.2m when Singh took the reins of the company five years ago. He said that, following the investment, the business will be targeting sales of £2m next year.

The company serves clients in sectors including education, financial services and pharmaceutical as well as creative agencies, with around 65% of customers based in the local area.

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