Stackawraps has entered into a UK partnership with large-format printer NEC Graph-fix, which will produce and market its photo-realistic 3D models.
Prior to its first UK deal of 2018, Stackawraps has been selling licences and partnerships for its production system to firms around the world. With partners in countries including South Africa, Australia and Canada, the Manchester-headquartered company has also set up a new base in New York, US.
Walsall-based NEC Graph-fix finalised a deal with Stackawraps in mid-February and has already started using Stackawraps’ methods of 3D cutting and dye-sublimation to create 3D models for promotional purposes. The £3m-turnover printer helped produce large models of Coca-Cola models to promote the 2018 Fifa World Cup.
“As outdoor and retail display specialists, we already have a lot of expertise and many clients in this area,” said NEC managing director Tim James. “We are a big outfit already and we took our time preparing to lock in this deal to make sure everything was right.
“Having been around for 20 years, we are not ones to rush things out, but we are now ready to push this product hard and get it out to people who might not know what it is or how it can help their brand.
“Currently, we’re hitting up our existing customers to show them what we are doing. We are looking to do about 3-4,000 Stackawraps units this year.”
On its 2,000sqm premises, NEC uses an MTEX dye sub and is about to take on a new, fully-automated cutting machine from Esko. James said two seamstresses had been added to the firm’s 30-strong team and more hires may be considered as the year goes on, including a new salesperson.
Stackawraps has experienced rapid growth over the past year, with its anticipated £5m turnover for the current financial year a 500% increase on the year before, according to managing director Richard Peter. The company now generates 90% of its turnover outside of the UK – and Peter hopes it will exceed £7m by the end of next year.
“The UK has been reluctant to catch onto our product because it is so new and different, but we are noticing an increase in orders as people come around,” said Peter.
“NEC will be brilliant for our UK growth – the premises and its staff are fantastic and Tim is really motivated. I am certain they will deliver and they have a great reputation for not only talking the talk but also acting on their word.
“We want to get into as many countries as we can and I hope we can achieve a turnover equivalent to the larger print management companies in the future.”
Stackawraps employs a team of 40 staff and has started producing a sample service sending miniature renditions of its 3D models to potential customers on request.