Printers, print managers and print and packaging equipment manufacturers have been named in a new report, 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain.
The “landmark study”, carried out over the past six months by the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with media partner The Daily Telegraph, identifies the “fastest growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises” in Britain.
"Celebrating the success of these SMEs is a shockingly under-reported story and we are determined to change that," stated LSE Group chief executive Xavier Rolet. "Our report seeks, for the first time, to identify 1,000 of the most exciting small and medium-sized companies in the UK.
"More needs to be done to raise awareness of the importance of these businesses. More needs to be done to nurture, support and encourage these companies, many of which are poised to be the blue chips of tomorrow," he said.
Among those named were label manufacturer Reflex Group, web-to-print firms Moo.com and Moonpig parent firm Photobox, magazine printer Buxton Press, Mosaic Print Management, print and fulfillment firm Superior Creative, Document Outsourcing, industrial inkjet manufacturer Xaar and wide-format specialist Cestrian.
“It came as a total surprise to us, but it’s great news. I think the key thing that helped us was our growth and innovation especially with our patents,” said co-founder of Greater Manchester-based Cestrian, Phill Reynolds.
The company, which specialises in outdoor billboard advertising, retail POS and exhibition and event work, has recently developed and patented a one-piece billboard system that allows companies to get away from the “laborious paper and paste system”, explained Reynolds.
“We’ve worked with customers on projects across Europe, the UK and the US on this one-piece system and rather than see it get copied across the market, we applied for a patent and it was accepted, which we are really proud of. We’re really thinking outside the box,” he said.
Reynolds launched the £12m, 87-staff business in 1991 and said that following a recent “regrouping” and efficiency drive, the business was looking strong. “This year we focused on automation and consolidation, next year it’s about new business and growth.”
The business, which operates from a 5,400sqm facility in Cheadle, runs “a digital press for every requirement”, including Durst, HP and Agfa equipment, according to Reynolds, with its latest investment being a Durst Rho 500R super-wide printer.
“We’ve pretty much settled on Durst now as the way forward, it definitely suits us best. We’re now looking at the next generation Durst flatbeds as our Agfa M-Presses are getting pretty busy.”
Plans for 2014 also include the launch of a “unique and cutting-edge” software platform, developed in-house to improve customer ordering. “This will be a game changer for us and them,” said Reynolds. “It’s aimed at customers who want to place repeat orders and artwork, to streamline the process and take away customer headaches.
“I think we’ll be quick out of the starting blocks after the New Year,” he added.