The world is a volatile place at the moment. Talk of impending inflation, utility prices increasing, shortages of materials, and spiralling shipping costs. Like everybody we’ve been feeling the squeeze too.
We took the decision to invest in new machinery, ensuring we can deliver you with a high quality finished product, and a consistent, reliable service. Like anything, there are entry level, or budget tools of the trade, and then there’s the Roll Royce level. Our latest investment in upgrading our printer was in excess of £10,000 for a middle of the range machine. Couple that with our laminator, and computer cutters, we’re heading north of £20,000 in machinery.
All this machinery is useless without something to print to, there’s budget short term vinyl, intermediate vinyl, through to cast vehicle wrapping films and their associated matched laminates. Depending on the quality of the material, prices can range from £100, to £300 a roll!
The large format printers, need feeding with large amounts of inks, there’s no desktop ink cartridges, but bags bulging with 500ml of ink costing over £80.00 each (£160 a litre!). You might know how frustrating it is to run out of ink at home, or in the office, imagine running out of ink in the midst of large print run.
All of this needs somewhere warm and dry to reside, and for us it’s housed at our cosy workshop near Salford Quays, Manchester. It would be foolish to invest such sums and leave it vulnerable and unsecure so there’s costs for the alarm system and monitoring when we’re not on site. The electricity to power the machinery and heat the workshop, the water to make a brew and clean customers vehicles, the phones and the internet in order to communicate with our customers.
Then there’s our greatest asset, without our experienced and knowledgeable team, the machinery would be sat redundant. As much as they love what they do, it’s only fair they’re paid for their work, in order to put food on their table, pay their mortgages, and live a modest lifestyle.
There are a whole manner of ‘trade’ suppliers we could work with, utilising their buying power from the vast numbers of customers, utilising automated systems, and hundreds of thousands of pounds of equipment. Whilst this route is suitable in certain situations, it’s very much a hands off approach.
Your order is passed on, entrusted with others. The majority of the time deliveries are as promised, and the quality is acceptable, but that doesn’t become apparent until the order is placed. You’ve probably received parcels yourself where they look like they’ve been belted around Old Trafford for 90 minutes – Imagine trying to send some of our huge panels by courier!
Whilst we can ‘buy in’ some items and jobs, we choose not to in order to maintain control over the entire process.
We can monitor the printing process from start to finish, ensure colours and artwork are as anticipated, pause and restart printing if for any reason we’re not satisfied. We can squeeze jobs in, and manage our own schedule to meet customers needs. We also have control over the quality of the materials used, confident that the correct material is being used for the correct application, and saving headaches further down the line.
This level of attention to detail, and quality of service and product has all of the above associated costs. Whilst sometimes our prices may appear ‘expensive’ compared to others, we regularly, and carefully review our costs, in order to price sustainably.
Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash