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Vinehall Displays crafts an opportunity out of a crisis

Vinehall Displays crafts an opportunity out of a crisis
When Dublin-based Vinehall Displays became the first company in Ireland to take delivery of a swissQprint Nyala 3 flatbed printer in late 2019, it could not have predicted how significant its investment would become when, without warning, the Coronavirus swept across the world.

Very few manufacturers have proven immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Vinehall Displays, a family-run conference, exhibition and event production company with a 32-year pedigree, which specialises in the design, build and delivery of promotional materials for a broad range of blue-chip, multinational companies, was presented with a clear choice – should it simply close down in the hope that the events sector would soon pick up again, or use its manufacturing strength and skilled workforce to move into new markets?

Happily, it decided on the latter option with the creation of a range of cost-effective workstation solutions for use by those who were faced with suddenly having to work from home.

Director Gerard McElhinney explained: “Many people were trying to figure out how to find a dedicated and comfortable spot to work while sharing small spaces with other family members, and since it was becoming increasingly clear to us that, with working from home becoming the new ‘normal’, this was a problem that was going to increase, we set about designing and building a number of special products, including a laptop stand, a simple lap desk and even a sturdy flat pack workstation, all of which could be sold online via a storefront that we added to the company website.”

Since it already owned a CNC router, the company knew that the manufacture of the products would prove to be relatively straightforward as the router could be used to cut patterns made from untreated furniture grade European FSC certified birch plywood. Furthermore, it was also able use its recently installed swissQprint Nyala to print directly onto the wood to produce a range of attractive custom printed worktops.

When the products were promoted across social media channels, the reaction was as speedy as it was pleasing. Gerard McElhinney recalled: “We gained an immediate amount of social media traction with our laptop stands when a social media influencer purchased one and liked it so much that he shared it on Twitter. We subsequently picked up 150 orders from that single engagement!”

The company has since extended its range of online Work From Home products with the addition of a child’s desk/play-centre and has also recently also launched an ingenious range of Exercise From Home products that include plyometric boxes featuring a fully custom-branded three-in-one design, a custom printed flat-pack weight lifting bench, printed slant/squat boards, and a personalised adjustable bicycle stand. Other innovations include fully customised and branded acrylic desk dividers and safety screens that are designed to complement existing interiors.

The Vinehall Displays online store, which was originally born out of necessity, has thus enabled the company to keep its doors open during the lockdown and to keep its skilled workforce in employment.

McElhinney concluded: “None of this would have been possible had we not invested in the equipment necessary to secure the economic future of our company. Thanks to the acquisition of the swissQprint Nyala 3, our business has been catapulted ahead in a way we could not even have imagined a year ago, which just goes to show that with careful and considered economic planning, manufacturers everywhere can gain momentum and find success when they offer new products or services, even in the face of economic adversity!”

For further information on the Vinhall Displays’ Work from Home and Exercise from Home products, visit: www.vinehall.ie

For further information: visit: www.swissqprint.co.uk

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