Survival of the fittest
First established in Nottingham in 1900, John E Wright & Co continues to go from strength to strength, thanks to its flexible and evolving business model and on-going investment in both technology and staff.
The company’s latest acquisition is the EFI VUTEk H5 printer, purchased through CMYUK, which complements its existing EFI VUTEk GS3250LX Pro, also purchased through CMYUK,
Tony Barnett, Managing Director of John E Wright, explained: “The GS3250LX Pro was a real game-changer for us, and demonstrated the superiority of the EFI VUTEk brand. Our ethos has always been to invest in the best, and we try to stay ahead of the competition in terms of technology. This process has been helped enormously by having a Technical Director with the knowledge, power and influence to guide the Board into making the best decisions. The H5 is the latest example of this and will help us meet the growing demands of our customer base in terms of quality, speed of turnaround and price competitiveness.
“We have known Robin and Jon at CMYUK for a long time so there is a history of trust that predates the start of CMYUK. When things go wrong, which they occasionally do, CMYUK has always helped us to find a reasonable resolution, been quick to correct any shipping errors, helpful with technical issues, and highly knowledgeable with regard to the latest product innovations.”
The H5 printer, the result of EFI VUTEk’s re-imagined and re-engineered high-volume super-wide, hybrid inkjet platform, is a next-generation 3.2m wide printer with a resolution of 1200dpi and eight colour modes, plus white, thus offering up to a nine-layer print capability in a single pass. It offers smooth shadows, gradients and transitions, combined with crisp, clear text quality.
Encapsulating powerful LED technology, it supports an extended range of substrates, including lower cost and added-value speciality media, all of which can be handled by automated media loading, stacker systems and super duty winders.
According to a Fogra study, the H5 drives down operating costs, as it has an 82 percent lower energy consumption and fewer consumable parts. For John E Wright, this eco consideration is very important, as it chimes with the company’s increasing environmental observance over the past decade.
Tony Barnett continued: “In the past 10 years we have become more and more aware of environmental issues and we were probably one of the first to eliminate solvent printing from our portfolio. With the introduction of cool cure UV printing six years ago, we have reduced our carbon footprint dramatically and also achieved the ISO9001 (Quality) and ISO14001 (Environment) accreditations. However, these qualifications are a journey not a destination, and we are constantly striving to do better – the H5 assists us in this regard.”
The purchase of the H5 epitomises John E Wright’s total transformation. Pre 1990, the company was an art and graphic shop operation, but with the arrival of Barnett, and the company’s Technical Director, Alan Edwards at around the time of the Millennium, this began to change.
Barnett observed: “We soon realised that anything that could be bought on the Internet would be, so we started the long process of transforming the business from one that was 90 percent product and 10 percent print, into a business that was 90 percent print and 10 percent product. It has taken 20 years, over £5 million of investment in new printing equipment, a mountain of training and the recruitment of lots of people with new skills.”
John E Wright now has a total of six production sites. In addition to its flagship Queen’s Drive operation in Nottingham West, it has facilities in Hull, Derby, Leicester and Oxford, plus its head office operation in Nottingham East. It enjoys a total turnover of £6m and employs 78 staff across the whole group, with 26 people employed at Queen’s Drive.
It services the visual communication requirements of a broad range of end markets under the banner of Exhibition & Display Graphics, but also provides the large format needs of most of the Universities and many schools throughout its region, PoS and window graphics for the retail sector, exhibition graphics, vehicle liveries and marketing collateral for corporate companies operating throughout the UK and mainland Europe, graphics for the museum and heritage sectors, hoardings and signage for the construction industry and signs and graphics for special events, such as the Nottingham Open Tennis tournament.
Barnett describes the John E Wright Group as ‘a hub and spokes operation that uses the 80:20 rule’ meaning that 80 percent of print requests can be fulfilled by the local branch, while any larger jobs or those requiring specialist equipment, such as the new H5, are sent to Queen’s Drive to be produced and shipped direct to the client.
For Barnett, the installation of the EFI VUTEk H5 squares the circle when it comes to what he regards as the most important considerations for today’s wide format digital print service providers, namely quality, speedy turnaround and total marketing solutions.
He concluded: “The H5 is a big investment but we are sure that its quality and speed will provide us with a real advantage over our competitors, leading to sales growth in those sectors in which we already operate. In addition, it is also likely that we will be able to further expand our geographical sphere of influence and take on more national and, who knows, international marketing campaigns too. We’re really up for the challenge!”
For further information on John E Wright, visit: www.johnewright.com
For further information on CMYUK, visit: www.cmyuk.com