Having won several industry accolades this year, including the ‘Innovation Award’ at the ISA UK British Sign Awards, it will come as no surprise that Signs Express Lancashire is continuing to build on its success with a purpose-designed unit upgrade. The new unit has been custom renovated to make it perfectly suited to their needs. Centre manager Matt Rutlidge explains: “The idea is that we'll invite customers to our new premises, and it will provide a full showcase of the services we offer and the work we produce.”
New fit for purpose premises needs new equipment to match. With a significant amount of work being carried out for the NHS which involves the production of tactile and Braille signage, the Mimaki JFX 200-2513 EX wide-format flatbed was a clear frontrunner thanks to its 2.5D textured printing capabilities. For Signs Express Lancashire, the relocation was the perfect opportunity to replace the older machinery, purchasing the JFX200-2513 EX to replace an Oce Arizona flatbed, with a Mimaki JV300 roll-to-roll printer taking the place of a Mimaki JV33.
With the new equipment acquisitions coinciding with the relocation and renovation, it was important that the process was smooth. Their chosen supplier needed the experience, technical expertise and exceptional customer service to ensure the purchase and installation went off without a hitch. Josero, Rutlidge attests, provided all that and then some. “The plan was set out that when we did move we would have the new machines delivered directly to the new unit, and we could carry on working on the old machinery before jumping on to the new printers with no downtime,” explains Rutlidge.
He continues: “Josero accommodated it all so well, everything was arranged by them; the delivery, the unloading, the sending out of all the survey forms prior. We knew exactly what was happening and when, and it all went very, very smoothly. Considering we had so much going on with the move, to work with a company that we could just say, ‘please proceed’, and they’ll handle everything, was invaluable.”
The hands-on partnership doesn’t end there – Josero will continue to provide the Signs Express Lancashire team with the customer care and technical assistance they need going forward. Rutlidge notes: “Josero has offered us an additional free training session that we can take anytime, whether that’s in two weeks or two years. That means when we get a new starter, they can easily receive the training they need. Josero’s technician gave me his personal mobile number and has told me to call him no matter when.
“It’s great to have a point of contact like [Business Development Manager] Sarah Winterbottom, who is literally there whenever we need her. I have spoken to her previously and mentioned that we need some inks – she offered to pick them up and drive down here and drop them off! I don't think you get that with any old company, there aren’t many companies that care this much about the customers that they work with.”
So how does Josero stack up against the competition? Rutlidge explains: “We actually had another company looking at printers for us at the same time. They were good, but not like Josero! If I sent Sarah an email, I'd have a response within five minutes. Even out of hours when we were working ridiculous hours trying to get everything running, I would get an immediate response even if it was a request technical information. So Josero was the obvious choice, the customer experience was just so easy.”
With the equipment installed, the effect it is having on productivity, efficiency, and quality is clear. Rutlidge says of the Mimaki JFX200-2513 EX: “Our operation is now much faster, we can take on larger projects, we can now produce tactile and Braille signs in a much better way and it has allowed us to free up more space. It's a nicer finish as well, the print quality in comparison to our previous machine is insane!”
He continues: “We opted to get the flatbed with the white ink and the resin, which means that we can now print acrylic panels so that they're really vibrant, but we can also print a white behind them so that they're not transparent, and then we can flip them over and we can add spot UV details and matte laminate details, which saves us another process. It means that we don't have to start using different laminates and other processes – we can do it all on the prints.”
With new premises and new kit, Signs Express Lancashire’s expansion strategy is right on track, and they aren’t finished targeting growth. Having just brought an installation coordinator on board, the aim is to free up the sales team to bring in more work, keep up with the substantial amount of enquiries they are currently receiving, and get the most out of their new, improved operation. If they keep up this pace, the need for new equipment may be on the horizon before too long, and luckily they know just the supplier.