Labels & Packaging
It’s been ten years since Nigel Toplis left Kall Kwik to focus on building up a stable of franchise based businesses which include Recognition Express, ComputerXplorers and the ZipYard. Now he’s come full circle and added the famous printing brand to his group of companies following the acquisition of the Kall Kwik licence in December last year. So how has the industry changed in a decade? According to Nigel, whilst there’s been significant technological changes, in many respects the print centres face the same challenge now as they did then – bringing in business. Let’s see what he has to say.
It’s great to be back working with Kall Kwik Franchise Owners. I have kept in touch with many of them over the years and followed the company’s progress with interest and latterly a bit of sadness too as it seems to have lost focus.
Some things have changed, but others haven’t. Obviously digital technologies have revolutionised the way we print in the twenty first century, with the emphasis being increasingly placed on the speed of the manufacturing process and a reduction in the number of skilled people required. Just one man can operate the latest generation of digital printers – gone are the days of compositing and plate making.
But there’s still a huge over capacity in the production side of the print market. Too many people are still putting too much money into machinery and not enough resource into developing and nurturing customer contacts – and that’s where I think we need to re-engineer the whole industry. Instead of being manufacturing led we should be focusing on sales and marketing. It’s not a matter of ‘we’ve got this machine what can we print on it for you?’ rather we should be engaging with customers to find out their business goals and aspirations and then look at devising solutions to help them get there.
When I first left Kall Kwik I went to Recognition Express, a business that specialises in corporate branded goods and clothing. One of the strengths of that brand is that it builds long term customer relationships by adding value through marketing knowledge and expertise. A customer may initially approach one of our franchisees looking to buy branded pens for example, but end up with something completely different after the Recognition Express Franchise Owner has carried out a thorough fact find into what the customer wants to achieve. The customer could have sourced cheaper pens from the internet, but the bespoke solution that they ended up with delivered far better results and as a consequence that particular customer is more likely to bring repeat business based on the quality of service received rather than merely price alone.
My focus for Kall Kwik isn’t going to be ‘how can we print that job? It is going to be all about ‘how can we get that order?’ Buying the latest top of the range machinery alone won’t bring in the business, and the wide format sector is a perfect example of this. Many of us identified the market potential – literally years ago - as being huge, but very few actually went out to sell the benefits of the equipment to customers. Printers invested in large format machines and then waited for customers to come and ask for the service.
I see Kall Kwik as a provider of solutions for businesses. Many of the 52 centres who have opted to retain the Kall Kwik brand enjoy High Street locations and are ideally placed to take advantage of the £4.5million SME’s that exist in the UK marketplace not to mention the 34,000 schools and of course large corporates.
There are hundreds of thousands of businesses out there who could use wide format printing but are unaware of the technology – all of which are potential untapped sales opportunities for Kall Kwik Franchise Owners.
Over the next twelve months we will be expanding the Kall Kwik brand with the introduction of a new business franchise model focusing more on delivering business services and solutions rather than simply print production. The existing network of Kall Kwik Centres will be called upon to make use of their excess capacity to carry out the printing requirements of these new Kall Kwik Business Centres.
It is our intention that Kall Kwik Business Centres will be High Street based – thus taking advantage of visible brand exposure - but with smaller premises.
Employees will be very client focused, highly experienced in design and artwork and able to provide business solutions across the full range of Kall Kwik products and services (some of which are not yet even in the portfolio), whilst the on-site equipment will focus very heavily on high quality digital output and wide format production. It is all about adding value.
These new Kall Kwik Business Centres will focus on identifying and then meeting the business needs of customers whatever they may be. The services offered could range from creating, printing, distributing and ultimately following up a direct marketing campaign with telesales to fulfilment and sourcing very specialist printing services.
Kall Kwik remains the most recognised brand within the industry. There’s a huge amount of talent out there and it’s time to put the past firmly behind us and focus on regaining that number one market position by putting marketing in front of equipment, solutions in front of specifications and most importantly people in front of the customer.
Check out the TAGS above
Want to get to know us better? Follow us on Twitter @GDWtweets
We'd love to get to know you and learn more about your business!
Got any news or PR? Email us at email@example.com